It is illegal for landlords to increase rent rate without the prior assessment and approval of the Rent Control Office, asserts the Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu.
He explained that all new rent rates must be approved by the Rent Control Department to make sure that it is done reasonably and befits the condition of the premises that is being rented out.
According to a myjoyonline.com report, Emmanuel Kporsu, explained that “No landlord has the right to increase his rent without consulting the Rent Control office.”
He added that, “Under section 19, (1) it says no landlord of premises shall collect from the tenant of such premises any increase of rate attributable to any increase of rate in respect of such premises unless he has notified the tenant previously in writing in a prescribed form, the amount of the old rate, the amount of the new rate and where part of any premises has been let, the amount of rate attributed to such part, the amount of the increase in rent and that from which the new rate takes effect.”
Also, he said that, “So when you come to section 19 (3) that’s where it insists that no landlord should collect any increase in rate until that premises has been assessed.”
Further, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu, explained that, “So when we finish assessing and we give you the rate, that’s where you have to notify the tenant that from this month going, or from the next two months going, I’ll be charging you this new rate from this old one which I’m currently collecting. And this new rate has been approved by the rent control department or the magistrate.”
He added that until the tenancy agreement with the tenant have been fully exhausted, landlords cannot implement the new rent rates.
Also, he stressed that even in the circumstance where the new rent rate has been approved by the Rent Control office, tenants should be notified in writing of the new development by their landlords, as an act of obligation, before it is fully implemented.