Foreclosure: What is it; and Should You Consider Purchasing a Foreclosed Property in Ghana?
- 8 October, 2020
- Industry Trends
Foreclosure is a term you will normally hear in association with mortgages. A foreclosure, in Ghana, can mean good or…
Rent control is a government program that places a limit on the amount that a landlord can demand for leasing a home or for renewing a lease. – Investopedia
All rent control laws are intended to keep living costs affordable for lower-income residents. This has been the philosophy of rent control in Ghana over the years but it hasn’t always been a straightforward approach. Changes in government, population increase, availability of materials, greed and so many other factors have played a role in shaping the housing sector in Ghana as well as the rent control initiative.
READ ALSO: Cabinet Set to Approve New Rent Bill
The following analysis was taken from a World bank document titled COST AND BENEFITS OF RENT CONTROL IN KUMASI, GHANA by Stephen Malpezzi, A. Graham Tipple and Kenneth G. Willis. You can view the full document here. This report was released in October of 1989. Charts and images have been recreated and added specifically for this document to enhance readability.
As with many other countries (UN, 1979), rent controls started in Ghana during the Second World War when the Gold Coast began to suffer the effects of inflation. In response to this, the Defence (Rent Restriction) Regulations of 1942 made it an offence for anyone to increase rents above those of 3rd September, 1939 except where an assessment had been made by a Rent Assessment Committee. Further, no-one could be evicted except by Court Order (Gold Coast, 1951a).
Similar regulations in 1943 required the Rent Assessment Committee to fix a fair and reasonable rent for any class of premises and introduced the concept of a “Standard Rent” for various types of properties. These early, and rather hurried, pieces of legislation have set a pattern for rent control ever since: rents are fixed at specific levels for the most common types of property and any other accommodation can be let at a rent assessed by a body appointed to do so or, in some cases, by agreement between tenant and landlord.
The Mate-Kole Committee appointed to enquire into rentals (Gold Coast, 1951a) indicated that the rent controls were being flouted by landlords who were frustrated at the unrealism of “standard rents” which were mainly fixed at September 1939 levels. The Report therefore declared that the standard rents were quite uneconomical in post-war times and should be re-assessed according to valuations used for property rates assessment. Furthermore, rents should include a rate payment over and above the controlled rent.
Throughout the Mate Kole report, the landlords were not cast as dyed-in-the-wool villains. While their efforts to avoid some aspects of controls were condemned, it is evident that the Committee appreciated their problem. The housing shortage was acute in the big cities, building materials were scarce and expensive — 200 or 300 per cent more costly than in 1939 — and tenants were generally badly informed of their rights and, thus, easy prey. It was recognized that scarcity in any commodity bred black-marketeering. The crux of the problem was seen to be shortage of supply. This was being manifested in the letting of latrines and kitchens as living rooms, increasing occupancy rates, and the inability of tenants to resist paying rents which were illegal. The committee was clear that rent control alone could do no good without an increase in the supply of houses.
At this time, government’s stated policy contained probably the greatest element of direct government involvement in house provision and the least reliance on private investment of any period before or since. Estate building on sites recommended in the 1945 draft plan for Kumasi (Fry and Drew, 1945) was in full swing. Kumasi had 4,035 houses in 1948 (Gold Coast, 1948) and the building programme lasting from 1945 to 1955 added approximately 2,500 small dwellings.
The major thrust of the 1951 Development Plan was building estates of small dwellings for workers and encouraging people to build their own single household dwellings. Thus a policy which prevented landlords making much profit from house-letting may be understandable at the time if a little shortsighted in the light of a long-standing housing shortage (Gold Coast, 1951a and 1951b). It can be seen below, however, that later rent legislation has failed to significantly change this stance even though later government policy had to admit to the heavy reliance on private investment by landlords (Ghana, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1975 and 1977) and did little to reduce it.
The 1952 Rent Control Ordinance (no.2 of 1952), which followed the Mate Kole Report, modified “standard rent” to that rent which was paid on 1 January, 1948 or such as had been fixed by rent control, and withdrew the £100 p.a. limit so that rent control applied to all residential property. The 1952 Ordinance tidied up the law on rent in advance, evictions, etc., but did not depart in any major way from the idea, implicit in previous enactments, that rent should be static except under circumstances special enough to merit the attention of a Committee. The Rent Control (Amendment) Act, 1960, amended the “standard rents” to those charged on 1 July, 1960.
The Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) has formed the basis of rent control for the last 23 years being only modified by later legislation, not repealed. It contains provisions not only for setting rents but also for ordering the relationship between landlord and tenant: which have been modified separately in succeeding legislation. A summary of the provisions and their modifications can be seen in Table 2.1. In this section, a summary of controlled rents will be presented. There will then be a discussion of the provisions of the law as they affect landlord-tenant relations and houses built by government agencies.
Under the 1963 Rent Act, the “standard rent” (ie, that paid in 1948), was renamed the “recoverable rent” and incorporated as the basis of rents to be recovered by landlords. Where property was new since 1960, or material changes had been made to the premises, or there was cause for dispute, rents were to be fixed by the Rent Officer taking into account the following:
(a) rateable value,
(b) land value,
(c) the rates payable,
(d) recoverable rent assessed for similar premises where they have been assessed by the minister (see below),
(e) estimated cost of repairs or maintenance,
(f) amount of rent for like premises,
(g) current rate of interest charged by the Ghana Commercial Bank for overdrafts,
(h) obligations of landlord, tenant or other interested parties under the lease,
(i) justice and merits of each case.
These appear to be a reasonable basis for assessing standard rents for any premises and for differentiating between premises which represent different quantities of housing benefits. However, they contained no provisions for assessing the ability of tenants to afford rental payments, and only consider part of landlords’ opportunity cost.
In addition to case by case assessment, the Minister has the power to assess rents for particular types of property and publish them in an Executive Instrument. This has been done from time to time for rooms occupied singly or in pairs with access to shared services. As rooms with shared services constitute the majority of all property in cities like Kumasi, rents assessed this way have been a dominant factor in rent control for 20 years. Rooms with only some services shared, or with none at all, are treated as if they had shared services. The levels set in 1973 are shown in
The rents handed down in this way have owed little to any of the matters listed above; they appear to have been arrived at more from considerations of what people can afford to pay than from any assessment of the property itself. It is noticeable that there is no mention in the schedules of whether the tenants actually have access to water supply, toilet or electricity in the house, how many others they share them with, or whether the roof is waterproof, a ceiling is present, or mosquito proofing is provided.
It is evident that, where rents are assessed individually or collectively, they tend to remain frozen until new legislation or assessments are made (United Nations, 1979). This has been true in practice, and indeed in intention, in Ghana at least until 1980 (see below for data on informal rent rises since that date). Part four of the Rent Act, 1963, states that no reassessment shall be entertained unless circumstances affecting the question of rent have materially altered since the last assessment, or that the previous assessment was made on erroneous evidence.
Despite the inflexible nature of rent control when ruled by ministerial decree, and their consistently low level, rents in Kumasi appear to have remained within the levels set by the government and the Rent Control Officers during the early 80s (Tipple, 1988). At the same time, rooms with exclusive use of sanitation and water supply have commanded higher rents. During the 1960s and 1970s the official Development Plans noted the need to encourage private investment while directly building some houses for specific groups of people. But as the Consumer Price Index rose markedly, controlled rents lagged behind, with only a 19% rise between 1963 and 1975 (see Figure 2.5).
The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) government of Flt-Lt Jerry J. Rawlings which ruled from June to September, 1979, imposed new rent levels as set out in Table 2.3. It should be noted that no distinction was made for the materials used in construction nor for the various levels of servicing which constitute “shared amenities.”
The 1980 survey of Kumasi, conducted within months of AFRC Decree 5 (see Tipple, 1984a), found mean and median monthly rents per room of C22 and C20.5 30 city-wide; reflecting not only the controlled rents but also the prevalence of households occupying only one room. As these represented the price equivalent of one yam or two loaves of bread, or about 70 cents (US), it will be seen that rental levels were very low. Means for just the low cost areas were even lower. Government built areas had a mean and median of only C11.5 and C9.5 despite the fact that many rooms were sublet privately. However, wages were also very low. Controlled rent for one 12′ x 10′ room in sandcrete with shared facilities (C20) took 5 days to earn at the minimum wage of C4 per day. The 1973 equivalent rent (C6.5) took 6.5 days to earn at the then C1 per day. While the minimum wage is at best a crude indicator of actual wages paid, in the early 80s it was the benchmark wage for many daily-paid workers.
According to the above data on Kumasi, most accommodation with shared amenities was charged for at a level close to the controlled rents before PNDC Law 5 was promulgated. Over 90% of all households in the low income housing areas paid less than C25 per room.
When Flt-Lt. Rawlings resumed power in December 1981 his Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Government started out with the intention of providing large quantities of “workers’ housing” to solve the housing problem. It again tightened up rent control (Table 2.4). All rents were to be halved or reduced to C20 per month for single roomed accommodation and C50 per month for “chamber and hall” (i.e., a suite of two rooms). If rents were already lower than this they were to stay at their December 31st, 1981 level.
Furthermore, no rents could be increased until March 6, 1983 (PNDC Law 5, 1982). These regulations did not apply to self-contained premises or where existing rents exceeded Cl000 per month. In the latter case, landlords had to pay fifty percent tax on the rent. Furthermore, any landlord who demanded higher than allowed rents or failed to pay the 50% tax would forfeit his premises to the state. These provisions underline the basically anti- landlord stance of the PNDC government at the time of this legislation – three months after the coup which ousted the Limann government during which investment in large houses had been rife amongst the elite. New properties let after 31st December, 1981, were to be assessed by the Rent Officer under the Rent Act, 1963.
Before any investment in workers’ housing could be made, this firmly anti-landlord stance mellowed into a proposed housing policy which, among other objectives, sought to improve incentives for investment in housing through a National Housing Fund. However, in January 1986 the PNDC once again reinforced rent controls by the Rent Control Law, 1986, (PNDC Law 138 as modified by LI 1318). Rental levels were set out in the First Schedule but were immediately modified upwards by Legislative Instrument 1318 to those shown in Table 2.5.
Between March, 1983 and 1986, rents in the cities crept up following inflation and the reducing value of the Cedi which was devalued from 2.75 per US$1 to 25 and then, by stages, to 90 per US$ by December 1985. Despite the possibility of forfeiture to the state for charging higher than controlled rents, only 30% of all households surveyed in 1986 were paying less than C50 in rent before the last rent increase in 1986. About 17% each were paying C100 and C150. Furthermore, large rent advances of 12, 24, or even 60 times the monthly rent were being demanded of new tenants. These data suggest that resources for enforcement have been inadequate to deal with the disparity between rents and other prices at times when the gap is most acute. (In March 1988, the case load of the Rent and Housing Committee was about 100 cases per week.)
Thus, despite the evidently large increase from the 1982 level, the new rents were, in fact, little or no higher in real terms. Although both wages and rents have increased, they have failed to keep pace with the massive inflation which has dogged the Ghanaian economy since the mid 1970s. While controlled rent for one room in sandcrete had an index about one sixth of the CPI in 1976 (1963 – 100), by 1985 the tight controls of the AFRC and PNDC had reduced it to one 136th of the CPI (see Figure 2.5). Neither have rents kept pace with the cost of building. The Index of Prime Building Costs is the only measure published by the government by which to judge the cost of building but it is probably considerably lower than the real cost to the public; even so it is well above the index for rent for one room.
By the end of 1985, just before PNDC Law 138, controlled rents had lost touch with the CPI to such an extent that they represented only 0.07% of their 1963 index. Figures 2.5 shows how rents have related to price indexes since 1970.
Since the 1986 survey through which data for this paper were collected, there have been significant changes in rents paid despite no change in the controlled rental levels. In the 1986 data, there were obvious signs of rent increases ahead of PNDC Law 5, 1986. These affected new tenants more quickly than existing tenants, but many households were unaffected by them. The increases in early 1986 appear to have satisfied landlords at least for six months or so and there appears to be no cogent argument against the credibility of our 1986 data as representing April to June, 1986, when they were collected. Since late 1986, however, there has been a continuation of the upward trend in rents especially for new tenants and in self-contained accommodation. While it is likely that many households still pay the controlled rent, albeit in capital sums in advance (see below), there are also many households who are paying up to three times controlled rent. The shortage of rooms is now felt so intensely that renters are willing to agree to C600 or C800 per month for a room without demur. Existing tenants are also willing to pay extra rent in order to maintain their tenancies in an increasingly constrained supply. Furthermore, the rent control administrators in the Rent and Housing Committee have no involvement in this if no complaint is made.
Rent Control (Amendment) Act. Act 3, 1960.
Administration of Lands Act. Act 123, 1962.
State Lands Act. Act 125, 1962.
Rent Act. Act 220, 1963.
Rent Regulations. LI 369, 1964.
Rent (Amendment) Decree. NRCD 158, 1973.
Taxation of Rent Decree. NRCD 204, 1973.
Rent (Amendment) Decree. NRCD 250, 1974.
Rent Tax Decree. NRCD 282, 1974.
National Mortgage, Financing and Guarantee Scheme Decree. SMCD 23, 1976.
Rent Tax Decree. SMCD 115, 1977.
Rent Tax (Amendment) Decree. SMCD 130, 1977.
Rent Tax (Amendment) Decree. SMCD 190, 1978.
Rent (Amendment) Decree. AFRCD 5, 1979.
Rent (Amendment) (No 2) Decree. AFRCD 20, 1979.
State Housing and Tema Development Corporations (Ownership of Houses) Decree. AFRCD 50. 1979.
Administration of Lands (Amendment) Decree. AFRCD 61, 1979.
Rent Control Law. PNDC Law No. 5, 1982.
52 Compulsory Letting of Unoccupied Rooms and Houses Law. PNDC Law No. 7, 1982.
Rent Tax Law. PNDC Law No. 82, 1984.
Rent Control Law. PNDC Law No. 138, 1986.
Rent Control (lst Schedule) (Amendment) Instrument. LI 1318, 1986.
The rent control law of 1986 which was created under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) era is what is still guiding the rent control laws in Ghana today. Parts of the law are obviously outdated and new amendments are being made to best favour both the landlord and tenant. Below is a copy of the Rent Control Law of 1986 (PNDCL 138).
(1) The rent payable by a tenant in respect of single or two-roomed accommodation in any residential premises shall be as specified in the First Schedule to this Law.
(2) Where the residential accommodation in respect of which the rent is payable is smaller or larger in dimensions than those specified in the First Schedule the recoverable rent shall be proportionate to the dimensions of such accommodation.
(3) The Secretary may by legislative instrument amend the First Schedule from time to time as he deems necessary.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision in any enactment to the contrary and until the 6th day of March, 1987 no landlord shall raise the rent prescribed by this Law in respect of any residential accommodation referred to in subsection (1) of this section. [As substituted by the Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(a)]
The provisions of section 1 of this Law shall not apply to any lease or tenancy
(a) held from Government or other State agency;
(b) of premises let for industrial, commercial or other business purposes;
(c) of premises rented by diplomatic or consular missions, international organisations, foreign companies and firms which under section 1 of the Rent (Amendment) (No. 3) Decree, 1979 (A.F.R.C.D. 51) are required to pay the foreign exchange equivalent of their rents to the Bank of Ghana in the first instance;
(d) taken by any incorporated body other than a body the whole proprietary interest in which is held by the Government or other State agency; and (e) where the rent payable exceeds ¢1,000.00 a month.
(1) With effect from the commencement of this Law and subject to subsection
(2) of this section, any person who derives his title to any premises from the Tema Development Corporation, the State Housing Corporation or other similar housing organisation or agency sponsored by the Government, under a subsisting hire-purchase agreement howsoever called, and who in turn sublets or has sublet the said premises shall (notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary) not charge the tenant or demand or receive from him a monthly rent in respect of the premises which exceeds his aggregate of
(a) the instalment which that person pays per month to either the State Housing Corporation, the Tema Development Corporation or other similar housing organization or agency sponsored by the Government, as the case may be;
(b) the amount which is the equivalent of the property rate or other imposts payable by such a person in respect of the said premises; and
(c) twenty-five per cent of the total of the amounts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(2) Where the instalment which is paid by the person referred to in subsection (1) to any of the bodies referred to therein, is different from the instalment which he would have paid if no deposit had been paid and he had agreed to pay the purchase price of the premises over a period of twenty years from the date of commencement of the hire-purchase agreement, then the reference in subsection (1)(a) of this section to the monthly instalment paid by him shall nevertheless be deemed to be a reference to the instalment which he would have paid if no deposit had been paid and he had agreed to pay the purchase price over a period of twenty years.
(3) A certificate issued by any of the said bodies certifying the instalment payable under subsection (1)(a) or subsection (2) of this section by any person referred to in subsection (1) shall be prima facie evidence of such instalment.
(1) Every landlord of any residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law shall register with the Rent and Housing Committee every lease or tenancy agreement in respect of such accommodation within fourteen days of entering into the lease or tenancy agreement.
(2) No landlord shall demand or receive from the tenant of any residential accommodation the rent in respect of such accommodation without complying with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section.
Every landlord of any residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law shall
(a) issue to each tenant of such accommodation a rent card specifying the following particulars
(i) the name and address of the landlord;
(ii) the name and address of the tenant;
(iii) the amount of rent payable by the tenant;
(iv) any other particulars prescribed by the Secretary; and
(b) furnish to the nearest Rent and Housing Committee a list of the names of his tenants and the actual rents paid by each of them.
(1) Notwithstanding any other enactment to the contrary and until the 6th day of March, 1987, no application shall be entertained for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession from a tenant in respect of any residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law.
(2) Nothing contained in subsection (1) of this section shall prevent the making of an application to a Rent and Housing Committee established under Part II of this Law for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession of any such residential accommodation where the landlord establishes
(a) a genuine intention to recover possession of the accommodation for personal occupation as a dwelling room or rooms by himself, a member of his family or any person in his whole time employment; or (b) that the accommodation is reasonably required by the landlord to be used by him for business purposes.
(3) Where a landlord makes an application for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession on any of the grounds specified in subsection (2) of this section the Rent and Housing Committee may call for any documentary evidence or verification from the landlord and may if satisfied make such order as it thinks appropriate.
No complaint or action by a landlord against a tenant in respect of any residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law shall be heard by the Rent and Housing Committee unless it is satisfied that the landlord has fulfilled the obligations imposed upon him by section 5 of this Law.
(1) There shall be established by every District Council within its area of authority a Rent and Housing Committee to perform in relation to that district the functions conferred upon it by this Law. [As substituted by the Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(b)]
(2) A Rent and Housing Committee shall comprise the following members
(a) one representative of the local Committee for the Defence of the Revolution;
(b) a representative of the local government authority;
(c) a Rent Officer
(d) a representative of landlords in the city or town;
(e) a representative of tenants in the city or town, and
(f) two other persons of integrity and good social standing in the particular city or town appointed by the District Council.
(3) A Rent and Housing Committee shall have a Chairman who shall be elected by the Committee from among its members.
(4) A member of a Rent and Housing Committee other than the Rent Officer shall hold Office for a period of two years but shall be eligible for re-election.
(5) Every Rent and Housing Committee shall be registered with the Zonal Co-ordinating Office of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, and where there is a change in the membership, notice of the change shall be furnished to that office.
(6) A member of a Rent and Housing Committee elected under subsection
(2)(a) of this section may be removed by a duly constituted meeting of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution called for the purpose of investigating allegations against such member if the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution is satisfied after investigation that the member is
(a) guilty of misconduct in connection with the work of the Committee;
(b) unable to perform properly his functions as a member of the Committee; or
(c) by reason of ill-health or otherwise unable to perform his functions as a member of the Committee.
The functions of a Rent and Housing Committee in relation to the area of authority of a particular District Council shall be
(a) to compile a register of all leases and tenancies of residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law specifying such particulars as may from time to time be prescribed by the Secretary;
(b) to compile a register of unoccupied rooms in residential premises in which some rooms are let or are normally let and a register of such residential premises which are unoccupied specifying such particulars as may from time to time be prescribed by the Secretary;
(c) to hear and determine, in respect of any residential accommodation referred to in section 1 of this Law
(i) any allegation that either party to a lease or other tenancy agreement in respect of the residential accommodation is in breach of such agreement or has acted in contravention of any law regulating the relationship between landlord and tenant with regard to any such residential accommodation;
(ii) any application for the assessment of rent of such accommodation;
(iii) application for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession of any such residential accommodation;
(iv) any application for the review of any assessment of rent in respect of any such residential accommodation;
(d) to make such recommendations as it may consider appropriate to the Secretary on any issue relating to rent and housing; and
(e) to perform such other functions relating to rent and housing as may be referred to it from time to time by the Secretary.[As substituted by Rent Control (Amendment) Law,1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(c)].
For the purposes of assessing the amount of recoverable rent of any premises under this Law a Rent and Housing Committee shall take into account the following matters
(a) the rateable value of the premises for the assessment of rates thereon;
(b) the value of the land on which such premises are situated;
(c) the amount of the annual rates in respect of such premises, and where the premises have been let in part, any apportionment of the rates attributable to such part;
(d) the recoverable rent assessed for similar premises by the Rent and Housing Committee;
(e) the estimated cost in respect of repairs or the maintenance of such premises;
(f) the amount of the recoverable rent for like premises;
(g) the current rate of interest charged by the Ghana Commercial Bank on overdrafts;
(h) the obligations of the landlord, tenant and any other person interested in the premises under the lease; and
(i) the justice and merits of each particular case.[As substituted by Rent Control (Amendment) Law,(PNDCL 163) s.(c)]
For the purposes of discharging its functions under this Law a Rent and Housing Committee may
(a) at reasonable times enter and inspect or cause to be entered and inspected any residential accommodation or residential premises to which this Law applies concerning any matter before it;
(b) seek expert advice in respect of any matter relating to such residential premises from valuation officers and other technical experts;
(c) in any matter before it make such interim orders as are appropriate pending the final determination of the case or matter. [As substituted by The Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(c)].
Upon an application made by a party to any proceedings before a Rent and Housing Committee in whose favour the decision or order was made by the Committee, the Committee shall forward a copy of the decision or order to the Community or District Public Tribunal as the case may be with a request for execution, and the Tribunal shall take such steps and issue such process as may be necessary for purpose of the execution of the said decision or order as it could take or issue as if it were a decision or order of that Tribunal.
(1) A Rent and Housing Committee shall meet at such time and place as the Chairman of the Committee shall determine.
(2) The Chairman of a Rent and Housing Committee shall preside at any proceedings of the Committee but in his absence a member of the Committee elected from among the members present shall preside.
(3) A Rent and Housing Committee shall be duly constituted for the transaction of business at any proceedings of the Committee by not less than five members.
(4) In every matter relating to landlord and tenant before a Rent and Housing Committee, the Committee shall be guided by the rules of natural justice.
(5) The proceedings or a decision of a Rent and Housing Committee shall be held or made in public, but a Committee may exclude from any of its proceedings any person who disrupts or otherwise interferes with its proceedings.
(6) A Rent and Housing Committee shall keep accurate records of its proceedings and of investigations conducted by it.
(7) A Rent and Housing Committee shall at the end of each month submit to the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, and the Zonal Co-ordinating Office and the Secretary a report on its work for the month.
(8) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Rent and Housing Committee shall regulate its own procedure.
(1) Any person who is aggrieved by a decision or order of a Rent and Housing Committee may within thirty days from the date of the decision or order appeal against the decision or order to a Community or District Public Tribunal.
(2) The Community or District Public Tribunal may for good cause extend the periods specified in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal a Community or District Public Tribunal shall be guided by the provisions of the Public Tribunals Law, 1984 (P.N.D.C.L. 78) relating to the exercise of the appellate jurisdiction of Public Tribunals.
(4) Any person who is aggrieved by the decision or order of a Community or District Public Tribunal under this section may appeal to a Regional Public Tribunal and then to the National Public Tribunal.
(1) No court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any action or proceedings whatsoever for the purpose of questioning any decision, finding, ruling, order or proceeding of a Rent and Housing Committee; and for the removal of doubt, it shall not be lawful for any court to entertain any application for an order or writ in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, injunction or declaration in respect of the decision, order, finding, ruling or proceeding of any such Rent and Housing Committee.
(2) No decision, order, finding, ruling or proceeding of a Rent and Housing Committee shall be regarded as invalid by reason only of any defect in the election of any member thereof.
(1) Any person who
(a) infringes any of the provisions of section 1, 3 or 4 of this Law;
(b) fails to issue a rent card to a tenant in accordance with the provisions of section 5 of this Law or furnishes any false particulars under that section;
(c) wilfully obstructs, hinders or assaults a member of a Rent and Housing Committee or any other person in the discharge or exercise of his functions, duties or powers under this Law; or
(d) does any act whatsoever or refrains from doing anything which the conditions of tenancy require him to do with intent to compel the tenant of any residential accommodation referred to in Section 1 of this Law to give up possession of such accommodation, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ¢10,000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.
(3) Any person who is charged with an offence under this Law shall be tried by a District Public Tribunal in accordance with the Public Tribunals Law, 1984 (P.N.D.C.L. 78)
No legal proceedings shall be brought or entertained against a member of a Rent and Housing Committee in respect of any act or omission done by him in good faith in the discharge or exercise of his functions, duties or powers under this Law.
A member of a Rent and Housing Committee shall be deemed to be a public officer or holding a public office for the purposes of
(a) the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29);
(b) the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30);
(c) the Corrupt Practices (Prevention) Act, 1964 (Act 230);
(d) the Public Officers Act, 1962 (Act 114); and
(e) the Public Tribunals Law, 1984 (P.N.D.C.L. 78).
(1) Any enactment relating to rent or the lease or tenancy of any residential accommodation to which Section 1 of this Law applies, and which is for the time being in force shall have effect with such modifications as may be necessary to give full effect to the provisions of this Law.
(2) Section 25 (5) of the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) is hereby amended as follows
(a) by the deletion of the words “by the appropriate Rent Magistrate”
(b) by the substitution for the words “one hundred pounds”, of the words “ten thousand cedis or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.”
In this Law unless the context otherwise requires: “residential accommodation” means residential accommodation in residential premises referred to in section 1 of this Law; “residential premises” means residential premises in which rooms are normally let for residential purposes; “Secretary” means the Provisional National Defence Council Secretary responsible for Works and Housing. [As substituted by the Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(d)].
The Rent (Amendment) Decree, 1979 (A.F.R.C.D. 5) and the Rent Control Law, 1982 (P.N.D.C.L. 5) are hereby repealed.
FIRST SCHEDULE RECOVERABLE RENT IN RESPECT OF ACCOMMODATION IN RESIDENTIAL PREMISES
Type of Accommodation and Size of Room Recoverable Rent per month 1.
Single-roomed accommodation with shared amenities (i.e. under multiple occupation) of a size say 12 feet x 10 feet: ¢
(a) Sandcrete .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 180.00
(b) Landcrete .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 140.00
(c) Swish .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 120.00 2.
Two-roomed accommodation with shared amenities of the type generally referred to as “chamber and hall” or say 12 feet x 10 feet per room: ¢
(a) Sandcrete .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 250.00
(b) Landcrete .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 200.00
(c) Swish .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 180.00
[Repealed by the Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163), s.(e)]. Made this 21st day of January, 1986.
A lot of discussions and deliberations have been held about the need for a new rent control law. The rent control department is a department of the Ministry of Works and housing. It was established in 1963 by an act of parliament, The Rent Control Act 1963, Act 220 an LI. 369/64 to help manage rent control in Ghana. Rental prices in Ghana today are not well regulated. The sector is lacking enforcement as private developers have taken the majority of the property development projects in Ghana. Government has initiated some affordable housing projects which are clearly above the average minimum wage.
It is clear that the sector needs to be regulated. Government has proposed an amendment to the Ghana Rent Act 220. Some of the proposed amendments include a monthly rent payment instead of the 6 months to 2 years advance that is being practised in Ghana. The new rent act seeks to shift power from landlords to the Department of Rent Control. The new act is also set to consider standards and ceilings for rent charges based on predetermined factors of the property.
A rent law that is over 30 years old will not serve the ever-changing needs of the current generation. A lot has changed over the last 30 years from Ghana’s governance structure, our constitution and many other developments. An update of the rent act is crucially important to properly manage all the stakeholders within this sector. We look forward to a revised rent control law in Ghana as soon as possible.