CIBA urges Parliament to pass rent bill into law

The Council of Indigenous Business Associations (CIBA) has urged Parliament to pass the new Rent Bill 2020 into law.

It says the new law will then replace the existing, moribund Rent Act of Ghana (Act 220), which was passed in 1963.

According to the Council, the new bill is expected to address current rent concerns of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana.

“The proposed bill would allow for more enforcement and to deal with the whole issue of rent advance payment and its associated problems that is killing a lot of our members.

“Imagine a business starter having to mobilise funds to hire a property for years, be it shop or residential accommodation. That will mean more than half the amount will go into the rent,” CIBA stated in a media release issued in Accra.

According to CIBA, the Act 220 states that ‘a landlord who demands payment in advance of:

(a) more than a month’s rent in a monthly or shortest tenancy, or (b) more than one year’s rent in a tenancy which exceeds six months…as a condition of a grant, renewal or continuation of tenancy commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 10 penalty units.

The Council said in spite of that law, landlords made demands contrary to it.

According a story on myjoyonline, the CIBA members also lamented how foreign retailers were ready to pay huge amounts for rent to the disadvantage of local businesses.

“We envisage a new rent regime that is very friendly to the circumstances of MSMEs across the country being strictly enforced by the relevant state institutions in eliminating all the illegalities currently being perpetrated in the housing sector against tenants and releasing significant pressure on the working capital of MSMEs in the country for them to thrive,” they emphasised.

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