HomeLocal NewsMutsekwa orders landlords to lower rents

Mutsekwa orders landlords to lower rents

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National Housing and Social Amenities minister Giles Mutsekwa has ordered landlords who had hiked rentals for their properties to revert to last years rates, failure of which he advised tenants to report them to the Rent Board or police.

Mutsekwa said both the police and the Rent Board were on high alert following reports some unscrupulous landlords had unjustifiably increased rentals this year to astronomical levels.

He said he had taken the decision to reverse the rentals because the unwarranted increases would have national consequences.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Mutsekwa said he took the decision following numerous complaints from tenants who were reportedly being milked by landlords who had unjustifiably increased their rentals.

My office has been inundated with complaints from the general populace and tenants, in particular, that some landlords of residential properties have increased rents exorbitantly, and yet there is no justification for doing so, he said.

I as the minister responsible by virtue of powers vested in me in terms of the Housing and Building Act and the rent regulations, am directing that all rentals for residential properties that had been increased with effect from 1 January revert to figures that were obtaining in December 2011.

Mutsekwa added: The unwarranted and unjustified rent increases by these unscrupulous landlords are not only causing untold hardships to tenants and lodgers, but are also fuelling inflation thus causing instability to the economy.

Many landlords in Harare and other major urban centres increased their rentals at the beginning of the year burdening tenants, most of whom have not received wage increments to cushion them.

A single room in some of Harares high-density areas was costing around $40 a month, but now most of them are going for anything between $60 and $80.

In low-density areas,rentals for houses which used to cost around $500 per month, have been increased to around $700 depending on the location.

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