By Lawrence Kojo Amegboe, GIJ
Mr.Joseph Asamoah, a property owner in Pankese, a farming community near Nkawkaw in the Eastern region, has made stunning revelations about the standards some landlords use to evaluate potential tenants before renting out their houses to them.
According to him, finding an apartment in Pankese which is primarily a cocoa growing community as a single young man is rather tough, especially since most landlords prefer renting out their apartments to married men or males who are in relationships with female companions.
“If you want to rent apartment, I would start by asking if you have a wife or a girlfriend who will be staying with you. If not and you are going to be staying alone it will be a little challenging, and in most cases, we will not give you the structure”, he said.
Mr. Asamoah explained the reasoning behind such an odd choice, saying that most landlords in Pankese and nearby towns preferred renting out their properties to married men or men in relationships with women because women are more likely to help keep the homes tidy by sweeping in the mornings as is typical of most Ghanaian homes.
He continued that having only males around the house will make it unclear because no one will take the responsibility of sweeping and maintaining cleanliness.
Mr. Asamoah and several other property owners and tenants in Pankese who spoke off record about rent legislation had limited understanding of the Ghana Rent Control declarations. This according to them has over the years led to legal violations and the spread of harmful false information.
“Being unaware of these regulations can lead to financial and material loss as well as foster dishonesty and fraud on the part of other people”, one of them said.
Ideally, a tenancy agreement sample should specify who is leasing the property, the address, the monthly rent, how long the tenancy will last, and the renters’ and landlords’ responsibilities.
The lease agreement should outline the tenants’ and landlords’ obligations and rights, just like any other contract would. Both parties should sign the contract, and copies should be given to everyone involved.
Despite the existence of the Rent Act, a court may order the immediate eviction of a tenant from a property for a variety of reasons, including the landlord’s urgent need for the property for personal use or the landlord’s desire to renovate the property. Even in these circumstances, the tenant is granted some time to look for housing.