Nov 6, 2013, 11:30 AM
The Kanifing Municipal Council, KMC, has just announced the reduction of the council’s property rating code, a move likely to be well received by landlords.
The move will, no doubt, enable landlords to pay their rates to council comfortably, since the fees are more reasonable.
The move by the council looks strategically sound, considering the current economic challenges facing business.
We would like to remind the council and all other councils, including Basse and Brikama area councils, that the monies they are collecting from people must be seen going back to the same people.
They must provide basic services to the rate payers be it in the form of rehabilitation of roads, scholarship packages to needy students, and the construction of markets, etc.
Indeed, it is obligatory upon the area councils to engage themselves in more development projects that are sustainable.
We, therefore, appeal to the KMC through the Rent Tribunal to consider engaging landlords to also reduce house rents.
Honestly, some landlords are charging very high rent for their houses, making it difficult for the common man to pay rent regularly.
Our argument is that people earning less than D2000, for instance, cannot afford to stay in a house that costs between D1000 and D2000.
This is a very serious and worrying situation that needs the council’s urgent intervention.
We believe that the rent for any house should be determined by its quality.
We are bringing to the attention of the council that some houses charging D1000 as rent do not deserve to be even D500 since they are of very low standard.
We believe that it is also high time for the Rent Tribunal to come to the aid of tenants, who are always being victimized by greedy landlords.
It is important for the Rent Tribunal to be seen to be actively doing its work of regulating the housing sector. This includes educating landlords about how to deal with their tenants, especially on the issue of how eviction notices are issued to tenants.