Coronavirus: Be “generous”; you’ll be dealt with if you exploit tenants – Housing Minister warns landlords

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Works and Housing Minister Samuel Atta Akyea has warned landlords against exploiting the COVID-19 situation to encumber their tenants with extortionist rates or evict them in ways that fall foul of the law, adding that such deviance would be dealt with by the law.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, 28 April 2020 organised by the Ministry of Information, Mr Atta Akyea said: “We’re being admonished to stay at home as much as possible, and even with the lifting of the lockdown, you have to stay at home, but if where you are staying is having challenges because of the bad behaviour of a landlord or landlady, for that matter, it will be extremely unGhanaian”.

“How is it going to work in this COVID environment if landlords with commercial appetite start evicting tenants from their premises? That will be very unGhanaian”, the minister noted.

He also warned landlords to be “wary of foreigners”, adding: “It is very mandatory to insist that without a COVID-19 negative clearance, the landlord should not rent out the premises”.

“We all know that this pandemic has been imported, so, be careful that in the name of dollars, you don’t bring in foreigners who haven’t got the clearance that he’s not infected by the disease. I need not remind you that the virus is an importation from foreigners and those who had contact with them prior to the lockdown”, he said.

The minister noted that in these “trying times in the nation’s history”, “the President is showing utmost care and generosity”, and, thus, “landlords are expected to extend similar treatment to tenants as they will not be spared if they exploit the situation and fall foul of the law”.

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