AAG calls for rental reg­u­la­tions re­view

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

THE Af­fir­ma­tive Ac­tion Group (AAG) has called on the Govern­ment to amend rental reg­u­la­tions, which they claim give prop­erty own­ers the lee way to uni­lat­er­ally hike charges.

AAG na­tional vice pres­i­dent Mr Sam Ncube said the Rent Reg­u­la­tion Act was archaic tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the state of the econ­omy where busi­ness per­for­mance is sub­dued.

“The com­mer­cial and rent board seems to pro­tect the in­ter­est of the land­lords or prop­erty own­ers and through the Rent Reg­u­la­tion Act the land­lords are em­pow­ered to charge rentals they deem as “fair”.

“As AAG we are say­ing the Rent Reg­u­la­tion Act needs to be amended so that it does not only favour the in­ter­ests of prop­erty own­ers. We will soon be writ­ing to Govern­ment seek­ing amend­ment of the Act,” he said.

Mr Ncube said in light of the neg­a­tive eco­nomic cli­mate and sub­dued busi­ness, it was no longer fea­si­ble for a ma­jor­ity of the com­mer­cial ten­ants to meet their rental obli­ga­tions all the time.

“We are also urg­ing busi­nesses not to en­ter into con­tracts that bind them to pay their rentals all the time be­cause given the state of the econ­omy it is no longer fea­si­ble for busi­nesses to record pos­i­tive per­for­mance through­out the year,” he said.

Mr Ncube said re­cently his of­fice has been in­un­dated with calls from busi­ness­peo­ple com­plain­ing over the clo­sure of their busi­ness ow­ing to fail­ure to meet the rental obli­ga­tion.

“As AAG, we have tried to rea­son with the prop­erty own­ers over the mat­ter but they don’t want to reach com­mon ground with us. In cases where we have tried to ne­go­ti­ate, the land­lords have re­sponded say­ing it is their place so no­body should come and tell them the rentals to charge,” he said.

Since 2009, a num­ber of busi­nesses once housed in build­ings in Bu­l­awayo’s Cen­tral Busi­ness District (CBD) have ei­ther closed down or re­lo­cated to sub­ur­ban lo­ca­tions be­cause of in­creas­ing rentals and lack of busi­ness.

The Es­tate Agents Coun­cil has said rentals in sub­ur­ban lo­ca­tions were rel­a­tively lower than in the CBD. — @okazunga

Mr Sam Ncube

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