Singh optimistic of returns from investment in Nakasi property
Permitted to set a rental price. This is supported under the rent freeze
Ahome owner in Nakasi, near Nausori is optimistic of completing work on his two flats soon so he can rent it out. Paul Singh has endured a lot in finishing the two flats and is looking forward to earning some money back for the investment on his property.
He said houses in his neighborhood with similar facilities were being rented out for between $600 to $800.
“It is a two-bedroom flat, living room, kitchen and hot water facilities. It has burglar bars and grills
and the Nakasi shopping malls are just a walk away,” he said.
“I think this is the market price. Houses in my area are being rented for this amount so I think there are people out there who can afford it. I am not forcing anyone to stay here.”
As a landlord planning to rent his place for the first time, Mr Singh is permitted to set a rental price. This is supported under the rent freeze.
Under the rent freeze, property owners who have let out their premises for residential tenancy cannot increase rent until December 31, 2019.
The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (Rent Increase Restriction on Residential and Ground Rent Order 2017), provides for that.
Between the period of January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019, a person must not charge rent in respect of the letting or continued letting of any premises under residential tenancy including ground rentals to which the Act applies which exceeds the rent applicable to those premises as at December 31, 2018. This same rent freeze was in place in 2018 however, according to complaints received by the Consumer Council of Fiji, the illegal practice of increasing rent was still practiced by unscrupulous landlords. Complaints relating to Landlord and Tenancy ranked number one on the council’s list.
A total of 338 complaints from January this year to December 11 in 2018 worth $99,100.44, according to a statement.
For owners intending to increase rent after renovation, consultation has to be done with FCCC.
The FCCC has summoned 20 home owners before the courts for illegal rent hikes. One of the most common complaints received by the Consumer Council is the issuance of eviction notice by home owners in the pretence of renovation; however it has been found that some owners tend to ask for higher rent with the new tenant.
Avinesh Karan, a home owner in Nailuva Road said the market was dictating the prices.
“My belief is that property value went up after foreign buyers started offering lucrative amounts to buy homes,” he said.
“So if my neighbor sold his house for a million dollars, automatically, the value of my property goes up. “But as home owners, we have to be reasonable. I believe in giving the flat for what it is worth and not ask for an inflated price unfitting of the flat or house.”