Land­lords en­cour­aged to regis­ter with rent board

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE -

CHAIR­MAN OF the Rent As­sess­ment Board Rose Ben­net­tCooper is call­ing on land­lords to take ad­van­tage of the low regis­tra­tion fee to sign up with the en­tity in or­der to ben­e­fit from the range of ser­vices pro­vided.

She pointed out that leg­is­la­tion be­ing pro­posed will raise the regis­tra­tion fee from the cur­rent $20.

Ben­nett-Cooper, who was speak­ing at the first in a se­ries of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions on amend­ments to the Rent Re­stric­tion Act at the Port­more HEART Academy in Portsmouth, Port­more, on Tues­day, said that of­ten, when per­sons come to the board with a sit­u­a­tion with ten­ants that re­quires in­ter­ven­tion, they are not reg­is­tered.

CUR­RENT FEE

“At the mo­ment, the fee is just $20 to regis­ter, and the law does re­quire that you regis­ter. Now, when you need to get the ben­e­fits of the ser­vices of the rent unit, one of the ques­tions they’re go­ing to ask you is if you have reg­is­tered. If you haven’t, it’s not that we are go­ing to refuse to give you the ser­vices, but there are ben­e­fits to regis­tra­tion ,” she noted.

Ben­nett-Cooper said that the $20 fee is based on 1983 leg­is­la­tion. “Within a very short while, we are ex­pect­ing that there will be sig­nif­i­cant amend­ments to the act and that all the fees are go­ing to go up, and what will not change is that you (land­lords) are still go­ing to be re­quired to regis­ter,” she said.

She noted that “with the changes that are com­ing to the leg­is­la­tion, you’re go­ing to find that more of these matters are [go­ing to be] com­ing be­fore the board, and at that point, [land­lords are] go­ing to be forced to regis­ter”.

“If you do it now, the fee is only $20, so this is the time for you to come in and regis­ter with the Rent As­sess­ment Board,” she stressed.

The Rent Re­stric­tion Act was orig­i­nally en­acted in 1944. It was de­vel­oped at a time when ten­ants were be­ing se­ri­ously dis­en­fran­chised and was geared to­wards their pro­tec­tion.

The act has since been amended 11 times, and changes are be­ing pro­posed to ad­dress the cur­rent chal­lenges fac­ing the ren­tal in­dus­try.

From left: Rose Ben­nett-Cooper, chair­man, Rent As­sess­ment Board; Authrine Scar­lett, se­nior di­rec­tor, hous­ing man­age­ment, min­istry of eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation; and Pa­tri­cia Ram­saran, le­gal of­fi­cer in the min­istry, lis­ten to Vin­cent Hal­dane,...

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