In Ghana, there are rules/laws that regulate tenancy of occupants of a property. These laws are in the form of a tenancy agreement, which is given to tenants before they are provided with accommodation. Anybody who wants to rent and occupy a property for a period of time must know these laws.
Condition under which a Tenant may be Ejected
Basically section 17 of the Rent Act of 1963, (Act 220) which is entitled recovery of possession and ejectment stipulates the conditions under which a tenant may be ejected by a landlord. These include but are not limited to the following:
- where any rent lawfully due from the tenant has not been paid or tendered within one month after the date on which it became lawfully due
- where the tenant or any person residing with him has been guilty of conduct which is a nuisance or an annoyance to adjoining occupiers
- where the tenant or any person residing with him has been convicted of using the premises or allowing the premises to be used for an immoral or illegal purpose
- where the condition of the premises has in the opinion of such Magistrate or Judge deteriorated owing to acts of waste by, or the neglect or default of, the tenant or any person residing with him
- where the tenant has given notice of his intention to quit in writing and in consequence of such notice the landlord has contracted to sell or let the premises or has taken any other steps as a result of which he would, in the opinion of such Magistrate or Judge, be seriously prejudiced if he could not obtain possession;
- where the premises are reasonably required by the landlord for personal occupation as a dwelling house by himself, a member of his family or any person in his whole time employment, such premises being constructed to be used as a dwelling house
- where the premises were let to the tenant by reason of his employment in the service of the landlord and such employment has ceased.
What are the Duties/Obligations of a Landlord
- Rent Card: The law requires a landlord to give the tenant a rent card on a monthly basis. The card is supposed to have the name and address of both the landlord and the tenant, the amount recoverable as rent and every other pertinent information. This is clearly stated in section 20 of the Rent Act 1963 (Act 220) and section 5 of the Rent Control Law, 1986 (PNDCL 138).
- Compensation: If the landlord permits the tenant to improve the premises, then he needs to compensate the tenant. It is advised that tenants and landlords make a written agreement which spells out the improvements that are to be made and what benefits are expected. This is supported by section 21 of the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220).
- Control subletting: The landlord needs to be aware of and approve subletting before a tenant can engage in that. If consent is not given, it is illegal for the tenant to do it otherwise. This provision can also be found in section 22 of the Rent Act.
- Serving notice on a tenant if he intends for a tenant to quit the premises at the expiration of the tenants rent period. Section 23 of the Rent Act.
What are a tenants rights in the event of eviction?
If the tenant does not violate any of the exceptions in section 17 of the Rent Act, then no court shall entertain an ejection order against the tenant. He has full rights to enjoy quiet possession without any harassment so long as he abides by the covenant of his tenancy.
Legal process for evicting a tenant?
- Serve a thirty day notice from date of due rent when tenant defaults payment.
- For commercial properties, tenants defaulting in payment of rent shall be served a notice for six months from date of due rent.
- After this an eviction order can be sought against the tenant
How much are Agents supposed to charge?
This is purely commercial. It is by agreement between the client (home seeker) and the agent.
Cost of repairs to a house, Tenant or Landlord?
For capital intensive work that is not aimed specifically at benefitting the tenant, the landlord would bear the cost.
Laws that Govern Landlords and tenants
There are two Acts:
- Rent Control Law PNDCL 138 of 1963
- The Rent Act of 1963
Court that deals with landlord-tenant disagreements
Rent and Motor Court near the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. It is a District Court where there are Rent and Housing Committees.
What is rent control?
The Rent Control Law, 1986 (PNDCL 138) was passed to regulate the relationship between tenants and landlords in Ghana. In order to do this, it set up Rent and Housing Committees where parties could go in order to resolve their differences.
For Further knowledge about Tenancy, Read the RENT ACT (1963) HERE