Coronavirus: Place moratorium on rent payments, block tenant ejections – Mahama advises Akufo-Addo

Former President of Ghana, John Dramni Mahama has called on the government to as a matter of urgency work hand in hand with landlords in places affected by the partial lockdown to devise a scheme to come to the aid of tenants who are unable to pay their rents to prevent them from being ejected, can report.

The Government has imposed restriction on movement of non-essential workers in places including Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and Tema. With the restriction, most people are currently at home without working hence making it difficult for many to make ends meet.

Reacting to this, the former President who has interacted with some resident in Accra has noted that most people will have difficulty paying rent and may be kicked out of their apartments because they cannot pay for their rent.

He mentioned that this is the time the government needs to be swift in its response to such issues.

He said it’s imperative that government meets landlords halfway in order to reach a compromise which will be of benefit to both sides.

His post read “On Thursday I spent the afternoon visiting one of the communities on the outskirts of Accra to present food items to some households. From my interactions with the people, one that struck me most was the concern of a young woman that her landlord is demanding the rent for February and March or she faces ejection. She’s been home for a while due to the lockdown and cannot raise the funds to pay. Rent, as we have learnt from other countries is one of the key areas government intervention is required in mitigating the impact of COVID-19. In Ghana, properties are privately owned and rents are paid for several years in advance. Government and property owners would have to devise a scheme to come to the aid of tenants who are unable to pay their rents. A moratorium on ejections as a first step will be helpful to many who have lost their daily income as a result of the lockdown. In return, I believe Government can compensate landlords and landladies for any income lost through tax reliefs, exemptions among others”.

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