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Plan to lift rent freeze

Shalveen Chand
Monday, April 14, 2014

THE restriction on property owners to increase rent needs to be removed, says Fiji Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy.

Under a new proposal, all property owners will have to register with the commission, which will introduce price control on rent.

"We want to get rid of the rent freeze. The property is an investment and we want to see investments becoming successful," said Dr Reddy.

"But this has to be done the right way. You can't be charging an amount not worthy of the house or the property.

"This is a very crucial issue. Housing is a very crucial issue."

Dr Reddy said the system would allow for owners to increase rent but they would have to justify the increase.

He said if owners made improvements to the house and felt rent should be increased for the necessary improvements, they must make the necessary application to the commission.

He added that after inspections, the commission would approve the increment or give its analysis on how much the rent should be.

This proposed move by the commission has been criticised by economist and politician Dr Biman Prasad, who said price control on rent would discourage property investments.

Dr Reddy, however, said this move would open up the market and allow for more investments.

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