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Creative landlords

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, May 19, 2017

LANDLORDS are getting creative in how they try to justify rent increase and tenants are getting mischievous in the misuse of property they rent, says the Fiji Commerce Commission.

CEO Joel Abraham said the consumer monitor received a number of complaints from both parties.

"There is a rent freeze on residential properties at the moment which means you cannot increase rental under any circumstances," he said.

"But what we have found is landlords are coming up with very creative means to increase rent.

"They try to justify the increase by saying they have made improvements and in some cases they have removed a tenant and upped the rent when a new one came in.

"But at the same time, we are also finding out there are a lot of issues with tenants as well.

"There are some mischievous tenants who damage property, and in some cases, declare there are only two occupants of a flat and then sublet it out to other people and make a profit.

"So the issue is on both sides of the market."

Mr Abraham said the Landlord and Tenancy Act, which was in its draft stage at present, would address all the issues and also set the rules for how landlords and those who rented property would conduct their affairs.

"We have already undergone two rounds of consultations around the country and we have incorporated all the suggestions, comments and feedback received.

"And we are in the final stages of a draft which will be submitted to the Solicitor-General's Office," he said.

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