Jamaica News: Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Karl Samuda, has given his commitment to the Rent Assessment Board that he will ensure that changes made to the Rent Restriction Act (1983) are fair to both landlords and tenants.
The Ministry is in the process of updating the Rent Restriction Act, in order to provide up-to-date and effective regulation and clear guidelines on the roles and obligations of tenants and landlords.
To this end, the Housing, Policy, Research and Monitoring Branch has undertaken seven islandwide public consultations.
At the seventh public consultation, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (July 3), Mr. Samuda said he is looking forward to the feedback from Jamaicans at the session, and arguments already presented at previous sessions, as these will help to guide the changes.
“You have my 100 per cent support as the Minister with responsibility for this area in ensuring that whatever changes are made to this Rent Restriction Act, are done so as quickly as possible,” Mr. Samuda said.
He added that the last amendment to the Rent Restriction Act was made 35 years ago, and the time has come for the Act to be amended with changes that are fitting with the era.
Mr. Samuda said that amending the Rent Restriction Act will create a better balance for both landlords and tenants and give the Rent Assessment Board more bases to conduct their operations.
“[The proposed amendments] provide a level of opportunity for people to plan their future [and] to be able to live in comfort without the fear of being evicted unreasonably,” the Minister said.
He reminded tenants and landlords that they both have responsibilities, which the amendments will require them to fulfil each month.
“The landlord is responsible for ensuring that all the amenities are provided that are agreed on, and the tenant has a responsibility to pay on time for those facilities that are leased,” he said.
The Rent Restriction Act was originally enacted in 1944. It was developed at a time when tenants were being seriously disenfranchised and was focused 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.
Source: JIS News