NATION

Landlords ‘Violate Rent Order’

“Tenants facing illegal rent increments are urged to contact the Council or raise the matter with Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission,” he said.
05 Aug 2019 11:55
Landlords ‘Violate Rent Order’
For Rent

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) rent restriction order is being violated by many landlords.

FCCC chief executive officer Joel Abraham said this while responding to queries from the Fiji Sun on problems faced by tenants in the Suva area that were highlighted by this newspaper recently.

The complaints by tenants include delay in bond refunds, illegal increase in rent, non-issuance of tenancy agreements, illegal disconnection of electricity and water to leased properties, failure by landlords to fix faults and defects and unreasonable tenancy agreement conditions.

Mr Abraham advised landlords to refrain from breaching the FCCC Act.

He reminded landlords to keep copies of agreements and issue receipts to tenants.

“Tenants facing illegal rent increments are urged to contact the Council or raise the matter with Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Fiji said 353 complaints were received last year.

From the beginning of 2019 to date, the council has received 290 complaints to the value of $152,891.06.

“Many tenants are being evicted under the pretence of renovations, but landlords are increasing rent for new tenants,” Mr Abraham said.

“Tenants and landlords alike are reminded that this is illegal.

“Any renovations conducted in the property are deemed as improvements of asset and should not affect the rent price as long as the rent freeze order is in place.

“Tenants are required to pay $10 for stamp duty to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) if their monthly rental is below $700. Rent from $700 to $1500 will incur a stamp duty of $20 and rental rate above $1500 has a stamp duty of $500.

“Tenants should note that all landlords must be registered with Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) to confirm this registration when they pay their stamp duty.

“In this manner tenants can also ensure that their rent has not increased from the previous tenant.”

The Council has urged people facing landlord and tenancy issues to contact the Council on 155 or email complaints@consumersfiji.org.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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