Tuesday, March 28

Tenants urge landlords to keep houses fit for living

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Tenants have urged landlords to maintain their houses in good condition in order to be habitable following years of their bid to convince the government to deal with high cost of house rent in The Gambia.

According some tenants who spoke to The Point, some landlords/ladies are solely concerned and interested in claiming their monies at the end of every month, but care little about the condition of the houses especially during the rainy season.

In an interview Ismaila Badjie, a tenant, said the situation surrounding house rent in the country is very “frustrating and also uncalled for.”

“Landlords care very less over the conditions of their houses, but the people that are making things more complicated for the tenants are the house agents because they directly in contact with the landlords.”

“In the house that I live in, we have been experiencing leakages from the roof since the 2021 rainy season and we have communicated this problem to the agent, but they have always been giving us stories that they would come fix it – something that never been happened.”

He added that the other problem that a great number of the country’s population face is the high cost of house rent which is still an ongoing challenge. “If this problem is not regulated by the authorities, it will continue to have a great negative impact on the livelihoods of the people.”

Furthermore, he said landlords must understand that salaries in the country are very low, the majority of tenants are low income earners and the spending for every household on a daily basis is very high.

He pointed out another factor, saying that landlords use agents against the tenants on the grounds that the demand for house is very high in the country.

“The search for a house is very hard and as a result of that, landlords take that advantage to double the prices of their houses.”

Abdourahman Njie, a tenant also told this medium that there is a great need for the government to really pay maximum attention to its people on the issue of house rent. “If the earning of the people is very low, how can we afford good places to settle, obviously we would have to sacrifice ourselves and families by accepting what our pockets can afford, even if not in very good condition.”

He emphasised that the government should initiate a fundamental and solid mechanism which would thoroughly look into the problems associated with the living condition of its people.

“Part of my expectations from the President was for him to help in the reduction of the high cost of house rent and also place a system that landlords and agents would strictly abide by without reservation.”

Jainaba Sowe, also a tenant, urged President Barrow to help in putting this problem to rest. “I had a lot of hope for the President and if a problem of this kind is finally resolved, then we (tenants) will be grateful to him. The high cost of house rent is becoming more expensive for us,” she noted.

Abdou Baldeh, a landlord, said it came to his notice that there are agents who charge extra fees without the consent of the landlords – something he added becomes challenging for them as landlords.

“I want to make it clear that some of these agents don’t share any contacts with the landlords, so I will advise that individuals should directly search houses for themselves and negotiate the price of the place rather than depending on the agents,” he said.

He pointed out that landlords fix charges based on the location and size of the house which some tenants fail to understand. “It’s true that some of us charge prices without considering the economic situation of the people and in my opinion, it is very wrong.”

As regards some landlords’ failure to put their houses in good condition, he stated that it is very “inhumane” for a landlord to put his house on rent when the house is not fit for living. “As a landlord, I want to urge all landlords to respect their tenants, give priority to their requests when they arise and understand the economic state of the country by not over pricing their houses.”