“The Rent Control Act 1963, Act 220 under Section 255 states that no landlord has the right to take rent advance for more than three months and six months for residential and commercial areas,” he said in an interview with the interview with the GNA in Accra.
Mr Ampofo said a review of the Act awaiting approval would make it possible for landlords/ladies to take one year advance, and until the Bill is enacted the Department intends to enforce the current law.
“If a tenant reports such things to us, it is the duty of the authorities to ensure that landlords desist from charging above the specified number of months,” he said.
“Tenants have no right to add rent in advance at the end of the prescribed advance paid. It is unacceptable and illegal for landlords to demand for an advance if the tenancy has not expired,” he explained.
Mr Ampofo said if a tenant demands refund of an advance paid, the parties would be invited to the Department to enforce refund of the amount.
He noted that any landlord who does not adhere to the dictates of the law would be dealt, adding: “The matter would be referred to the Rent Control Magistrate Court where landlords would be sentenced to six months imprisonment or pay a penalty, which rests on the bosom of the judge or both.”
Mr Ampofo said the major challenge the Department faces with the enforcement of laws is the abuse of power because people think their positions cannot be interfered with.