Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

Rent Bill Aims to Grant Tenants 90-Day Notice Before Eviction

0 286
Madi Ceesay, The National Assembly Member for Serekunda West

By Fatou Sillah

A proposed amendment to the Rent Act in the Gambia is offering tenants much-needed protection against short-notice evictions and steep rent hikes. National Assembly Member for Serekunda West, Madi MK Ceesay presented the bill, seeking to extend the minimum eviction notice period from the current unspecified timeframe to a full 90 days.

Hon. Ceesay emphasized that the proposed amendments seek to address the current practice of landlords instructing tenants to vacate premises on short notice, advocating instead for a mandatory 90-day written notice period.

“In terms of giving notice to tenants, the bill is seeking to address that issue. Instead of asking your tenants to vacate within a very short period, with this amendment, you should be given a written notice of 90 days. This Bill has considered that the landlords provide a very valuable service, and therefore the Bill seeks for the proper upkeep of premises that tenants occupy for the period agreed by both parties,” He said

Additionally, the bill addresses concerns regarding rent increases, proposing an annual increment limit of 5%. Ceesay highlighted the necessity of regulation, asserting that landlords should not have the liberty to increase rent twice within a year. The careful consideration of the percentage increment aims to safeguard both tenants and landlords from undue financial strain.

“The bills is suggesting that at least there can be an annual increment of 5%, but we all know that how rents are increased in this country, it has to be regulated. So, therefore, the bill seeks to make it at 5% annually, that you cannot increase your rent twice in a year, that should not happen as far as this bill is concerned.

“The rate that rent is increased is also carefully considered so that both the tenants and landlords do not suffer, as a reasonable percentage will be allowed as an annual increment of rent. In the 2014 Rent Act, the costs are divided into two. Low cost that is three thousand and coming downwards. That means any tenant that is renting in premises that cost three thousand and downwards, you are up large to pay rent on a monthly basis,” Hon. Ceesay said.

The amendment bill also challenges a provision in the 2014 Rent Act that allows landlords to demand payment for six months or more upfront. Ceesay expressed the need to modify this practice by raising the low-cost bracket to GMD 7,000, enabling those renting below this threshold to pay monthly. For premises exceeding this value, tenants may still face bulk payment requirements.

“By the act of 2014, the landlord has the right to ask you to pay 6 months or more, and what this amendment is trying to do as far as that is concerned is to raise the bar from three thousand as low cost to 7 thousand so that those in the bracket of paying rent from Seven thousand downwards would have the easy way of paying their rent’s month by month rather than the landlord asking you to pay in bulk and anything above seven thousand then will be high cost, then you could be asked to pay in Bulk,” He said.

Furthermore, the 2023 rent amendment bill strives to modernize the Rent Act of 2014 by adjusting the specified value for low-cost rental premises to align with current economic conditions. The overarching goal is to make rent more manageable for ordinary individuals, allowing them to pay on a monthly basis and alleviating the financial burden associated with upfront payments.

Following extensive debate among members, the bill was subsequently referred to the National Assembly Business Committee for further consideration.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.