Landlords vs tenants; COVID-19 increases disputes

3 years ago

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Landlords and tenants are being encouraged to utilise the dispute resolution services of the Rent Assessment Board (RAB) within the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change.

“Since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have received complaints, some of which include illegal increases in rent and noncompliance with COVID-19 guidelines among persons living in shared facilities,”

Director in the Rent Service Unit, Shenese Williams-Headlam, shared.

Williams-Headlam noted that common causes of disputes between landlords and tenants include failure to pay rent on time; keeping pets against the rules of the rental agreement; reimbursement of security deposits; proper notice to quit; engaging in criminal activities on the rental property; illegal increases in rent fees; shared utilities, and tenants subletting.

The purpose of the RAB is to serve as an unbiased party in settling disputes between tenants and landlords as guided by the Rent Restriction Act. The organisation has judicial hearings and mediation sessions twice monthly.

Williams- Headlam is pleading to both landlords and tenants to contact the Rent Board instead of taking matters into their own hands and any order that is made by the RAB at its tribunal is within the same jurisdiction of a parish court.