Gambia: Let's Look At Our Rent Fees!

17 November 2020

Finding a suitable and affordable apartment especially in The Gambia's metropolis these days is a mounting challenge.

Apart from the number of middlemen, one has to pass through, to the skyrocketing nature of rent fees making renting in the Kombos a big challenge.

Of recent, in The Gambia, especially within the Kanifing Municipality and some part of West Coast Region, the issue of house rent has become difficult terrain for many. Many landlords or middlemen are in the habit of charging high rentals or inflating rent prices for their interest.

And what makes it even worrying is the corresponding strict rules attached to some of these apartments for let. A room and a parlour that used to be priced at D2000 is now double the initial price. While those going out for D3000 are now twice the initial price.

Beside, new tenants have to advance a six-month payment well before moving in. We are all aware now that rent allowances are not allocated to each and every civil servant. Most civil servants apart from their meagre salaries they receive at each month are not entitled to other allowances.

Therefore, they struggle and sometimes under hardships to address another pressing family needs.

Also, landlords need to keep their houses in good condition at all times to enable tenants to have value for their monies, by maintaining their houses in order to make it fit for living. The appalling nature of some apartments considering their exorbitant prices leave much to be desired.

Generally, the rent system in The Gambia needs to be looked into. It is a fact that some landlords are not only exploiting tenants but by forcing them to many rights violation.

The advent of coronavirus has virtually crippled global economies and even small businesses are not spared. Yet, some landlords are still bent on increasing their room fees.

The Gambia's 2014 Gambia Rent Act clearly stipulates that "A Landlord or tenant may terminate a tenancy by notice in writing, specifying the date at which the tenancy is to come to an end. In the case of a yearly tenancy, the notice is given not less than three months".

Again, high rents in The Gambia are not due to a shortage in the houses, but out of sheer greed. Government and concern institution should do more to ensure a level playing field in the country's rent system.

Regulating the rent system in the country particularly within the Greater Banjul Area is crucial to improving the living standards of many Gambians and even non-Gambians alike.

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