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Living in Ghana: Tenants And Lordlords.

Posted by Ivan on August 15, 2023
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Introduction

Renting a property in Ghana is a common practice for both locals and foreigners who seek temporary or long-term residence.  Rent, a condition for tenancy, is paid to the landlord as a result of the landlord/tenant relationship. This is the case whether the lease is for a residential space in a city or a rural property. Understanding rent and tenancy laws in Ghana is essential for both landlords and tenants as it helps minimize disputes and litigation in the courts.

 

In this article, the statutory and common law rules on the recovery of premises in Ghana are explored. The article will also explain how a landlord can recover possession of a rented property by the legal/statutory requirements of the country. By the end of the article, readers will have a better understanding of their legal rights and obligations in the Ghanaian rental market.

 

What is a valid tenancy under Ghanaian Law?

Tenancy is a legal agreement between a landlord and a tenant where the landlord allows the tenant to occupy their property in exchange for rent. The principal rule is that for a lease or tenancy to be valid/enforceable, it must be in writing and signed by the landlord or by his agent.

 

There are, however, some exceptions to the above rule. These exceptions are Leases by operation of law; Leases by operation of the rules of equity; and Leases where the lessee is in possession for a term not exceeding three (3) years.

 

Rights and Liabilities of Tenants and Landlords

Tenants in Ghana have several obligations and rights. The primary obligation of the tenant is to pay rent. Additionally, tenants are required to use a rented property for the purpose for which it was let and not to sublet same without the landlord’s consent. The law also requires that a tenant gives a landlord reasonable access to the property for inspections and repairs. Failure to meet these obligations could result in eviction.

 

In a well-drafted lease, there is always an express covenant requiring the tenant to pay rent. In Ghana, however, the majority of tenancy agreements are made verbally and informally, and they often just stipulate the rent and the method of payment. The obligation to pay rent is now implied in residential tenancies for valuable consideration. Under the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220), tenants have several rights, including the right to the peaceful occupation of the premises, the right to adjustment of rent only by the law, the right to notice of any intended eviction or termination of tenancy, and the right to redress before a court of law.

 

For Landlords in Ghana, their rights and obligations include providing safe and habitable housing, maintaining the property in good condition, gaining access to their property for maintenance or inspection, evicting tenants who violate the terms of their lease, and the right to terminate a lease at the end of its term. Equally, landlords must respect the rights of tenants, including but not limited to their right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of the property.

 

Both tenants and landlords should also adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement, including the payment of rent, and should resolve any disputes through peaceful and legal means.

 

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