JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging landlords to register with the Rent Assessment Unit, in light of the impending amendments under the Rent Restriction Act.
  • “The Act is currently being amended and some fines that are in the 1983 Act will be increased, so we are encouraging persons who have not registered their properties to do so, as the fines and registration fee will be increased by more than 100 per cent,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News.
  • She informed that currently, the registration fee for landlords is $20.00 and the fine for failure to register rental properties with the Rent Assessment Board (RAB) is $5,000 or imprisonment.

Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging landlords to register with the Rent Assessment Unit, in light of the impending amendments under the Rent Restriction Act.

“The Act is currently being amended and some fines that are in the 1983 Act will be increased, so we are encouraging persons who have not registered their properties to do so, as the fines and registration fee will be increased by more than 100 per cent,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News.

She informed that currently, the registration fee for landlords is $20.00 and the fine for failure to register rental properties with the Rent Assessment Board (RAB) is $5,000 or imprisonment.

“Some commercial properties may be eligible for exemption from the Act and [they] may call us to find out how they go about doing so. Exemption from the Rent Restriction Act would mean that these entities would have to settle disputes in a court rather than through the intervention of the RAB,” Mrs. Headlam shared.

She said that among the issues brought before the Board are harassment by landlords and subletting by tenants.

“Section 27 of the Act states that landlords should not harass their tenants and an eviction notice must be done through a parish court judge. Tenants who find that they are being harassed by their landlord, whether through deliberate utility restrictions or other means, should report the matter to the police,” Mrs. Headlam advised.

She also noted that some tenants are delinquent and that the new Act will address this.

“Landlords have been complaining about clients subletting the property, and we want to inform tenants that this is a breach of their contract and is grounds for the landlord to issue an eviction letter,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News.

She explained that the purpose of the RAB is to act as an unbiased party in settling disputes between tenants and landlords as guided by the Rent Restriction Act.

The current Act applies to all building land, unless such land is leased for a term of 25 years or more, and to all dwelling houses, except those that are let for boarding, let for housing pursuant to the provisions of the Housing Act or declared exempt by the Minister of Housing, pursuant to section 8 of the Act.

The Act has been amended 11 times since it was enacted, the last being in 1983.