JIS News

Director of the Rent Services Unit, Cecile Croll, is advising persons, who are having problems with their landlords or tenants, to visit the Rent Services Unit, before taking their cases to court.
Ms. Croll, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, explained that the unit has the responsibility to handle all matters relating to rent with the exception of recovery of possession.
“If someone needs to recover their home from a tenant they will have to go to the court, however, everything else is handled by us in-office,” she pointed out.
According to the Director, persons who are experiencing problems often go straight to the court, which sometimes add unnecessary burden to the court system as well as the individual.
“The court does not only handle rental matters so unless you have a court like in the corporate area, where the courts handle civil and criminal matters separately, you would find that you will have to wait over an extended period because the court has so many cases to deal with,” she explained.
In addition, she said, “a lot of persons get intimidated by going to court, especially elderly persons, so this is an avenue for them to come to a tribunal if the problem reaches to that state and have the matter dealt with.”
Ms. Croll informed that “we have a 99 percent success rate in-office. The other per cent which is not settled in-house is referred to our board.” Cases that are referred to the board are presided over by the chairman or the deputy chairman and two board members.
Each party involved in the dispute have the option of taking their lawyers or any other representation or witness to the hearing. “The order of the board is really the order of the court. We follow the same procedures like that of the court and the hearing is held as efficiently and effectively as possible,” the Director informed.
With respect to filing a complaint, Ms. Croll explained that the complainant may call the Unit and request a complaint form, which is also available by fax. “After the complainant submits the form, the unit will arrange a meeting with the parties in question, at which stage both parties will provide the relevant documentation that relates to the issue or issues being dealt with,” she stated.
The Rent Services Unit was established in 2004 and offers administrative support to the Rent Assessment Board. The board, established in 1944, has been incorporated within the unit, and focuses on administering the judicial aspect of the Rent Restriction Act.

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