• December 17th, 2018
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First Rent Control Board members appointed



WINDHOEK - Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya yesterday announced the members of Rent Control Boards in the regions of Oshana, Kavango East, Erongo and Khomas.

The appointments are in accordance with the Rent Ordinance of 1977. For now, the board members will only serve the towns of Oshakati, Rundu, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

Tweya added that the appointed members will serve for three years or until the review process of the Rent Ordinance of 1977 results in a new law, whichever comes first. 

The announcement of the appointments came after the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement recently dragged the minister to court for failure to implement the regulation of the Rent Ordinance 13 of 1977, as amended. 
AR subsequently said that their lawyers were approached by government to seek an out-of-court settlement in the rent control case that challenged government to implement rent control. 

Making the announcement at his ministry yesterday, Tweya said the appointment process of the Rent Control Board members was stalled for various reasons. 

“On the 25 October 2018, the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development verified whether all nominees were still available by approaching local authorities, Shack Dwellers Association, the Magistrate Commission (Judiciary), the National Youth Council and the Affirmative Repositioning group,” said Tweya. 

Upon the request of AR and other civil society organisations two years ago, President Hage Geingob instructed the Cabinet Committee on Land-Related Matters to introduce measures aimed at regulating the rental market, with a view to prevent the current exploitation of tenants by landlords.

During a meeting with AR in April 2016 government agreed to implement the Rent Control Board, which will be spearheaded by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. It was agreed at that meeting that the operationalisation of the Rent Control Boards should have been effected at the beginning of August 2016.

In view of this directive, the ministry of industrialisation was tasked by the President, through the Chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on Land-Related Matters, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandu-Ndaitwah, to undertake the review of the Rent Ordinance, 1977 and establish whether the ordinance will effectively regulate the rental market in the country. 

In adherence to the directive to introduce measures to regulate the rental market the ministry requested local authorities, the Shack Dwellers Association, the Magistrate Commission, the National Youth Council and AR to nominate persons to serve on the Rent Control Boards. 

“Nominations were received, however, the process stalled due to circumstances beyond our control,” Tweya said.
“The President subsequently appointed the executive committee according to Section 2(2) of the Ordinance, comprising of members of Cabinet namely, the Prime Minister (Chairperson), Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Minister of Urban and Rural Development and Attorney-General, assigned to establish the Rent Control Board,” Tweya explained. 


Edgar Brandt
2018-11-15 09:26:05 1 months ago

1 Comments

  1. User
    Gavin Putland

    VACANCY TAX: BETTER THAN RENT CONTROL Dear conservatives: You say you believe in jobs. But jobs require affordable housing. Jobs can't be created unless (i) employers can afford business accommodation, and (ii) worker can afford housing within reach of their jobs, on wages that their employers can pay! Dear employers: Did you get that? Lower rents make it easier for you to pay your workers enough to live on. Dear retailers: Lower rents mean your customers have more money left over to spend at your store. Dear home owners: Sure, you like high prices when you sell. But then you have to buy again! And then your kids have to get into the market without the benefit of a previous sale. And what if you have a misfortune that sends you back to square one? As a home owner-occupant, you are both landlord and tenant; and while the establishment wants you to think and vote solely as an owner (landlord), your interests as owner are probably outweighed by your interests as occupant (tenant). Dear renters: Sure, rent control might protect you against being forced out by rising rents. But if you need to move out for any other reason, you won't be able to get another rent-controlled dwelling, because investors won't build new housing unless it's exempt from rent control. What you really need is not protection from the market, but a reduction in *market* rents. Dear developers: You say the solution is to build more housing. But are you really going to build so fast that you reduce rents and prices, and therefore reduce your profits? Of course not — unless something forces your hand! SOLUTION: Put a punitive tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings (except properties waiting for permits), so that the owners can't afford NOT to build accommodation and seek tenants. A vacancy tax, by increasing supply and reducing owners' ability to tolerate vacancies, strengthens the bargaining position of tenants and therefore reduces rents (and forces landlords to expedite any necessary repairs in order to attract tenants). It yields both an *immediate* benefit, by pushing existing dwellings onto the rental market, and a *long-term* benefit, by encouraging construction. Dear Realtors: A vacancy tax increases your income, through rental-management fees for properties coming onto the rental market, plus commissions from owners who decide to sell vacant properties to owner-occupants (who of course don't pay the tax). Dear politicians: The need to avoid the vacancy tax would initiate economic activity, which would expand the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of the city/state/country would get a tax cut. Can you sell a tax cut?! In California, a peculiarity of the state constitution means that a local vacancy tax requires a 2/3 popular vote. Impossible? No! In Oakland, in the 2018 midterms, the proposed vacancy tax got the necessary votes. What's your excuse?

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