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The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, in an attempt to alleviate problems with private rental house prices came out with a new code of ethics regulation to protect both tenants and landlord rights. However, the PM office rejected that proposal.
The proposed rule changes would fall under the auspices of real estate marketing regulations and would be an attempt to control high rental prices. However, the PM office ordered the Ministry to stop working on this specific issue. This is apparently because the PM’s office thinks that if the government gets involved in controlling rental prices that it may lead to other problems.
Sources close to the issue said the rejection came in the form of a short letter.
“The regulation was not intended to deprive a landlord of the fruits of their investment in real estate. Instead it is supposed to encourage them to work ethically and not damage the rights of tenants,” a source said.
Currently if an owner wants to rent the law only requires that they pay between 10 and 35 percent to the government.
“Most tenants are left to suffer in the hands of their landlords, who in the absence of any control exploit the situation with arbitrary increases in the monthly or annual rent on their property. Under the current legal frame work a tenant can not apply to a court for a declaration that the increase in rent is unreasonable so the regulation was drafted to ensure that a city has a certain amount of affordable housing for lower and middle class residents.’’
With the low condo construction and the increasing population of Addis, house rents have skyrocketed over the last ten years. A Nine square meter room which was rented at 300 birr ten years ago now goes for over 2,000 birr depending on the location and according to the some studies with the increasing prices some landlords also breach the tenant’s rights.