Renting in Ghana is placed under the direct supervision of the rent control department and governed by the Ghana rent control law of 1986. It is expected that all landlords, agents and tenants are abreast with the tenets of the Ghana rent law so as to ensure every agreement entered into during the tenancy agreement doesn’t contradict what the law says.
As a rule of thumb, any agreement that is in contravention with the applicable law is considered null and void.
THE RENT CONTROL LAW OF 1986 (PNDC LAW 138)
Rent in Respect of Residential Premises
1. Rent in respect of residential premises
(1) The rent payable by a tenant in respect of single or two-roomed accommodation in any
residential premises shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
(2) Where the residential accommodation in respect of which the rent is payable is smaller or
larger in dimensions than those specified in the First Schedule, the recoverable rent shall be proportionate
to the dimensions of the accommodation.
(3) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, amend the First Schedule.
(4) Despite a provision in any other enactment to the contrary and until the 6th day of March,
1987, a landlord shall not raise the rent prescribed by this Act in respect of a residential accommodation
referred to in subsection (1).2(2)
Section 1 does not apply to a lease or tenancy
(a) held from the Government or any other State agency;
(b) of premises let for industrial, commercial or any other business purposes;
(c) of premises rented by diplomatic or consular missions, international organizations, foreign companies and firms which under section 1 of the Rent (Amendment) (No. 3) Decree, 1979 (A.F.R.C.D. 51) are required to pay the foreign exchange equivalent of their rents to the Bank of Ghana in the first instance;
(d) taken by an incorporated body other than a body the whole proprietary interest in which is held by the Government or any other State agency; and
(e) where the rent payable exceeds one hundred thousand cedis per month, or an amount
determined by the Minister by an executive instrument.
3. Houses built by Tema Development Corporation or the State Housing Corporation
(1) With effect from the commencement of this Act and subject to subsection (2), a person who derives title to any premises from the Tema Development Corporation, the State Housing Corporation or any other similar housing organisation or agency sponsored by the Government, under a subsisting hire-purchase agreement howsoever called, and who in turn sublets or has sublet the premises shall not, despite an agreement to the contrary, charge the tenant or demand or receive from the tenant a monthly rent in respect of the premises which exceeds the aggregate of
(a) the instalment which that person pays per month to the State Housing Corporation, the Tema Development Corporation or any other similar housing organisation or agency sponsored by the Government,
(b) the amount which is the equivalent of the property rate or any other imposts payable by that a person in respect of the premises, and
(c) twenty-five percent of the total of the amounts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(2) Where the instalment which is paid by the person referred to in subsection (1) to any of the
bodies referred to in the agreement, is different from the instalment which that person would have paid
if a deposit had not been paid and that person had agreed to pay the purchase price of the premises
over a period of twenty years from the date of commencement of the hire-purchase agreement, then the
reference in subsection (1) (a) to the monthly instalment paid by that person shall nevertheless be deemed
to be a reference to the instalment which that person would have paid if a deposit had not been paid and
that person had agreed to pay the purchase price over a period of twenty years.
(3) A certificate issued by any of the bodies certifying the instalment payable under subsection
(1) (a) or subsection (2) by a person referred to in subsection (1) is prima facie evidence of the
4. Landlords to register leases and tenancies
(1) The landlord of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1 shall register with the
Rent and Housing Committee each lease or tenancy agreement in respect of the accommodation
within fourteen days of entering into the lease or tenancy agreement.
(2) A landlord shall not demand or receive from the tenant of a residential accommodation the
rent in respect of the accommodation without complying with subsection (1).
5. Rent cards
The landlord of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1 shall
(a) issue to each tenant of the accommodation a rent card specifying the following particulars:
(i) the name and address of the landlord,
(ii) the name and address of the tenant,
(iii) the amount of rent payable by the tenant,
(iv) any other particulars prescribed by the Minister, and
(b) furnish to the nearest Rent and Housing Committee a list of the names of the tenants and the
actual rents paid by each of the tenants.
6. Recovery of possession and ejectment
(1) Despite any other enactment to the contrary and until the 6th day of March, 1987, an
application shall not be entertained for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession from a tenant
in respect of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not prevent the making of an application to a Rent and Housing
Committee established under this Act for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession of the
residential accommodation where the landlord establishes
(a) a genuine intention to recover possession of the accommodation for the personal occupation
as a dwelling room or rooms for the landlord, a member of the landlord’s family or any
person in the landlord’s full time employment; or
(b) that the accommodation is reasonably required by the landlord to be used by the landlord for
(3) Where a landlord makes an application for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of
possession on any of the grounds specified in subsection (2), the Rent and Housing Committee may call for documentary evidence or verification from the landlord and may, if satisfied, make an appropriate order.
7. Complaints by landlords
A complaint or an action by a landlord against a tenant in respect of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1 shall not be heard by the Rent and Housing Committee unless it is satisfied that the landlord has fulfilled the obligations imposed on the landlord by section 5.
Rent and Housing Committees
8. Establishment of Rent and Housing Committees
(1) There shall be established by a District Assembly within its area of authority a Rent and
Housing Committee to perform in relation to that district the functions conferred upon it by this Act.3(3)
(2) A Rent and Housing Committee shall comprise of
(b) one representative of the local government authority,
(c) one Rent Officer,
(d) one representative of landlords in the city or town,
(e) one representative of tenants in the city or town, and
(f) two other persons of integrity and good social standing appointed by the District Assembly
in the particular city or town.
(3) A Rent and Housing Committee shall have a chairman who shall be elected by the
Committee from among its members.
(4) A member of a Rent and Housing Committee other than the Rent Officer shall hold office for
a period of two years but is eligible for re-election.
(5) A Rent and Housing Committee shall be registered with the relevant department of the
District Assembly, and where there is a change in the membership, notice of the change shall be
furnished to that department.
9. Functions of Rent and Housing Committees
The functions of a Rent and Housing Committee in relation to the area of authority of a
particular District Assembly are
(a) to compile a register of the leases and tenancies of residential accommodation referred to in
section 1 specifying the particulars as may from time to time be prescribed by the Minister;
(b) to compile a register of unoccupied rooms in residential premises in which some rooms are let or are normally let and a register of the residential premises which are unoccupied, specifying the particulars as may from time to time be prescribed by the Minister;
(c) to hear and determine, in respect of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1,;
(i) an allegation that a party to a lease or any other tenancy agreement in respect of the residential accommodation is in breach of the agreement or has acted in contravention of a law regulating the relationship between landlord and tenant with regard to a residential accommodation;
(ii) an application for the assessment of rent of the accommodation;
(iii) an application for the ejectment of a tenant or the recovery of possession of the residential accommodation;
(iv) any application for the review of an assessment of rent in respect of the residential accommodation;
(d) make appropriate the recommendations to the Minister on any issue relating to rent and housing; and
(e) perform any other functions relating to rent and housing as may be referred to it by the Minister.
10. Matters to be taken into account in assessing recoverable rent
For the purposes of assessing the amount of recoverable rent for a residential accommodation in
a residential premise to which this Act applies, a Rent and Housing Committee shall take into account,
(a) the rateable value of the premises for the assessment of rates on the premises,
(b) the value of the land on which the premises are situated,
(c) the amount of the annual rates payable in respect of the premises, and where the premises have been let in part, an apportionment of the rates attributable to that part,
(d) the recoverable rent assessed for similar premises by the Rent and Housing Committee,
(e) the estimated cost of repairs or maintenance of the premises,
(f) the amount of the recoverable rent for like premises,
(g) the current rate of interest charged by the Ghana Commercial Bank on overdrafts,
(h) the obligations of the landlord, tenant and any other person interested in the premises under a lease or any other tenancy,
(i) the justice and merits of each particular case.6(6)
11. Powers of Rent and Housing Committees
For the purposes of performing its functions under this Act a Rent and Housing Committee may
(a) at reasonable times enter and inspect or cause to be entered and inspected a residential accommodation or residential premises to which this Act applies concerning any matter before it;
(b) seek expert advice in respect of a matter relating to that residential premises from valuation officers and any other technical experts;
(c) in a matter before it make interim orders that are appropriate pending the final determination of the case or matter.7(7)
12. Enforcement of decision or order of Rent and Housing Committee
On an application made by a party to a proceeding before a Rent and Housing Committee in
whose favour the decision or order was made by the Committee, the Committee shall forward a copy of
the decision or order to the Magistrate or the District Court with a request for execution, and the
Court shall take the steps and issue a process that are necessary for purpose of the execution of the decision
or order as it could take or issue as if it were a decision or order of that Court.
13. Proceedings of Committees
(1) A Rent and Housing Committee shall meet at the time and place determined by the chairman of the Committee.
(2) The chairman of a Rent and Housing Committee shall preside at a proceeding of the Committee but in the absence of the chairman, a member of the Committee elected from among the members present, shall preside.
(3) A Rent and Housing Committee shall be duly constituted for the transaction of business at any proceedings of the Committee by not less than five members.
(4) In every matter relating to a landlord and tenant before a Rent and Housing Committee, the Committee shall be guided by the rules of natural justice.
(5) The proceedings or a decision of a Rent and Housing Committee shall be held or made in public, but a Committee may exclude from any of its proceedings a person who disrupts or otherwise
interferes with its proceedings.
(6) A Rent and Housing Committee shall keep accurate records of its proceedings and of investigations conducted by it.
(7) A Rent and Housing Committee shall at the end of each month, submit to the District Assembly and the Minister, a report on its work for the month.
(8) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Rent and Housing Committee shall regulate its own procedure.
(1) A person who is aggrieved by a decision or order of a Rent and Housing Committee may within thirty days from the date of the decision or order, appeal against the decision or order to a District Court.
(2) The District Court may for good cause extend the periods specified in subsection (1).
(3) For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal a District Court shall be guided by the provisions of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459) relating to the exercise of the appellate jurisdiction of the Court.
(4) A person who is aggrieved by the decision or order of a District Court under this section, may appeal to a Regional Public Tribunal and then to the Court of Appeal.
15. Court not to have supervisory or other jurisdiction over Committees
(2) A decision, an order, a finding, ruling or proceeding of a Rent and Housing Committee shall not be regarded as invalid because of a defect in the election of a member of the Committee.
(1) A person who
(a) infringes a provision of sections 1, 3 or 4,
(b) fails to issue a rent card to a tenant in accordance with section 5 or furnishes false particulars under that section,
(c) wilfully obstructs, hinders or assaults a member of a Rent and Housing Committee or any other person in the performance of functions, under this Act, or
(d) does an act or refrains from doing anything which the conditions of tenancy require that person to do with intent to compel the tenant of a residential accommodation referred to in section 1 to give up possession of that accommodation, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.
(2) A person who is charged with an offence under this Act shall be tried by a District Court in accordance with the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459).
Legal Proceedings Against Members of Committees not to be Entertained
No legal proceedings shall be brought or entertained against a member of a Rent and Housing Committee in respect of any act or omission done by him in good faith in the discharge or exercise of his functions, duties or powers under this Law.
Members of Committee to be Public Officers
A member of a Rent and Housing Committee shall be deemed to be a public officer or holding a public office for the purposes of:
(a) the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29);
(b) the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30);
(c) the Corrupt Practices (Prevention) Act, 1964 (Act 230);
(d) the Public Officers Act, 1962 (Act 114); and
(e) the Public Tribunals Law, 1984 (P.N.D.C.L. 78).
Modification of Existing Enactments
Any enactment relating to rent or the lease or tenancy of any residential accommodation to which Section 1 of this Law applies, and which is for the time being in force shall have effect with such modifications as may be necessary to give full effect to the provisions of this Law. (2) Section 25 (5) of the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) is hereby amended as follows
(a) by the deletion of the words “by the appropriate Rent Magistrate”
(b) by the substitution for the words “one hundred pounds”, of the words “ten thousand cedis or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.”
In this Law unless the context otherwise requires:
“Residential accommodation” means residential accommodation in residential premises referred to in section 1 of this Law;
“Residential premises” means residential premises in which rooms are normally let for residential purposes;
“Secretary” means the Provisional National Defence Council Secretary responsible for Works and Housing. [As substituted by the Rent Control (Amendment) Law, 1986 (PNDCL 163) s.(d)].