The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has extended the existing residential rental freeze for another eight months.
“This means that from 1 May to 31 December 2011, landlords will continue to be restricted from increasing rents for any premises that falls under residential tenancy including ground rental to which the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 applies,” he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said that in the meantime, an overall review of the existing rental laws have commenced in order to make it compatible with the current market realities.
“The reviewing process has already begun and the rental freeze extension will allow the respective authorities involved in the review to jointly come up with a more comprehensive and market-tested law which ensures fairness both for the landlords and the tenants.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum revealed that the Fiji Commerce Commission received 19 complaints about rental increases in the first quarter of this year.
“While most cases have been resolved through mediation, a few unresolved cases have been taken to Court by the Commerce Commission,” the Minister said.
“These numbers essentially illustrate the need to carry on with the rental freeze as people have continued to increase residential rent despite the freeze.”
Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the review of the rental market will include ways which protects tenants and landlords providing clear and independent mechanisms for disputes.
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