By: Sanna Jallow
Residents within the West Coast Region have raised concern about the frequent surge in rent prices. Most of the tenants believe that the involvement of house agents has been the cause for the dire situation they have been facing for a while, considering the fact that they set a certain price with the compound owner just to get some amount of profit from the advanced six (6) months payment, which is usually required before you get the key to the premise.
Most people who rent houses within the West Coast Region are low-income earners, many living by hand-to-mouth on their small skills business.
Momodou Jallow, a tenant said the frequent increment in rent by landlords is really hard on him as the breadwinner of the family.
“Last month I was paying one thousand five hundred dalasis for a single room and now it has been increased to two thousand five hundred per month. I spend all the money I gain at the end of the month on rent even to eat proper food is a problem because everything is expensive and as a low-income earner it’s hard on me”, he lamented.
He said if he does not pay his rent the landlord will kick him out of his property. “I have no choice but to pay or else I will live on the streets.”
Amie Jallow, a mother, explained that she just left the place she was renting a week ago because the landlord had increased the rent without giving them prior notice.
“I cannot afford the amount for the rent because my earnings are very small. Since I cannot afford to pay the rent I left the place because I have no choice,” she Explained.
Ebrima Dem, a property owner said, “I did not increase the rent because I want to do so, but I am a businessman and I also generate income from the rent. I use it to take care of my family and other things.
According to Dem, property owners are responsible for paying rent tax and maintenance, saying that the certain price increment of some building materials is the reason why they increase the rent.
“We buy cement D360 per bag and other building materials are also costly so these are the reason why we increase the rent to be able to make a profit to be able to maintain our businesses,” he said.
Tenants urge the government to take action to address the rental issues in the country.