Malawi Housing Cooperation’s rental hike irks tenants
Malawi Housing Cooperation (MHC) has hiked its rentals by about 100 percent for Senior Quarters, The Daily Times can reveal.
According to the notice letter which MHC sent to one of the tenants at Kaning’ina in Mzuzu City, dated May 31, the hike will come into effect on July 1 2017.
The letter says the tenants who were paying K60, 500 will be paying K130, 000 per month from next month.
Some tenants who were paying K35,000 per month will be paying K55,000 while those currently paying K55,000 will be paying K80,000.
MHC argues the hike is in line with clause 3(1) of Tenancy Agreement which gives provision for the institution to revise the rentals when there is need.
The last time MHC raised rentals was in 2015 and the hike was in the ranges of 30 to 40 percent.
However, some tenants said the institution has hiked the rentals beyond the limit.
“I have lived in this house for 17 years and MHC has never raised its rentals by up to 110 percent. I was paying K60,500 per month but the notice letter I have received is saying I will be paying K130,000 per month. Is this a fair hike to a basic need like shelter?” said one of the tenants from Kaning’ina who preferred anonymity for fear of being evacuated.
He said it is sad that despite MHC rising its rentals, it takes time for the institution to carry out minor repairs as it normally happens to individual landlords.
“Look at the rotten ceiling, the sink is broken, the water taps leak. I remember they made minor repairs in 2002. Is there any reason to hike rentals with their services?” he urged.
However, MHC spokesperson Ernestina Lunguzi said the adjustment is valid because the institution is conducting maintenances to meet standards.
“Our adjustment is not limited to one percentage. It varies with the categories of the houses. We could not do otherwise because we are conducting maintenances of our houses across the country. And the adjustment meets the current standards,” Lunguzi said.
She said the institution has already conducted maintenances on houses in Mzimba, Rumphi and Nkhata Bay and some houses in Mzuzu, Katoto in particular.
However, one of tenants from Katoto Area in Mzuzu said on-going repairs should not serve as justification for MHC’s decision to hike rental fees.
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