House rent panic haunts tenants

Owners increase rent defying rules and regulations

House owners in the capital increase the rent every year defying related rules and regulations, alleged tenants. 

They said almost all the home owners in Dhaka increase the rent as soon as the month of January comes without consulting the tenants at all.

Talking to a number of tenants it has been learnt that every year, during the month of December, they become panicked thinking how much the owner is going to increase the rent.

According to a report of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), about 90 percent dwellers of Dhaka are tenants and around 80 percent house owners earn their livelihood from house rents. 

The report also says 28 percent owners misbehave with their tenants. Due to ignorance about House Rent Control Act, the tenants do not take legal action even after being repressed. 

CAB says the average house rent in various locations in Dhaka has increased by about 9 percent over the past years. And because of the increase in rent, the cost of living has increased by 9 percent. According to findings, landlords have already instructed the tenants to pay an increase rent from January 2020 in most areas of Dhaka. In this regard, Ahmed, a resident of Khilgaon Taltala area of the capital, said, "I took rent in a three-bed flat last July. After staying five months in the flat worth Tk 25,000/month as rent, the landlord said the rent will be increased by Tk 1,000 from next month.

Tousif Islam is residing at Noorjahan Road in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. He said, "I've been in a flat for two years. In January last year, the rent was increased by thousand taka. This year, the landlord also gave notice to increase rent by Tk 1,000. And the landlord even asked to pay separate water bills.”

Not only in higher rented flats, rent increases in slum rooms every year. Amena Begum lives in such a slum in Jigatala. She said in January, she will have to pay a rent of Tk 3500 Otherwise she will have to leave the house.

Apart from this, there are complains of notice issuance of leaving the house, not giving adequate water, not providing security, closing the main gate of the house by 11pm, unregulated slip of house rent and home owners in the capital have been complaining about not renting out homes to big families or bachelors. In addition, many landlords and their families treat tenants badly.

However, most of the landlords denied these allegations. One of the house owner said, “I maintain a very good relationship with all the tenants in my house. There is no question of mistreating them.”

Meanwhile, CAB recently conducted a survey on the increase in living costs for rent, including house rentals. According to the survey, last year, rent in two-bed flats increased by an average of 13 percent over the previous year. Pakka houses but with tin roofs increased by 5 percent. However, the slum rent is the highest, with about 17 percent.

CAB says the house owners do not obey the rules and the existing laws. There is no government authority to enforce the law and to look after it. Because of that, house rent is increasing every year. There have been allegations of hike in fares, including excise duty, holding tax, income tax, gas, water price hike etc. Many families are being forced to move from the main city to the suburbs due to increased rent.