Greed Fueling ‘Evil’ Landlords Behaviour

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January 09, 2018 7:25 am AST
Photo Credit: File
Homeowners have once again come under fire for exploiting tenants, post Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines, Sixth District Representative, took to social media on Monday evening, January 8, to express her disgust by the way some landlords are treating their tenants.

“How can some of them sleep at nights? Some of the tenants I spoke with, either one or both of them have lost jobs and the landlords know. How did we reach here? I am not saying to let them live free, but to raise rent at a time like this? I pray for you landlords,” the government member said.

She pointed to cases where some landlords have raised rent by $200-$300.

“Some of you landlords are evil. Persons losing jobs every day since the hurricanes and as the year turn, all you can think of is increasing your tenant rent by $200 or $300. Some places are still in disrepair. Persons still have plywood over their windows and doors, but you are giving them letters stating rent increase,” she claimed.

According to Hon. Maduro-Caines, these landlords are aware of the economic situation in the Territory.

“Some landlords don't have a need to make that move. Some are being taken over by greed...Cold and heartless. One day some of you may find yourselves just looking at empty apartments and houses…No one to rent from you...May God help us,” the Sixth District Representative stated.

Since the passage of the storms, landlords have been criticized by both members of the public and members of the House of Assembly, including, Premier Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith.

He has stated that those same landlords are receiving assistance from banks, who have agreed to relax their mortgage/loan payments during this devastating time.

The Premier had indicated that he believes landlords should extend the same sympathy to their tenants.

"There has to be an agreement, arrangement between the tenant and the landlord, and I think given the situation, the landlord should have some consideration for what the tenant has gone through and there should be some facilitation," Premier Smith said.

He added, "It’s the same way we have asked the banks to be able to extend the time for loan payments for these same landlords…for these homes…So I think there should be a process."

Landlords have been accused of breaching leases by raising rent or asking their tenants to leave. In some cases, tenants say it is unfair given that they are trying to 'make do' in some of the apartments which are unlivable, following the storms.

One of the issues faced by authorities is that there is no regulation legally barring these unscrupulous landlords.
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