The Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has said the practice whereby homeowners ask potential tenants to pay between 24 and 36 months’ rent advance is about to end, once the new Rent bill currently before Cabinet gets approved by Parliament.

“The essential thing is that we have to legislate rent advances – that is, you cannot exact rent advances in certain dimensions which will mess up the potential tenant,” the minister said at the official launch of the Ghana Association of Real Estate Brokers (GAR) at GHL Bank’s premises.

Government, he said, is aware that the huge housing deficit is partly responsible for the untold burden placed on tenants, and is considering several options which will incorporate the use of technology to build cheaper homes for Ghanaians.

Some of the options he cited include pre-fabricated homes, which he said could be assembled in under three months.

Real Estate Brokers bill

Mr. Akyea said another bill that also seeks to regulate the activities of real estate brokers is with the Attorney-General’s Department and will soon be brought to Parliament.

“When we have a serious law regulating real estate brokerage; we believe that fraud in the industry will be minimised. This is expected to be a vehicle that brings all brokers together and rewards them for the job they do.

“There’s a whole mapping -out of revenue returns to the economy that government is interested in. So, very soon, we’ll pass it into law and then Ghana will be better off for that.”

GAR Profile

The Ghana Association of Real Estate Brokers (GAR) was formed with sponsorship from GHL Bank to, among others, raise the real estate industry’s profile in Ghana.

The Association is open to all real estate brokers in the country.

Once qualified, brokers will be allowed to act as agents for their customers in arranging for mortgage loans from state-owned and local private banks.

The association will also ensure there are standardised commissions so clients can receive fees that are across the board for every individual.

According to the Director of Education and Training at GAR, Hanna Atiase, brokers will undergo a 6 to 8-week intensive training course to provide them with more market knowledge on professionalism, property prices, safety, and real estate financing among others.

“It’s become very necessary because the public needs to be protected in every real estate transaction; we need to limit the amount of risk for fraudulent activities, and we also need to increase transparency as well,” she said.