Tenants warned to pay rental or face eviction

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MINISTER for Housing and Urban Development Justin Tkatchenko has warned all National Housing Corporation tenants and its business arm National Housing Estate Ltd to start paying their rents or face eviction.
Tkatchenko’s call follows continuous abuse and misuse of properties which have resulted in the loss of millions of kina by the two organisations.
He said under the Tenancy Agreement Act, all tenants had 30 days to pay up outstanding and the monthly rentals.
“All legal tenants must have the agreement signed or else they are illegally occupying the premises and will or can be evicted,” the minister said.
“Enough is enough. Those that have a legal, signed tenant agreement, we don’t want to evict you, please pay your K400 monthly rentals to NHC.
“It’s not just about cleaning up the company. It’s all but correcting some of the processes and getting things done properly.”
Tkatchenko said NHC was one of the lowest, if not the lowest, rental organisations in the country.
“A maximum that a Papua New Guinean will pay is K200 a fortnight, that’s K400 per month to rent a low-cost house under NHC.
“A lot of Papua New Guineans out there would like to have these sorts of rentals at that rate.
“Even my staff in the settlements were paying K700 and K800 a month for just a cardboard match-box.”
Tkatchenko said NHC properties were in prime locations and some may be run down but if NHC did not make income from these properties then how could they repair and renovate those houses.
“It’s a win-win situation, you have a good property at a low rental. We maintain and fix it for you, K400 per month is not a lot,” he said.
“I’ve been told that highly paid public servants, they get allowances, for rental and car and still refuse to pay K400 a month for a NHC house.
“We want to stop all the illegal tenancy of our NHC buildings, we want those who have the agreements to start paying up.”
NHC acting managing director Elizabeth Bowada said tenants had claimed that evictions happened overnight, which is not true.
“The arrears notices start from 30 days followed by 21 days or 14 days. When that lapses, 14 days, we have another seven days and then the finality of 48 hours or 24 hours. Then we terminate the agreement,” Bowada said.
“A lot of people are mean. They do not want to pay their rentals and once they get evicted they run to the media.
“It’s their obligation under the tenancy agreement to pay up their rentals at the very economical rate.”

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