Rental discrimination

We refer to Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa’s letter on “Rental discrimination” published in The Fiji Times on August3 , 2017.

The Consumer Council of Fiji over the past years has been lobbying for improvements in the area of landlord and tenancy.

As an advocacy organisation we have made suggestions for the establishment of an enforcement body that can specifically look into issues faced in the area of landlord and tenancy.

We comprehend that there is a Residential Tenancy Bill in its draft stages which also has recommendations to establish such a body.

The council would like to reiterate that if a person is engaging in residential rental business, then their interest should be the rental money they receive from their tenants.

Any discriminatory practices on the part of the landlord is contrary to the Constitution.

While landlords may have preferences or reservations on behaviours of tenants, we encourage that these be clearly outlined in the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.

However, it is also important to note that those terms need not impinge on the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises by the tenants.

The council awaits the enactment of appropriate legislation and enforcement body that can deal with landlord and tenancy issues which is a major concern in the Fijian marketplace.

Once again landlords are reminded that consumers should not be discriminated against and denied rental premises by the landlords based on ethnicity, race and gender.

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