Foreigners seeking to rent a residential or commercial property in Ghana are now to secure a covid-19 clearance certificate, the government has announced.
Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, said Tuesday that property owners must demand clearance certificate from all foreigners showing that they are covid-19 negative before renting out their property them.
“Landlords must also be worried of potential tenants from foreign countries..It is very mandatory to insist that without a covid-19 negative clearance the landlord should not rent out the premises,” Mr Atta Akyea announced at a news conference in Accra
The decision, he explained stems from the fact that the deadly coronavirus was imported into the country.
He however did not say which institution will be responsible for the issuance of the said clearance and how it will be enforced.
Since the first two cases of the virus were recorded in the country on March 12, Ghana has gone on to record a total of 1,671 as at April 28 with 16 deaths with 188 recoveries.
Of the 1,671 cases, 563 have come from general surveillance while 105 were from those quarantined in Accra and 10 from those quarantine in Tamale with the remaining 1,113 being detected from enhanced tracing.
Although Ghana started with imported cases, the number of local infections has reached 87 per cent.
Mr Atta Akyea asked landlords not to be influenced by money to sidestep the new requirement warning flouting it will attract punitive sanctions.
“We all know that this pandemic has been imported so be careful that in the name of dollars you’re gonna bring in a foreigner who hasn’t got clearance that he is not infected with the disease,” he said.
Meanwhile, he has advised landlords not to abuse the electricity and water relief given to all Ghanaians across.
“The President is showing utmost care and generosity in these trying moments in the nation’s history. Landlords are also entreated to extend similar treatment to tenants as they will not be spared if they exploit the situation and fall foul of the law” he warned.
Also, he has advised landlords to desist from ‘tormenting’ tenants in this covid-19 era where people are being asked to stay home.
“We’re being admonished to stay at home as much as possible, and even with the lifting of the lockdown, you have to stay at home, but if where you are staying is having challenges because of the bad behaviour of a landlord or landlady, for that matter, it will be extremely unGhanaian”.
“How is it going to work in this COVID environment if landlords with commercial appetite start evicting tenants from their premises? That will be very unGhanaian”, Mr Atta Akyea stated