Fiji Labour Party warns that the Commerce Commission decision to lift the freeze on domestic rents would see an explosion of rent increases and cause more hardship for people already struggling with high living costs.
FLP also denounces the Commission’s call for landlords to register their properties.
“This is just another instance of over-regulation by the authorities,” said FLP President Lavinia Padarath.
“There is already too much interference particularly with small businessenterprises. The regime’s tendency to control everything will stifleentrepreneurship and deter investment,” she said.
The requirement for registration of property ownership will be an imposition and is unnecessary,” Ms Padarath said.
Labour believes the freeze on domestic rents should continue. However,landlords wanting to increase rentals to recover cost increases, should use the mechanism already in place. They should apply for rent increases, giving their justifications.
Domestic rent freeze was introduced to stop landlords from taking undue advantage of Fiji’s serious housing shortage problem.
Should domestic rents sky rocket, as is likely to happen if the freeze is lifted, people in the lower income bracket unable to afford higher rents, will be forced to move to squatter settlements.
As it is an estimated 20% of our population live as squatters.