fbpx

Can I take my landlady to court for moving me out?

BY: Mirror Lawyer

Dear Mirror Lawyer, I am Ama Duncan, a 28-year-old resident of Bantama, Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region. I have been living in a rented property for the past one year six months.

My landlady is, however, not ordinarily resident in Ghana. She has been living in Germany since I came to live in her property. However, I was served with a notice by her nephew, the caretaker of the property, that my tenancy shall not be renewed when it expires in six months, which shall constitute the two years rent I paid.

The reason for this, according to the caretaker, is that his aunt, my landlady, is returning to Ghana to permanently live here and would be staying in the house I rented and am currently living in. I just found out that I am two months pregnant and thus in no shape for the hustle of relocating while dealing with my pregnancy or a baby.

My question is, does any legal remedy exist which can be used to ensure I retain my tenancy in this house?

Ama Duncan, Kumasi

Dear Ama, I hope you are doing well. I am sure each one of us can empathise with the headache that comes with having to relocate. However, landlord-tenant relationships are not to be maintained in perpetuity.

With time, and with legal compliance, they all come to an end. Let us proceed to analyse whether or not any legal provision may assist you in maintaining your tenancy.

According to Section 17 of the Rent Act 1963 (Act 220), there exist certain conditions which may justify the recovery of possession by a landlord over his/her property. One such condition is where the landlord notifies by writing his/her tenant of an intention to recover the rented property for the landlord’s own use.

In this case, the facts do suggest your landlady requires the property for her personal purpose and has provided you with a notice to that effect. I am afraid you do not have a legal remedy here.

Further, at the expiration of each tenancy period, it is generally up to both parties to determine upon negotiation if the tenancy shall be renewed, subject to the terms of the tenancy agreement. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can be forced to agree to a renewal of the tenancy, as that would be unlawful. But you could negotiate for an extension of your tenancy until you have delivered your baby before moving out.

If that negotiation is accepted, then I will advise you not to go to sleep but to use the time before your delivery to look for an alternative accommodation to move into with your newborn baby.

If your plea for extension is turned down, I advise you to accept the notice that has been given to you and begin the search for a new place to rent, pending the expiration of the remaining six months. Good luck with the search and with motherhood.

pull quote

According to Section 17 of the Rent Act 1963 (Act 220), there exist certain conditions which may justify the recovery of possession by a landlord over his/her property.