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House rents are too high but comprehensive policy needed

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04th-Jan-2017       Readers ( 114 )   0 Comments
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HELPLESS tenants are in the wilderness due to anarchy prevailing in the way house rents are being increased for years together. A national daily reported on Saturday that house rents have increased around 388% in 25 years in Dhaka. Other major cities like Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Bogra and Sylhet are also not far behind in this race. Every year January comes as a nightmare to the tenants around the country. This is the lucrative month amongst the house owners, as there is a tradition in our country to increase house rent in January according to their whim. As per observation of the Consumers' Association of Bangladesh (CAB) prices of essential commodities have increased over 200% in the last 25 years. It means increase of house rent was double than that of essential commodities within the same span of time. A law was introduced 25 years back to ensure discipline in increasing house rent. But the law remained inactive because no rules were enacted in this regard.

We have to admit that house rents depend on demand and supply. In the capital city, the concentration of people is too high. A responsible government would have enough control over the inflow of people from outside. Our problem is the absence of competence in administration. The persons in power are talking of mega projects and they have no plans of addressing problems of the general public.

This is true that many landlords try to justify high rents on the ground of increased cost of living and all sorts of taxes on their houses. There has to be a comprehensive scheme for bringing down the rents. The Consumers' Association may play an active role. We also need a government not busy only with the stories of Liberation War but as government for the people.

We cannot deny that for many old and retired persons, house rents are only source of income in their old days. So any sensible policy must be a balance for protecting both the house owners' interest and capacity of the tenants.  

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