Rent freeze order may be replaced with new policy

March 1, 2024 6:39 am

The Fijian Competition and Consumers Commission has proposed a significant transition in its rent control policies.

Chief Executive Joel Abraham says the current rent freeze order, which has been in place to alleviate financial strain on tenants, may soon be replaced with a rent stabilization policy.

Abraham emphasizes the necessity of implementing a structured approach.

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He cautions that without a regulatory framework, some landlords might exploit the situation by imposing exorbitant rental increases, potentially exceeding 100%.

“And basically, this will be through a standard rent control system, and here the rental rate will be adjusted on an L1 basis using the consumer price index, which simply means that we will be working on implementing a system where rent increases are kept at a reasonable percentage annually, which ideally would be corresponding to inflationary pressures.”

The proposed rent stabilization policy aims to mitigate such risks by introducing a system where the FCCC will set annual adjustment rates for rental prices.

Abraham also says they will be undertaking a very comprehensive analysis of the housing market and its dynamics.

He says they will identify any competitive issues, including any barriers to entry, and that they will be proposing measures for efficiency and affordability, which will be made directly to the government.

The FCCC CEO also states they will release these details to the public as well.

According to Abraham, they want to get a better understanding of what affordable housing is, who are the people that need affordable housing and whether the current processes and initiatives that are available are going to the right people.