Landlords in various student residential areas across the country have been called upon to scrupulously respect the homologated prices for rents.
The call was made last Thursday, September 9 during a consultation meeting between various stakeholders, notably the Ministries of Trade, Housing, representatives of the various State universities, representatives of landlords, and student union leaders.
The meeting comes after several complaints from the student union leaders who had threatened to go on strike last month but later halted their action following discussions with the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo.
During last Thursday’s meeting, landlords were heavily criticised for increasing the prices of rents two to three times higher than the approved grid.
Equally, it emerged in the meeting that the landlords have been imposing an advance payment of rents of ten or complete payment of one year instead of monthly.
Apart from this sum imposed on students before the keys of a room are granted, the deposit required here is more than two months rent, contrary to the regulations in force. As a result, about thirty percent of houses in student residential areas are occupied by non students.
On their parts, some of the landlords justified their actions on the fact that they need to recoup the money spent in constructing their houses. Others added that the unscrupulous nature of some students who disappear into thin air, owing several months of rents pushed them to take measures to ensure students pay rents at once.
Presiding over the meeting, the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education said the goal was to find efficient and long lasting solutions to ensure students study in a serene atmosphere.
He thus called on the landlords, caretakers and owners of residences to respect the approved prices or face heavy sanctions. He equally cautioned the students to be responsible in their acts by regularly paying their rents.