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Property sector to continue reviewing rates upwards

Pindai Dube

THE Estate Agents Council (EAC) says the property sector will continue reviewing property rates upwards as the sector is not affected by the presidential decree outlawing price increases.

EAC chairman Oswald Nyakunika told the businessdigest this week that the sector would invoke the 1983 Statutory Instruments’ definitions of fair rent to review their rates.

“Section 17C of that Statutory Instrument refers to leases and appears basically to re-emphasise the fact that Statutory Instrument 676 of 1983 (Commercial and Industrial) and Statutory Instrument 32 of 2007 are still operational and, therefore, definition of fair rental as contained therein still applies and it further states that permitted increases (expenses) or recurrent expenditure can be passed on to tenants,” said Nyakunika.

President Robert Mugabe through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act recently imposed a six-month freeze on salary and price increases across the board, in a move the government says was necessary to control inflation.

Nyakunika said nothing contained therein prohibits rental negotiations and, therefore, rentals cannot be indexed according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe last month said it had submitted the property price formula to the government for consideration, but the authorities have remained mum on the issues which led to the sector facing collapses.

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