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Gono threatens to tame estate agencies

Loughty Dube

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has threatened to take stern measures against real estate agencies charging exorbitant rentals.

Gono said he would address the issue of rentals once and for all when he presents his second quarter review of the monetary policy in August.

He said he was aware of concerns over the operations of estate agents that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“Estate agents occupy a high place in my agenda during my forthcoming address and the issue of the operations of real estate agencies need to be attended to because that industry has been faced with a lot of irregularities,” Gono said.

Zimbabweans have complained of exorbitant rentals being charged by estate agencies, some of which quote rentals in foreign currency.

The Real Estate Association of Zimbabwe last year announced a new rental format whereby rents would go up every quarter, citing gallopping inflation.

In Harare, properties in the prime low-density areas fetch monthly rentals of up to $10 million, while properties in the high-density areas are being rented out at up to $2 million.

Gono said he could not pre-empt the measures the RBZ was taking to remove irregularities on the housing rentals market.

“The RBZ would not want to pre-empt the measures we are currently taking with regards to real estates agencies,” Gono said.

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