Landlords in Ghana appear divided after it was announced on Tuesday they could face sanctions for failure to check the Covid-19 status of foreign nationals before renting out their properties to them.
Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea, who was speaking during a press briefing on Tuesday said landlords must be wary of such tenants as they may put their households and immediate families at risk.
He said: “It is very mandatory to insist that without a COVID-19 negative clearance the landlord should not rent out the premises. We all know that this pandemic has been imported so be careful that in the name of dollars you do not go and bring in a foreigner who hasn’t gotten clearance that he or she is not infected by the disease to come and live in the premises.”
He further added: “We all know that this pandemic has been imported so be careful that in the name of dollars you do not go and bring in a foreigner who hasn’t gotten clearance that he or she is not infected by the disease to come and live in the premises. I need not remind you that the virus is an importation from foreigners and those who had contacts with them prior to the lockdown.”
But it appears many property owners have varied views following the Minister’s announcement.
A 69-year-old retired teacher Kofi Okyere, who is a landlord of a three-storey building at Asafo in Kumasi, questioned how such documents could be verified.
He said though health officials may take up such roles, authorities must provide clarity on the new measures.
“In fact it’s been 15 years since I built this house; I wouldn’t mind renting it to foreign nationals but my worry is who monitors these individuals when they gain access to the country through our borders,” Mr Okyere said. “It’s a laudable idea but needs a second look”.
Assenso, a 40-year-old owner of a four-bedroom house at Aputuogya in the Bosomtwe District said: “For me I have no problem with this new directive since he has valid documents I will let him in but will strictly enforce Covid-19 protocols”.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH