The conduct of landlords will soon be monitored more closely by the Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) through a digital database.
The ‘e-Landlord Registration System’ will include information such as agency, location, property description, value of investment, spaces for rent, rental income and age of properties.
“Access to the information will be restricted to landlords and agents upon initial registration as a user and later as a landlord,” said FCCC chief executive officer Joel Abraham.
Mr Abraham said he wanted to roll out the new system in the next six to nine months.
Judging by the response to FCCC’s public call for voluntary registration in 2015, majority landlords seem opposed to the move.
But Mr Abraham says making the registration process mandatory is “the way forward.”
“One of the causes is the absence of a compulsory registration requirement under the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010 (FCCC Act 2010) which can ensure all landlords and agents operating property rentals for residential purposes are captured in its system,” Mr Abraham said.
“Having such a system in place will allow FCCC to effectively monitor their compliance to the relevant provisions of the FCCC Act 2010.”
The system, Mr Abraham said, would be rolled out in the next six to nine months and will help FCCC “minimise opportunities for the landlord to engage in underhanded dealings.
A call for expressions of interest was advertised last week in the Fiji Sun to develop the system.
“The system will allow for an efficient rent control system while making the complaints resolution process for tenants faster,” he said.
“With the system being rolled out FCCC will have an extensive database system which will be capable for capturing the properties being let out for residential purposes and all landlords and tenants involved.”
“Landlords will be compelled to register into the system, thus ensuring they are under FCCC’s radar. This will further enhance FCCC’s control capacity and minimise opportunities for the landlord to engage in underhanded dealings.
This article was originally published in the Fiji Sun newspaper on April 19, 2018.