LUSAKA Mayor, Daniel Chisenga
LUSAKA Mayor, Daniel Chisenga

Lusaka Mayor Daniel Chisenga says the local authority is exploring ways of introducing a bye law to regulate the level of house rentals charged by landlords.

Mr. Chisenga observed that tenants in Lusaka have been exploited for a long time through exorbitant rentals.

“You find that somebody who bought this house at K10, 000 during the Chiluba housing empowerment initiative is today charging K 2 million for rentals for the same property with little or no renovations to the property,” Mr. Chisenga said.

“As LCC, we find it unfair that Lusaka residents have to struggle with high rentals and we are looking at introducing some form of regulation to protect poor families from exploitation over rentals.”

He said the shortage of affordable housing units in the city is a key development issue facing Lusaka.

Mr. Chisenga was speaking when he officiated at a ceremony to launch the 2013 Women’s Build Week project by Habitat for Humanity Zambia.

He commended Habitat for its work aimed at ensuring that poor communities are provided with low cost housing.

And Habitat for Humanity Zambia National Director Joseph Musanje revealed that over 20,000 individuals across the country have benefitted from Habitat’s housing empowerment programme.

He said home ownership is important to human development hence the need to empower vulnerable communities with decent and affordable housing.

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85 COMMENTS

  1. So the council will identify those Landlords who bought houses at 10 pin and did not carry out any renovations, and apply the rental price controls to this group?

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    • Its so difficult to comment on this rubbish
      Commonsense is not common after all Mr Chisenga

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    • But the Mayor makes sense mudala. In fact he was merely giving an example and not necessarily landlords who bot cheap houses but many more. It is very unfair to find a one bedroomed house in Kaunda Square costing my salary. This stupidity shud be stopped.

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    • @Mambala, this is just the law of demand and supply at play. Controlling the rents will not guarantee access. All that will happen is that it will lead to cheating, whereby tenant and landlord agree on a cash (undeclared extra) payment outside the contract price. This already happens with house sale contracts in order to keep PTT low. What the Mayor should be focusing on is issuing a Municipal Bond and using the proceeds to build more houses and pricing them at his preferred level, thus driving down rentals of the existing housing stock. See what has happened in the low density areas, where because of low demand rentals have dropped from ZKR 10000 to ZMR3-7000/mth.

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  2. that will be fair these landloards when you rent from them they think you will take up any price they dream of thy will just work up rent ni 2million ngasumufuna chokani

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    • It is a very welcome move, imagine zoona bakamba bondi one room(lumu) at five zali nangu 650 ni salary yamuntu iyo ahh!! Viva PF please twachula pafula. Ati muchokemo ngati simufuna atase, landlord amona kwati tutolafye imikilo?

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    • prices are high because there is insufficient quality housing for the average working class in the city..common sense really, why not identify more land for construction of residential housing within the municipality, expand Lusaka. How can you honestly regulate rental prices? Will you evaluate every house in the city? someone help me understand how?

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  3. Leave the prices to be determined by the market. Price controls will mean removing the monetary incentives for landlords to put up more housing to alleviate the shortage we already have.

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  4. That will be tricky?? Some houses are pimped others are not. Are they going to conduct a door to door survey ??

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  5. Something that is long overdue. Phew… Hope prices will be based on official property evaluations. Balusaka landlords are exhorbitantly(sp) reaping tenants. Kindly regulate the activities of agents too. For instance make the payment of commision to agents a shared burden and lets have it enacted into law.

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  6. Ya African thinking! Ya it does not cease to amaze me imwe! guys this is very simple supply and demand. You can’t regulate house rentals even if you did how are you going to enforce it, If GRZ cannot even collect Tax on most house rentals???? You talked about Habitat! Then find ways of giving them more land so they can build more cheap houses

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    • making rentals amenable to taxing will regulate the price!of course there has to be evaluation,not ka cabin just becos its in chilenje at 700thou,ABUSE..

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  7. BWANA MAYOR DON’T EXPOSE YOUR VOMITUS IN PUBLIC.PROPERTY APPRECIATES WITH YEARS.A HOUSE BOUGHT FOR 2 MILLION TODAY WILL BE WORTH 10 MILLION AFTER 5 YEARS.THEN THERE IS WHAT WE CALL SUPPLY AND DEMAND.IN ADDITION HOUSE RENTALS FOR A 3 BEDROOMED HOUSE IN KABULONGA WILL BE MORE THAN THE SAME HOUSE IN KABWATA .INSTEAD OF COMING UP WITH PRICE CONTROLS WHY DON’T YOU COME UP WITH WAYS OF BUILDING MORE HOUSE WHICH YOU CAN OFFER AT SUBSIDIZED PRICE.OH THAT REMINDS ME, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLANS OF BUILDING SKY SCRAPPER FLATS IN KAMWALA,CHILENJE AND KABWATA AREAS?

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    • Calling forconstruction of low/medium or highcost housing has a cost and when the taxes are not forth coming from greedy landlords of 1972 houses in most lusaka urban areas, how then can the council provide new housing? Let alone improvements in providing services like street lighting, street cleaning, municipal security and garbage collection. Logic is important when analysing issues. dont just look at your position. Im a landlord myself and probably one of the few who allows my tenant to pay the agreed rentals minus VAT. However, Im at pains cause my VAT is not bringing in the clean streets, lighting or the security I desire. Just hoping the regulation of rentals will help with improvements.

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  8. If not careful PF will turn Zambia’s economy into another disaster just like Zimbabwe. Things start small then grow big until the economy is on its knees. For example PF imposed price control on mealie meal with the end result being shortage of the commodity. If I am a miller and you control prices of wunga then I would rather use my maize to make something else like chicken feed where the controls haven’t been imposed yet – that is simple logic that PF can’t see. Now this chap wants to regulate rentals and we all know that the end result will be acute shortages of accommodation in Lusaka. Some people put their houses on rent by sacrificing their well being and stay in shanties. Now if you remove that gain then they will all go back to occupy their homes and evict all their tenants.

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    • I totally disagree with your view. While demand is higher than the supply at this stage, the current environment remains unregulated thus putting the tenant and GRZ at a loss and further perpetuating the manipulation of tennants in terms of mainatenance costs. We all agree that Real estate is aviable business, but to say let things be is throwing caution to the wind. Let us first have binding and transparent SOPs in this sector before we can start expanding. Right now Real estate investors from SA are providing accommodation in managed residential compounds, where basic anemities such as garbbage collection, security, laundry, etc are covered, simply beacuse this is the norm in SA. This puts the local landlord at a disadvantage because of pushing the mainatinance burden to tenant.

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  9. Very true. However, can the council pay salaries to its workers. This is the second month now. How do you expect your workers to carry-out their duties effectively? Njala yapaya!!!

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    • You mean the Council workers have not ben paid yet? How will they negotiate for new salary scales when GRZ is slowly running out of cash. Sata just like Amin will ask his BOZ Governor Dada Gondwe to just print more money for peoples pockets.
      What happened to the Unions? All offcials on GRZ brown envelope roll? In the meantime Kaseba doesn’t even know what to do with the billions on her account as the King’s house is being completed on the other side of town. The man should also put a shopping centre in Mpika for his villagemates!

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  10. i think most of u bloggers u have got shallow think capacity.Why?becouse even something which is simple,for u it is difficuty.look at zesco tarrifs before prepered metres.The prices were charged differently acordiing to the compound standards.not as an individual,id*****ts.woodlands was charged differently and chunga was on a different charge.do u get me u idio##ts.this same system can be applied 2 rentals.do u understand motherfu**********kers

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  11. Tricky indeed, houses are in private hands so iyiyena teti iboombe… The tenancy agreement is btwn the landlord and the tenant so even if u regulated the forces of supply and demand will apply themselves in this circumstance. Its like saying domestic workers salaries are raised to this, has that worked…??? the agreement is btwn two pipo and its so tricky imwe ba CHISENGA just build council houses again to alleviate the mismatch…..

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  12. LCC is very right on this one. Lusaka house rent prices are too high. Imagine i rent a a 3 bed room house for 2 million whilst my neighbor pays 1.5 million.

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    • Is the standard the same with your neighbor?? We talking about how the house looks, does it have ceramic tiles, what is the condition of doors, taps toilet(s) ,bathroom do they have any leaks ?? Is it well fenced?? Is there a borehole or swimming poor?? How big is the TV rooms window??

      Their are alot of factors to consider

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    • my neighbor’s house is in a wall fence and mine is not. the standard are the same. Still the old standard.

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  13. So, there is a housing shortage that has pushed rentals up? Ok, and now there will be a disincentive for the private sector to invest in housing and increase supply.

    Clearly a lack of logic in this idea

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  14. Tata lesa ubututu Mayor. These are matters of the law of demand and supply. This govt instead of building more houses or have building friendly policies to provide decent shelter he is day dreaming, just because he did a citizen arrest so he thinks he can arrest the high rentals!! My foot!

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  15. Apply some SUPPLY and DEMAND Mr chisenga.Hw do you regulate prices when you dont have a single unit you sold all of them.

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  16. The council should build houses which they should be renting at a lower price to cushion the effect. Simple but problem is council houses are never welll maintained. So in short, why did you people agree to sell off council houses in the first place

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  17. Its is important to introduce a bye law for prostitution charges cos. in mansa i paid 20pin but in lusaka 100pin but its same stuff.

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  18. Having lived outside Zed most of my working life I find some behaviors actually untenable especially in view of maintenance of lodgings by the landlords. Most of the apartments still have pre-independence fixtures that are hopelessly plastered until it doesn’t make sense anymore. I believe the bye-law will be looking at important things like that. Additionally, the behavior of asking for huge sums of rentals in advance to cover a long period is also very strange. I don’t see why we shouldn’t have a well networked system that will ensure tenants are liable on a monthly basis. I also hope that if enforced, the municipality will be able to protect the landlords so that they can feel confident to reduce their rental intervals… amongst others.

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    • Kalok why didn’t you buy a house or better still build it to your standards instead of complaining.you were earning forex.

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  19. When you live in an apartment outside Zed (just next door in Namibia, or SA) most of the practices you find in Zed are unheard of. There is continuous evaluation, you have estates agents’ groupings and a well regulated municipality-landlord-tenant conversation going on all the time.

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  20. The honorable mayor is clearly lost, backward and out of touch with reality. Property letting is a business that cannot be regulated by price controls.

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  21. As you go further afield into Europe and the USA it becomes a weekly affair this liability of the tenant. So we do need a good look not just at revising bye-laws but at the entire system to create a meaningful conversation that will give everyone a sense of satisfaction and not just a needs-fulfillment…

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  22. Ba Mayor,
    any where in the world be it in Mogadishu or Madrid or some other capital city, rentals are high. simple reason is that too many people in capital cities chasing too few houses.
    just put up many housing units and you might prove me wrong.

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  23. Landlords do not just dream up prices, in many cases the rental installment is calculated towards settling equity borrowed in comin up with the estate. So price controls will only hurt borrowing as defaulters will be many and Banks will be hurt. Rent rates are market driven and let them stay that way.

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    • Think before you talk, there is very little sense in what ur saying but u sound like u are as ignorant as the MAYOR… which equity on 10pin houses?? Rent and rates to me who is well acquainted with this though used in different context should never be next to each other… I can explain to u but u sound blank… sorry

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    • Ex ZIT,
      To further put my being ‘blank’ into context, picture this. The same council will approve the sale of a plot in a place like Salama park, measuring 60×40, at a price of 150 million and for the same size in mass media area at 500 million. Now someone has to borrow that money to buy that plot and borrow further to construct, let’s say, a three bedroomed structure. Hence their total liability could easily stand at 700 million if the building is erected in mass media. If that money is borrowed from a bank with a repayment period of 60 months or 5 years, the compensating monthly instalment will hover around 11 million. This just to service the liability never considering any earnings. Thus if one levies a client rentals of 12m for the house in mass media, they are justified.

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  24. The PF seem to think they can just use simple solutions for very sophiscated matters and expect them to work.

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  25. Mr. Mayor, be innovative, this is a basic economic supply and demand issue, just flood the housing market with new housing. Prices will naturally fall without dictating and patronizing innocent home owners.

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  26. Will we ever develop as a nation? I wonder wat kind of ‘a’ pipo we are coz everything that someone says, pipo are against be it good or bad. At times measures have to be put in place to control things even if supply and demand plays a major role. One day someone will say lets control salaries for specific qualified pipo eg Doctors, teachers, Engineers etc but be pipo will still be against. The main thing is that we all want to have money in our pockets….Stop the negativity

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    • Jinko, this is day dreaming by the mayor. This is simple supply and demand theory, solution is building more houses and in any case since when did it become the role of the mayor to think about the plight of tenants?
      This level of ignorance beats modern day thinking. We have abundant land, therefore we must invest heavily in real estate, KK temunenu for having put up Kabwata Highrise flats!!!

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  27. Ba Councillor Chisenga, there are what we call push and pull factors in urban or rural development. For Lusaka, the key push factor is the high cost of residential and office accomodation; the pull factors are obvious; the very things making you wish to stay in LUSAKA for eternity. For those in rural areas, the reverse is true. So my point is, let market forces play their role in determining rental rates. If you are in Lusaka, you must be able to afford your comfortable existence in that part of the country or else move out! Otherwise, going by your plans, Lusaka will be full to the rafters; to a point where even petty thieves will be able to rent a villa or flat in Ibex Hill, Kabulonga and so on. Just an after thought, do you intend to also come up with a by law to regulate the cost of…

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    • thats a solid point man… the problem in Zed is that the system tends to discourage the people who are trying to take initiative and compete economically.. this is a simple issue, one doesnt have to live in lusaka when theres so many other cheaper places in Zed.. if you cant afford it you move. just becoz some people are always crying ati “ba government bachite something about this” doesnt make it the solution sure… nangu nikufuna ma votes

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  28. What qualifications (education) does the Mayor hold?

    It is time you relinquish governing yourselves as a country and invite your Colonial masters back.

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  29. #9.2, Nakabalika has a point,
    Look people, don’t comment were you know less, It is possible to control the rentals, if you know the concepts of a mixed economy then you would not object to this
    ‘it clearly states that the government shall regulate the economy especially to protect the interests of the consumer from exploitation’ period. Yes we respect the laws of supply and demand but to a certain level we need to have controls in place, lets have SOP’S (Standard operating Procedures) this is the only country where things are left to run without any form of control. it is the reason why that old men of today don’t even think of going back to the village, all they dream of is putting the house on rent after retirement and forever remain in the city…. this is why Lusaka is now…

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    • The theory of supply and demand is straightforward. One effect of government oversight is to retard investment in residential rental units. Imagine that you have some million of dollars to invest and can place the funds in any industry you wish. In most businesses governments will place only limited controls and taxes on your enterprise. But if you entrust your money to rental housing, you must pass one additional hurdle: the rent-control authority, with its hearings, red tape, and rent ceilings. Under these conditions is it any wonder that you are less likely to build or purchase rental housing

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  30. This is a good move indeed and I hope LCC will persue it to it logical implimentation.The rates for house rentals should consider things like the area where the house is,if there are shops,schools,clinics,nearby,how secure the area is,the state of access roads,etc.The size of the house should also be considered but I dont think a three bedroom house in Mtendere should have the same rate as a three bedroom house in woodlands!Most people who rent houses are poor or survive on meagre salaries that cannot afford to pay such high rates.LCC should put a limit on how much a house in a given area should be rented out at.The landlords should also register to LCC as service providers and pay fees for renting out houses!!

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  31. I see it coming. All those who bought Council and Government Houses might just lose them through repossession very soon.

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  32. I hope the government is collecting tax from these property owners. Strengthen the law and collect tax instead of burdening the simple workers earning very little.

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  33. This is one of the more intelligent plans that I have heard. The property market is one of the most uncontrolled sectors of this country. Landlords basically dream up new prices and effect them with little or no regard to factors affecting the economy. Inflation plays a huge part in this. If someone has not seen a salary hike in two years, is it fair for the landlord to hike his rent because it has not been hiked in a while? There are tiny houses where rentals are as high as KR15,000. Compare this with a house costing the same in Jo’burg. The house in Jo’burg is worth every little bit of it. LCC, please do it quickly.

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  34. my biggest concern is the so called ” Security deposit” this is daylight robbery, because this money is never refunded as it should be, the Landlord will come up with a lot of issues at the end of ones tenancy. In countries were this is regulated, it must be deposit in a Bank and accrue interest, and at the end of tenancy, the land lord must prepared a list of liability to the tenant, the difference must be refunded together with interest.

    This were the powers be should come in

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  35. Yaba mayor iwe uliwakumushi, just build and put your ramshackle at KR10!

    Even if you bought a house at KR10, u need to price it in accordance with current economic conditions such as cost of goods and services and most importantly supply and demand factors.

    if you regulate you will put tenants into problems as landlords will decide also to lockup their houses, whoever will have higher bargaining powers will carry the day. Most likely in our case the landlord, because the mayor hasnt provided the more housing units.

    No one will be providing accommodation to your cadres if u were to go ahead with your agenda

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  36. Ba itaya ba mayor on this one.This is a one sided issue bwana mayor have you find out how much housing allowance some of these tenants you want to favor get? if you you reduce rentals it means they will have disposable income for beer and mahules.A landlord will just evict any tenant who will not be able to pay his rentals and call his bululu to come and occupy the house and additionally he may tell the evicted tenant to go to Lcc so that he can given a house with there price controls.

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  37. Man i know you had to say something on this important day but this is total RUBISH.Nerxt time do your home work.

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  38. Don’t kubeba 90 days philosophy. So you gonna also regulate prices of building materials, electricity and water. You really have no moral right to speak about this issue Mr. Mayor. Do u service these areas with street lights, roads sewer systems. Its the Lands lords that ve to deal with this. Ati regulate rentals.

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  39. mr.chisenga .don’t leave out the so called boarding houses doted around universities.The chaps are charging kr400/bed space/person in a very small room.

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  40. I totally agree that something urgently needs to be done. You will only understand this if you are not a landlord yourself, or you pay your own rent to landlords who have done nothing to maintain their properties but are charging more than an arm and a leg for rentals!!Most Landlords are unfair and do not even consider the condition of their properties, they think money falls from trees.
    Even a cottage or servants quarter is expensive now, are they saying only the rich shall live in neat, well maintained houses. How can a house will broken windows, doors, cupboards, 1-2 bedrooms go at K3000?????Its not going to be easy to do, but something has to be done!!!

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    • hahahaha… ati “only the rich shall live in neat”. but Melisa, still…. if a landlord says K3000 for a house it’s because he knows that you have no choice. but if he knows you have somewhere else to go for cheap he has no choice but to reduce… just think of the vendors at the market who will sell a pair of shoes for half the market price just because of competition

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  41. just open new residential plots for people instead of rewriting old history of the Kaunda chiluba era. are you running short of ideas already?????????????

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