You might not think this to be of any use to you or will never happen to you but I would suggest that you read my account anyway, you just never know. After reading my account,you might encounter a friend who might need snippets of information from this. If thats the case, please pass it on. As I have already mentioned, you just never know…….
My nightmare on Blogodo Road started 10 years ago when my Mother, Elizabeth Laingoye Lartey passed away. After her burial, I entrusted the renting out of her house to my late Uncle Adjin ( a very bad and foolish move by me, knowing fully well of his history when it comes to matters like this). I was in the UK when my Uncle rung up to inform me that he had found a tenant for my late Mums house at Nyaniba. So I got the trip down to Accra with the intension of sorting out the rent with my new tenants. Their names were kenneth Astrom and Florence Massoud and they rented the property under the company name of Afro Satcom Ltd. Two days after arriving in Accra, I took a trip to Nyaniba with Alhaji Said Sinare and Ms Mariama Alhassan. When we got there, we immediately noticed that there were some renovation working taking place in the main building. Said’s immediate reaction was that there must have been some exchange of money before this renovation would have taken place. So the next day I questioned my Uncle who assured me that he hadn’t collected any money and that Kenneth was expecting me so that we could sort out the rent. All this didn’t sit well with me, however I went the next day to see Kenneth at Nyaniba. When I got there, I met Florence Massoud, Kenneth’s partner. ten minutes into our conversation immediately revealed to me that some money had exchanged hands, to be exact $6,000.00 US dollars. She even brought out a receipt to confirm the payment. And this was where I made my first mistake I should have halted whatever work was being done on the house. After asking my Uncle several times to the rent advance he had collected, I finally gave up as it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to get a dime from that money.
So over the years, a lot has happened. There has been breeches of the Tenancy agreement by the tenants, to which I have failed to act on mainly because of the fact that I didn’t appoint a person to visit the property on a regular basis, some one like an Estate Agent. So if you ever decide to rent out your property, please seek the assistance of a qualified Estate Agent. Do not worry about the thought of paying for the services, at least your interest will be placed first. On a few occasions, I employed my then lawyer to sort this out, but being who and what he is, nothing happened.
Currently, the tenancy agreement has come to the end of its life span. Last year in January, the tenant wanted a 5 year extension of the tenancy agreement. I flatly refused this. Nearer to the time the agreement was to expire, I travelled to Ghana on another business and took the opportunity to remind the tenant that I would be coming back to Ghana on the 2nd of January 2011 to collect the keys to the premises. The tenant took this meeting to request again for an extension which I refused. She even went to the extent of getting a lawyer to officially request for an extension for her. I immediately wrote back to refuse the request. Basically I had bloody had enough of this tenant and needed the premises for myself and family. I later got to learn that the tenant had rented out the main building to a couple for a period that extended past her tenancy agreement with me. How dubious can one get. She also failed to mention to the couple that her tenancy agreement was ending on the 1st of this month.
I arrived in Ghana on the 1st of January. On the 2nd, I called the tenant several times in an attempt to meet up with her. Not on one occasion did she pick up her [hone on that sunday. It appears the cat and mouse chase had started. The next day, early in the morning, I got a call from the tenant. She informed me that she was on her way to F515/4 Nyaniba Estates, and that I should meet her there at 10AM. Some Ghanaians are really fickle with their time keeping. This tenant fell exactly into that category of Ghanaians. She finally arrived at 11.15AM. The next 30 minutes between us almost turned into world war 3. After providing me with a seat to sit down, this woman told me that by law I am supposed to give her 3 months notice to quit the property. In fact, her mentioning this suddenly pissed me off. The reason I was pissed of was because this woman waited all this time to tell me this. She knew I was coming to Ghana to collect the keys, she could have called me to preempt me. Anyway, i was not going to let this piss me off any further.
So far: I have issued her with an eviction notice, giving her 3 months to look for accommodation else where. However I have got wind of some information that she is asking certain people within Nyaniba Estates if anyone knows of a house in Nyaniba which hasn’t been renovated. Further to that, she has requested from her previous tenants (tenants she has rented out the main building to) permission to make an assessment of the main building. They immediately refused her permission. My immediate reaction was “what the hell is this woman up to”. Then it dawned on me that she wants to make an assessment of how much she has spent in renovating the place and then get some money back from me. I dug out the original contract I drew up with Afro SAtcom and lo an behold the contract mentioned that if the tenant wanted to change any aspect of the original build, he/she would need to put this into writing. I have never in the past 10 years received a request from the tenant.
My next stop is to get my lawyer to officially write to her with supporting documents attached to state categorically she MUST leave the building at the end of the grace period. To make sure that I am acting within the strict confines of the law, I am seeking further advice as to when the use of force (getting the police involved) can be applied.
Do not be bitten and gnawed by a tenant from hell as I have been. Since the very beginning, I lost focus but by Gods Grace nothing as yet goes against me, except for the tenant is staying on for another 3 months, which I can handle. But just imagine the frustration that would have cropped up if I desperately needed that accommodation then and there!