About 44 percent of the total income of a Dhaka dweller goes to house rent, according to a recent study report. Most of the city dwellers are struggling to make their ends meet due to the abnormally high house rent in the capital. It is considered that, house rent should not be over 30pc of the total income of the tenant in an ideal city. Retired government employee Matiur Rahman said, “The way house rent goes up is simply unbearable. No sooner had the new year appeared, my landlord has already notified me increasing the house rent.”
He alleged that Dhaka’s house owners regularly violate the existing house rent act and there is no monitoring or implementation of the law. Commenting on the house owners’ tendency to defy the law, Munir Hossain, a private bank employee in the capital, said, “It’s a common scenario in Dhaka. Nobody pays any heed to this plight of the tenants.”Owners increase house rent at any time of the year and without any prior notice. In many cases, they increase the rent multiple times a year, he alleged.
Terming the House Rent Control Act - 1991 as a defective law, experts blamed lack of consciousness of the tenants behind the disorder in fixation of house rent. They cited the carelessness of tenants as the main reason behind non-implementation of the High Court 2015 order over house rent. According to a recent survey conducted by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), around 71pc of the houses have no open space. There is no firefighting system in 95pc houses in Dhaka.
The survey was conducted over 400 houses of Old Dhaka, Mirpur, Rampura and Badda in the capital. According to the survey, around 68pc dwellers of Dhaka city are tenants while 32pc live in their own houses. “Around 68pc dwellers of Dhaka do not afford to buy their own accommodation due to inadequate income.
“Though a large section of our city dwellers live in rented house, most are unaware of the House Rent Control Act, 1991,” said urban planner Dr Saiful Islam, adding even most of the house owners are ignorant of the law. “In our society, the house owners usually get the upper hand in fixing the rent. When a year ends, the owner increases the rent showing various reasons. They do not have time to think whether it is valid or illegal,” he observed.