Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

The rent is too damn high

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on April 17, 2006

Showing that life really isn’t that different anywhere, people in Trinidad are complaining about skyrocketing rents. The article isn’t just a list of whiny complaints, though — these people have legitimate beefs:

Janelle doesn’t know how old her apartment is, but her neighbour remembers the building from her childhood. And, according to Janelle, nothing much is done in the way of maintenance. “The roof was so bad that I had to get someone to fix it,” she said. “Before that, when it rained during the night, I had to get up and go sleep on the couch.”

Granted, Janelle is paying relatively little (even by Trinidadian standards) to live in a prime location, but still! It would be nice if the landlord could make sure that the saying “roof over one’s head” was kept true in a literal sense. But why are these slumlords getting away with it?

The [Rent Assessment Board] official, who does not wish to be named, said that landlords have gotten out of hand. And why has this been allowed? “You won’t believe it,” he said, “But the Rent Act, which is supposed to monitor these things, expired in February 2002 and hasn’t been renewed since … the landlords are having a field day.”

“It’s waiting in Parliament,” he continued, “But government is saying that it needs a two-thirds majority to pass it and the Opposition is saying that that isn’t necessary. They’re playing football with the issue.”

I “won’t believe it”? Only if I haven’t been paying attention. This is fairly standard issue behaviour from our friends ‘Landslide‘ Manning and ‘Has a fool for a client’ Panday. These are the ame people who helped push BWIA into financial basket-case-ry by not modifying our aviation legislation for years, meaning that Trinidad remained a Category 2 country, and BWIA lost many opportunities for manoeuvring in the US. But that’s another story, for another time.

But God forbid we look to a third party…

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