Claim: Amasaman Rent Control Department Office locked by landlord for non-payment of rent arrears
Verdict: No Rent Control Department Office has been locked due to non-payment of rent
On Saturday, August 7, 2021, a viral post on social media, claimed a Rent Control Department (RCD) office, under the Ministry of Works and Housing, has been closed down for failure to honour its rent obligations.
The post, which was emanating from a report posted by Ghana News Page on its Facebook page, said the Amasaman office of RCD owed five months rent arrears, which compelled the landlord to lock up the place after several unsuccessful attempts to get it settled.
The landlord, whose name was given as Mr. Joseph Nsiah Abugri, is reported to have said the Department initially made a two-year advance payment to rent his place. They were subsequently to make monthly payments after the two years advance had expired.
The post appeared to be quite ironic, given that RCD works cooperatively with landlords and tenants to promote optimum peaceful co-existence through education, reconciliation while also providing support on rent matters in compliance with the Rent Act 220.
This led us to fact-check the claim which had attracted a lot of reshares and comments on Facebook, a few of which have been shared below.
A statement issued on August 7, 2021, and signed by the Chief Rent Manager of the Rent Control Department, Mr. Twum Ampofo, denied the viral claim.
“It is obvious that the deliberate circulation of these rumours are intended to paint the Department in a negative light. Management wishes to inform the general public that there is no iota of truth in the rumor,” the statement said.
Furthermore, RCD denied knowledge of the said landlord, Mr. Joseph Nisah Abugri, as indicated in the widely circulated story, while stating that it “shall always adhere to the provisions of ACT 220 by not paying more than six months’ Rent Advance to any landlord.”
Also, the Head of Public Relations of RCD, Mr. Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu, in an interview said the viral report is false and indicated that all efforts are being made to trace the location of the online news portal behind the report.
He said although the Amasaman office of RCD is a rented facility, the landlord is not called by the name reported, and office premises are not also painted as attached or portrayed by the report.
In addition to the information provided by officials of RCD, a google reverse image search revealed that the attached image of the Ghana News Page report is an image of a story published by Graphic online on January 30, 2021.
The Graphic online image was captioned “Mr. Agyemang Badu, Head of Operations, Health Facilities Regulatory Agency locking the Susan Clinic in Lartebiokorshie.”
Other online news portals have the same image and caption related to the story published by Graphic online.
Based on the above information, we can conclusively say the viral report is false.