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300% rental hike for commercial tenants

by Staff reporter
12 Jan 2019 at 17:21hrs | Views
PROPERTY agents in Bulawayo have increased rentals for commercial premises with tenants operating at the Bulawayo Centre Mall having to pay three times more at the end of this month.

Bulawayo Centre Mall, which comprises 55 shops is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe Contributory Pension Fund and managed by Knight Frank.

Knight Frank managing partner Mr Oswald Nyakunika confirmed the development yesterday, saying they were accepting all modes of payment from the tenants.

The rentals vary with the sizes of the shops but most tenants who were paying $600 will now fork out $1 800 while those who were paying $1 000 will now have to pay about $3 000 including 15 percent tax and operating costs.

The tenants received letters early this week informing them that rentals had been increased by about 300 percent. In the letters, Knight Frank said the economic situation had forced them to increase rentals, which had been stable since 2009.

"As you're aware the economy has been very stable since dollarisation in 2009 and most landlords have effected a zero percent rent increase or even reduced rentals in most instances.

"However, the recent FCAs split into Nostro FCAs and RTGS FCAs has resulted in price increases for most commodities and services. As such our mutual client/ your landlord has no option but to review rentals taking into account what appears to be a devaluation of RTGS FCAs averaging 300 percent plus," reads part of the letter.

The tenants agreed to meet yesterday evening and set up a committee that will engage Knight Frank over the issue. They told Chronicle that they were in the process of engaging Knight Frank over the issue, as they were already struggling to pay the current rentals due to low business and the current economic situation.

"We received letters from Knight Frank informing us that they have increased rentals due to the prevailing economic situation. We understand that the economic situation is changing but Knight Frank also needs to understand that everyone is affected.

"We were actually struggling to pay the current rentals. We increased prices for our products and services but business is very slow because there's little money circulating," said one of the tenants who refused to be named.

Another tenant said the move by Knight Frank was a way of evicting people from the shops because the new rentals were not affordable.

Source - chronicle