Currently in Trinidad and Tobago there is no functioning regulatory framework in place to ensure affordability of housing rentals.
So yes, presently in T&T landlords and tenants can freely agree (or disagree) on rental prices. A landlord can freely decide what rental price he offers to a potential tenant.
However, this was not always the case. There use to be a Rent Restriction Act (Chap 59:50) in force in T&T that allowed for regulation of rent. Under section 5 of that Act a Rent Assessment Board was created.
Every landlord and tenant in T&T was required to register with this Rent Assessment Board. The landlord had to register only once, but the tenant would be required to register every time he signed a contract. If the tenant was not registered, he would lose most of his rights.
Additionally, unfurnished dwelling houses with a monthly rent of $1,000TT or less were subject to rent restriction (they could not change their rental price unless approved by the Rent Assessment Board). Furnished dwellings with a monthly rent of $1,500TT or less were treated similarly. Either the landlord or the tenant could apply to the Rent Assessment Board for a review of the rent in these circumstances.
However, today the Rent Assessment Board is no longer functional. The Rent Restriction Act (Chap 59:50) under which the Rent Assessment Board was created lapsed years ago. The Act was due to be extended and never was – the Act expired on the 23rd of February, 2002.
It’s unfortunate that the Rent Assessment Board is no longer functional as it is important for the protection of the public and can even be used as a means to settle rental disputes and deal with landlord and tenant relations.
Important Notice: This post does not constitute or provide legal advice. Always consult with a suitably qualified attorney-at-law on any legal problem or issue.
Law For All is managed by the Aurora Chambers Legal Practice.
Receive updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.