MASERU — The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) is set to effect a 150 percent rent hike for tenants occupying its residential and commercial properties around the country, Lesotho Times has learnt.
The hike will affect tenants at Katse Village, Mohale Dam and ‘Muela.
The LHDA has also issued new leases with additional conditions.
The massive rent increase will come into effect from June 1.
The review was postponed in April after complaints from some tenants.
Under section (6.2.1) of the new Sub-Lease tenant shall pay to the Sub-Lesser a security deposit of three (3) times the monthly rental plus rent separately.
For instance at Katse Village a one-bedroom house costing M640 a tenant will be expected to cough up M1920 for security plus another M640 as the monthly rent.
So for the first month, the occupant will have paid M2560 before 14 percent VAT. The rent for the first month with tax included amounts to M2920, while the monthly rent is M740.
The monthly rent covers premises and utilities services such as water, sewerage and waste removal.
One of the tenants at Katse village told the Lesotho Times that they had been told that if they don’t meet the terms by June 1 they “shall be expected to vacate the premises in order to make them available for other prospective tenants”.
According to the tenant the rent hike will only affect private tenants. Employees of LHDA will not be affected as they do not pay rent at all.
He said a group of tenants approached the LHDA branch manager, Mosiuoa Mohlouoa seeking clarification and the motive behind the hikes.
Mohlohloua told this paper that the decision was unanimously reached by management.
Mohlouoa said the decision does not only affect Katse Village, but all other LHDA branches around the country.
“The move to increase rent on LHDA rental property does not only affect Katse. It also applies to property in Mohale and ‘Muela camps,” said Mohlouoa.
Public Relations Officer for LHDA, Motlatsi Nkhasi, would not be drawn into giving out further details on the matter.
He however revealed that some of the Katse Village residents had written a letter to the chief executive officer stating their grievances.
“We are currently considering the contents of the letter and will soon give a response.
“We will not be disclosing any details about the matter to the media until the chief executive officer responds to the residents’ letter,” said Ncholu.
The residential property in question was initially for the purpose of housing LHDA personnel engaged for the project of building Katse Dam.
After completion of the project the houses were left vacant and the LHDA decided to rent them out.