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Mary Francis Concerned Over Tenant Abuse, Urges Housing Legislation Reform

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Human Rights advocate Mary Francis has called for housing legislation reform while expressing concern over tenant abuse by landlords.

Francis observed that housing rights are human rights.

The outspoken Attorney at Law explained that inadequate housing affects other rights, such as employment and health.

The National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Coordinator recalled last week’s official opening of the new National Housing Corporation (NHC) building on Chaussee Road, Castries.

In this regard, she said the emphasis of the government and Housing Minister Richard Frederick is on home ownership and ensuring sufficient housing.

However, Francis felt the authorities needed to examine the housing legislation.

She told St. Lucia Times she was concerned with home ownership and renting, including legislation relating to landlords and tenants.

Francis referred to unlawful practices by landlords that affect housing rights.

“Some people may never be able to own a home. So we have to protect tenants fromĀ  illegal evictions and raising the rent,” the Attorney at Law stated.

Francis recalled a case she had where a landlord locked out a tenant and seized all the items in the rented house.

She told St. Lucia Times that the tenant could not get his belongings back about eight years later.

“As a result, he lost his job,” Francis disclosed.

She said having been denied access to his clothing and other belongings, including his passport and other documents, the tenant could not go to work.

She said after thirty adjournments, during which the landlord did not appear, the court judgement favoured the tenant.

Nevertheless, Francis said the matter was now before the Court of Appeal, the landlord claiming inadequate notice.

“The time has come to look at housing rights in Saint Lucia in a serious way,” the Human Rights advocate declared.

“We need laws that would reflect more compassionate governance at all levels of the public service, including the courts,” Francis told St. Lucia Times.

In addition, she spoke of the need for policies to reflect human rights as the foundation of development.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. All the legal talks you have why not prepare the draft so you do something meaningful… only talks talks and more talks

  2. SLU needs legislation on BOTH Landlord AND tenant policies, etc. Both landlords and tenants have been known to violate human right issues. That is why most landlords rent their apartments, etc., with a lease clause. That way, they can take one to court, or have an arbitration to solve the issue.

    In short, I do agree with Ms Francis, but that issue should be for BOTH parties. There are cases where tenants refuse to give up their lodgings, or refuse to pay rent, or threaten landlords – for their own property.

    “In this regard, she said the emphasis of the government and Housing Minister Richard Frederick is on home ownership and ensuring sufficient housing.” That man needs to have his head examined – and probably put on display. Landlords AND tenants are suffering, and that is all he can say?

  3. And @ Anonymous, then you need to tell us why our tax dollars are paying all the lawyers in the AG’s office. I will not go into how stupid your comment is.

  4. lost 1500 to a landlord in Rodney bay. Did not get the last month free. This guy basically got away with stealing my money. A few guys came to him to rent. They left the day after, this guy refused to give them the two months rent back. One took 300 off my deposit for nothing. There should be a tenant deposit scheme. Everyone who rents should make arrangements to have tenants money deposited there. So it can’t be accessed by these landlords. If the tenant trash the property. Go to claims to prove their case.

  5. :@ Small Fry so why you don’t expose their salary since you not getting nothing from it to fight your lame quack? you think tax payers money is for you and everyone?

  6. My landlady is currently holding $400 against 2 months utilities
    My utilities never amount to even $100 for both
    The 1st month there was no connection to even use the washing machine
    The only things that used electricity were the fridge and a light bulb which only stayed on for a couple of hours
    There were so many things wrong with the apartment that the list is too long to write
    However the worst thing on the list is the flooding of the shower …..a lot of disgusting smelly black mud would settle all over the tiles and this went on everyday
    I need to go back for the balance of my belongings but I need the money she is holding to rehire the truck and carriers
    I’m in a catch 22 situation and need help

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