Tenants of Mangochi Building in Lilongwe have obtained an injunction stopping their landlord, Alliance Properties and AS Investments, from raising rentals.
In the injunction dated June 13 2016, the High Court in Lilongwe has ordered the landlord or their representatives not to charge the rentals in foreign currency.
The tenants are being represented by Lilongwe-based law firm Henderson, Whitney and Associates.
Reads the injunction in part: “That an injunction be and is hereby granted restraining the defendants by themselves, agents or otherwise from unreasonably increasing rentals on property known as Mangochi Building comprised in plot number 2/592 A/B situated in Area 2 in the city of Lilongwe and also restraining the said defendants either by themselves, their servants, agents or otherwise from charging rentals in foreign currency on the said property.”
Court documents in the case Civil Cause Number 528 indicate that some of the tenants who were paying K300 000, which at the time was equivalent to $433.21, had their rent raised to $1 073.90 per month which was more than K700 000, representing a 30 percent increase.
According to the affidavit filed to the High Court, the tenants were not exactly against the raise, but rather the unreasonableness displayed by the huge jump of the amount.
According to Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Act, the country’s legal tender is kwacha; hence, there are restrictions in relation to forex dealings.