Saturday, June 5, 2010

NLTB Crackdown on Arrears

Fiji Times - Sunday, June 06, 2010

THE Native Land Trust Board has warned tenants in arrears that it will get court orders to evict them and dismantle their houses if they fail to pay up.
NLTB general manager, Alipate Qetaki said in a public notice issued yesterday that in the past 15 months the board had worked hard to reduce rent arrears and served notices, filed writs of summons in court and published names of tenants in the newspapers.
Mr Qetaki had earlier said that rent owed in January was around $25million.
He said the number of tenants who had rental arrears reduced from 17,779 to 15,757.
However, he said some people had not taken any notice of the efforts and had not responded to it.
Mr Qetaki said it was a clear indication of such tenants' complete disregard of their legal obligations to the NLTB, the landowners and the law-abiding relationship between a landlord and a tenant.
He said the attitude shown by some tenants had prompted the NLTB to take such drastic action.
Mr Qetaki said if tenants continued to disregard the notice to pay their arrears the board would get court orders to disconnect utilities such as water and electricity, get court orders for vacant possession that would result in tenants losing their properties. He said the board would continue to load names of tenants in arrears in the Data Bureau to prevent them from obtaining credit or loans from credit institutions.
He said the board would also get court orders to seize personal assets and properties of defaulting tenants.
Last month NLTB had served 1,166 arrear notices and 569 cases had already been filed writ of summons in court and another 292 cases expected to follow soon.
Mr Qetaki had confirmed that NLTB had filed 20 cases for bankruptcy in court and tenants were to expect more of these actions if they fail to settle rent arrears.

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