The iTaukei Land Trust Board is advising all its tenants whose accounts are in arrears to clear all their dues before year end. Not paying land rent is a clear indication of tenant’s complete disregard of their legal obligations as tenants of TLTB.
As an organisation, it is the trustees of iTaukei Landowners – it leases land, receive rents and distribute lease monies to the owners. Lease agreement requires that rent are to be paid on the 1st of January and 1st of July every year or they be marked as arrears.
Arrears are the non-payment of lease rentals which has always been a major area of concern for TLTB. At the moment, 8,833 tenants out of the 45,205 TLTB tenants are not paying their rent on time and are now in arrears.
CEO Mr Tevita Kuruvakadua says that total rent arrears by TLTB tenants now stands at around $6.3 million.
“TLTB have tried out some major recovery strategies and the last avenue is to seek the assistance of the courts for vacant possession and orders for eviction. While TLTB is trying its best to assist tenants with security of their tenancies they must perform their obligation and pay their rent on time as these will go to the landowners who have denied themselves from using their land during the term of the lease,” he added.
Failure to comply will result in TLTB taking extreme measures leading to legal actions and as a result tenants may lose their properties. Legal options available to TLTB may include:
- Sterner actions, where TLTB reserves the right to institute legal proceedings in court in the form of summons and enforcement procedures;
- Writ of execution of fieri facias (FIFA);
- Disconnection of utilities;
- TLTB will prevent any further dealings on your lease and proceed to court to recover the above sum;
- Please note such sterner actions may include distress for rent relief, forfeiture, re-entry of your leasehold, media publication and other relief that TLTB as landlord deems appropriate to remedy the breach;
All TLTB rent payments can be made at any TLTB offices, Post Offices, MH’s or any of the bank’s outlet in Fiji.
Payment arrangements with our Arrears and Legal Teams in any TLTB offices can also be done especially for those who have not been brought before the court.
Mr Kuruvakadua advised that once the court is engaged and judgement is made for evictions, then it is difficult to assist the tenants at that stage. TLTB is targeting a 60 percent recovery of its $15.5 million arrears in 2019 and the only option now is to take them all to court to fulfill our trustee obligation for the benefit of the landowners.
The Board hopes that all TLTB tenants will do the right thing and pay their land lease rent and arrears due before the end of December 31.