GECOM taken to court over $9.2M in rent arrears for Kingston properties

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The Guyana Elections Commission

Legal proceedings have been brought against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) over its failure to pay $9,225,000 in outstanding rent to Anand Sanasie, landlord of the properties it occupies in Kingston, Georgetown.

In a Fixed Date Application (FDA) filed at the Demerara High Court, Sanasie has said he owns the transports of the two properties occupied by GECOM — one at Lot 9 Fort and Barrack Streets, Kingston, Georgetown, and the other at Lot 31 Fort and Barrack Streets, Kingston, Georgetown.

Sanasie has said that, on November 23, 2020, he entered into an agreement of tenancy with GECOM — a constitutional body — for the rental of the two properties, and that the duration of the tenancy for both properties was from January to December 2021.

He has said it was agreed that GECOM would pay him $1,332,500 per month for rental of the Lot 9 property, and $717,500 per month for rental of the Lot 31 property. Both tenancies expired on December 31, 2021, but continued on the same terms, except that there was an agreed-upon 50 per cent increase in rentals in relation to both properties, effective from January 2022 for a period of three years, he added.

According to him, the rent for Lot 9 from January 1, 2022 was increased from $1,332,500 to $1,998,750 per month; and for Lot 31, it was increased from $717,500 to $1,076,250 per month. He said the new rental rates were approved by GECOM at a statutory meeting held on January 18, 2022.

Sanasie has deposed that while the tenancy agreements between both parties were executed on February 4, 2022, and are still valid and subsisting, GECOM has, since January 2022, continued to pay rent at the old rate, and is therefore indebted to him in the sum of $9,225,000.

Through his lawyer Ron Motilall, Sanasie told the court that he has made numerous oral and written demands for the owed rent, but GECOM has refused to pay the sum rightly due to him. As such, he is asking the High Court to grant an order compelling GECOM to pay him the arrears of rent, rent at the new rates, an order for costs, and any further orders the court deems just.