Mutare residents have expressed concern over the high rental charges pegged in US dollars, making accommodation unaffordable to the majority of workers.

The depreciation of the RTGS dollar against the US dollar has seen most property owners in low density suburbs deciding to charge their rentals in foreign currency with the tenants whose salaries remain largely unchanged facing difficulties to pay for their accommodation.

Christ Merge Investments Accommodation Services Director, Christina Munakandafa, said the uptake of houses mostly in low density suburbs is now low due to the high rental charges that are largely not justifiable, sentiments also shared by Ratious Dhliwayo from Blue House Accommodation Services.

“House owners are charging rentals in US dollars yet people are being paid in RTGS dollars making the rentals too high and unaffordable for the majority of residents. Those who used to stay near the CBD area and low density suburbs are moving to high density areas where most rentals are still being charged in RTGS dollars,” said Munakandafa.

The switch to charging US dollars by property owners has created market distortions on rentals with the situation requiring government intervention to protect citizens from being fleeced by unscrupulous property owners.