Tower-Block Tenants in Limbo Over Rents

SINGARAJA

An administrative oversight after a change of government has left the inhabitants of a block of flats in Singaraja in limbo — 17 years after they first moved in.

The tower block in Kayu Buntu Barat, Kampung Anyar, Singaraja, was built by the Buleleng regency government in 1994 to house poor families from the surrounding area, with tenants expected to pay a nominal rent of Rp4,000 (45 US cents) at current exchange rates) a month for 20 years, after which the title to the flats would be granted to the occupants.

The flats were built during Wiratha Sindu’s term as Buleleng regent under Decree No.560/1994.

According to Mangku Mertayasa, chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle faction in the Buleleng Regional Assembly, there had been difficulties with the administration of the flats from the beginning, because of a lack of clarity over how to manage rents after the end of Wiratha Sindu’s term.

“Because the incoming administration didn’t follow the technical instructions no agency was made responsible for the collection of the rents,” Mertayasa said this week.

Vice chairman of the Buleleng Regional Assembly Tiwik Ismarheningrum said that attempts were being made to clarify the legal status of the flats, and that officials from previous administrations would be interviewed in search of information.

The issue came to light when residents of the tower blocks complained over recent proposals by the current administration to raise the rents, and to collect the unpaid arrears with an adjustment to the current value of the rupiah against 1994 rates.

Mertayasa said that his party would oppose any such move, as it was not the fault of the residents that rents had not been collected, adding that had the flats been managed properly the original inhabitants would now be only a few years away from gaining title to their property under the terms of the original 1994 decree.

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