Quality Group facing eviction from building it once owned THISDAY REPORTER Dar es Salaam THE Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) has moved to evict Quality Group Limited from its Quality Plaza building in Dar es Salaam, following failure by the private company run by controversial businessman Yusuf Manji to pay rent. Ironically, Quality Group - which is PSPF's single biggest tenant - sold the same building to the pensions fund in 2004 for a staggering 36bn/-, in a transaction that raised many an eyebrow. For one thing, the building was sold to PSPF with a condition that a 100 per cent occupancy rate would be maintained, and Quality Group became the biggest tenant in order to further sweeten the deal. Also under the terms of the deal, PSPF was to earn a total of $173,789.50 (approx 240m/-) per month in total rent from the building, which amounts to $2,085,474 (approx. 3bn/-) per annum. However, it has come to light that Quality Group has fallen far behind in rent arrears, leading to PSPF authorities to now be working on a strategy to remove the company from the premises. It is understood that apart from Quality Group, other companies also reportedly linked to Manji - Gaming Management Limited, Q-Consult Limited, International Transit Investment Limited, and Quality Logistics Company Limited - have also failed to pay their due rent for tenancy within the building. Subsequently, PSPF on January 5 this year issued 30-day notices for all five companies to either cough up a total of $1,268,058.56 (approx. 2bn/-) in rent and service charge arrears, or face eviction. According to latest THISDAY findings, Quality Group and the four other tenants of the Quality Plaza building have now filed a suit with the High Court's Land Division to challenge PSPF's stated intention to evict them from the property. The building is located on Plot No. 189/2 along Nyerere Road in the city. The case, which is before Judge Atunganile Ngwala, is scheduled to come up for mention on Thursday next week. In their application, the tenants are requesting the court to declare unlawful the eviction notices issued to them by Image Properties and Estates Limited, on behalf of PSPF. The property management firm is understood to have been appointed by the pensions fund to run the Quality Plaza building, including regular collection of rent from the tenants. The tenants claim that PSPF's actions have been contrary to the lease agreements signed between them and the pensions fund. Furthermore, the court has been asked to order PSPF to pay Q-Consult Ltd some $373,024.16 (approx. 500m/-), being arrears of building management fees. The tenants also demand that the pensions fund pays each of them $135,300 (approx. 200m/-) for damages caused by rain from a leaking roof. They claim that they suffered damage and loss to equipment, stationeries, furniture, fixtures, and also man-hours through work stoppages as a result of the leaking roof in the building, which allegedly allowed rain to destroy the various properties. They also demand that PSPF accounts for $646,450 (approx. 900m/-) already received from the tenants as charges for rent and services, but the services not rendered. The tenants claim in their suit application that the PSPF move to serve them with eviction notices constitutes a breach of their lease agreements. In 2005, PSPF entered into various agreements with each of the tenants to rent office space in various parts of the Quality Plaza building. It is understood that the pensions fund also entered into a property management agreement with Q-Consult Ltd, a company believed to be linked to Manji. Under the agreement, Q-Consult was required to manage the Quality Plaza building for a period of one year, later renewed for a period of two years. Q-Consult is understood to have received a monthly fee from PSPF for managing the property. The company now claims that PSPF has yet to pay a sum of $373,024 (approx. 520m/-) for services rendered between 2006 and 2007.