22nd March, 2012
Some real estate experts on Wednesday advised the Lagos State Government to build mass houses for low income earners to make its new tenancy law effective.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the new law had not been effective because the state government had not met “its side of the law”.
Mr. Adeyemi Williams, the Managing Partner in Adeyemi Williams and Company, said that landlords would continue to dictate rents in major cities until homes were built for the poor.
He said that the enactment of the tenancy law had not stopped some landlords from demanding two-year rent in advance.
“The tenancy law has not been effective because prospective tenants are still at the mercy of some shylock landlords.
“Most landlords are inconsiderate. They often justify their high rent on cost of building materials and the economy,” he said.
Mr. Osilama Alemoh, a partner in Property Scan Concepts Ltd., said that the high population of Lagos had not helped the matter.
Alemoh said that rents on houses in Lagos would continue to be on the high side because of the high demand for decent houses that were few.
“Landlords in Lagos and indeed in most cities in Nigeria will continue to find their way around any enactment due to low level of housing development,” he said.
Mr. Titilope Bamgbala, a property developer, said that the only way the tenancy law would be effective was for the government to take proactive steps in its enforcement.
“But the core issue is that housing stock needs to be increased to a level whereby there will be alternatives for tenants.
“It is under such condition that the law will achieve the desired goals,” Bamgbala said.
A prospective tenant, Ms. Ugochi Nzennwa, told NAN that the law would have been of great benefit to the ordinary man if its implementation was pursued with vigour.
“It has been frustrating trying to get a place. At times the rent is almost the same amount if I was to pay for two years.
“Some landlords demand for a year rent which is enough to pay for two years before the tenancy law was enacted,” she said.
Another prospective tenant, Mr. Felix Adefuwa, said he had not felt the benefits of the law.
Adefuwa said that he had been searching for accommodation for over six months to no avail.
“I have been trying to get a place where I can pay a year rent, but the rent is always too high, so I have opted to pay for two years,” he said.
NAN recalls that the new tenancy law in Lagos became effective on Thursday, August 25, 2011.
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola said that the law would regulate relationship between landlords and tenants and curb the excesses of landlords..
He said that the law was also to reduce the antics of some tenants who failed to meet their obligations to landlords.