Piqued by attitudes of landlords in Lagos State on rents, the state government has vowed to deal ruthlessly with any landlord who, despite legislative backing for one year rent, still demands two years rent from prospective tenants.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had threatened that any landlord found contravening the law on rentage would be made to face the music.
He particularly frowned at the situation where residents were asked to pay a two-year rent in advance in an economy where they receive their salaries in arrears. “We see it as a wrong when a society pretends that all is well when people are asked to put forward two years rent in advance when they are getting monthly wages in arrears; something is wrong. And if we are also comfortable with it there is something wrong with us,” he said.
The governor who disclosed this while presenting a keynote address at the 2014 Real Estate Unite organised by 3Invest Limited held in Lagos recently, also spoke on the science of building a mega city in Africa’s largest economy as part of the Finance, Infrastructure, Redtape and Education (FIRE). He added that with mortgage assistance, people with steady low income could own decent and affordable housing. He described the issue of providing accommodation as a serious matter that should be undertaken through self and public education.
He said one must understand issues of mortgage and affordable housing, stressing that access is a fundamental human right of citizens to their government. He stressed the need to understand the difference between low cost housing and affordable housing as the former is nearly impossible when the inputs to construction like financing, materials and skills are not cheap.
He further explained that his administration has been doing a lot to address the issue of affordable housing through the Lagos HOMS scheme, adding that currently construction is on in 25 sites across the state “with as little as 1,000 square metres in some places and as much as 10 hectares and 15 hectares in some places like Ibeshe in Ikorodu and Ajara in Badagry,” noting that about 222 construction companies are currently involved in the work.
On the benefits accruable from the massive construction, Fashola said it has woken up the real economy, adding that the Lagos HOMS initiative is currently keeping the businesses of those firms going with over 1,000 professionals – architects, quantity surveyors and builders – involved and about 3,000 plus other service providers like food vendors, artisans, welders, plant sellers, all down the chain that have benefited from the initiative.
Earlier, Ruth Obih, CEO of 3Invest, in her introduction said that Africa’s largest economy has a strong role to play in making real estate a major contributor to national GDPs across the continent, thus, the event brings together global experts to uncover untapped opportunities within the industry.”
She also used the opportunity to introduce the new real estate rewards card called 3Investor, which offers a range of benefits to its members saying, “this platform was created as a solution to address consumers challenges such as high cost of building and household materials, high agency fees, high interest lending rate and lack of construction finance.” The card was made available to all attendees as part of their participants’ package.