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Lagos to penalize house owners guilty of charging exorbitant rent

The Lagos State Government has warned that it would start penalizing house owners found guilty of renting out their apartments at exorbitant fees.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, who stated that the government would wield a big stick on allottees who engaged in sharp practices.

Akinderu-Fatai said residents of various state housing schemes have filed complaints about the high rent being charged by homeowners, adding that] the state government will withdraw allocation from culpable homeowners.

Offenders to forfeit their houses

  • The Commissioner said: “The essence of asking allottees to make a five per cent down payment and spread the remaining amount for ten years was to make life bearable for Lagosians.
  • “This is what Mr Governor wants to achieve, but some people seem to be taking Mr Governor’s magnanimity for granted. They are renting those apartments out to make money. The question is why do people try to inconvenience others when the government intended to make life bearable for citizens?”

Akinderu-Fatai called on the facility managers and association members in the estates to report culpable allottees to the ministry, adding that those homeowners would forfeit their apartments with their payment refunded.

The commissioner assured that the State Government will continue to cater to the needs of first-time buyers who are in dire need of such accommodation facilities through outright purchase and rent-to-own platforms.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Abdulhafis Toriola, an engineer, said a lot of complaints have been received from some of the estates that some homeowners harbor people of questionable character hence posing a threat to residents.

He noted that the ministry as a matter of urgency shall investigate and take the right step towards safeguarding the lives and prosperity of residents in the affected estates.

The Permanent Secretary also urged allottees to take ownership of joint facilities and follow the rules put in place to maintain the estates.

What you should know

  • The Lagos State Government had always condemned the arbitrary rent increase by landlords and advised residents to speak up against the practice and stop suffering in silence.
  • The government stated that there was the need for residents to speak up because enforcement of the existing laws on rent was only possible when people lodge complaints.
  • The state government had inaugurated a new agency to regulate and monitor both tenants and landlords to ensure equity, adding that laws were usually forgotten if not used or challenged.

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