Lagos government issues stern warning to real estate practitioners

Lagos government issues stern warning to real estate practitioners

- It is no longer going to be 'business as usual' for estate managers and property developers defrauding residents of Lagos state

- The state government opens a portal for the compulsory registration of all practising estate agents

- Toke Benson-Awoyinka, a senior government official, explains what the portal is about and what is needed of estate managers henceforth

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Lagos state will no longer fold its arms while residents in search of accommodations are swindled of their hard-earned funds, Toke Benson-Awoyinka, a senior government official has said.

Benson-Awoyinka, a special adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on housing, thus directed real estate practitioners to ensure they conform with rules and regulations set by the government.

Part of the regulations is that they must be recognised.

The official spoke at the official launching of a website/payment portal and the unveiling of a logo by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) in Ikeja.

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Speaking at the event, Benson-Awoyinka said Nigerians had fallen victims of fraudulent manipulation in the real estate sector due to some inadequacies.

She said: “The main objective of the law is to create a regulatory frame work for the practice of real estate agency in Lagos state.

Lagos government issues stern warning to real estate practitioners

Toke Benson and other government officials during the briefing. Credit: Lagos government
Source: UGC

“Registered estate agents in the course of their business shall abide by the code of conduct. Therefore, before carrying out the business of estate agency, obtain a licence from LASRERA.

“They must have an ascertained business premises/office within Lagos state. Any property developer that wants to practice the business of estate agency in the state must obtain a licence from the authority."

She added that where a prospective tenant does not get physical possession of what he has paid for within fourteen days of payment, the licensed estate agent involved must refund the person's payment.

She warned that the government will not allow its citizens to be manipulated by those who did not have any genuine business to do in the real estate.

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Benson-Awoyinka also urged Lagos residents to patronise registered agents by visiting LASRERA websites, where all the information required for real estate practice would be obtained.

“All manners of person, some of them jobless, now parade themselves as estate agents, moving from one place to the other without a specific office, where they can not be pinned down after dubious acts,” she said.

She explained that part of the sanitisation efforts was to come up with a minimum standard before any agent or property developer could practise.

The government official said that the website/payment portal would ease property buyers and developers the unnecessary bureaucracy of having to physically visit LASRERA’s office to transact business.

She expressed optimism that property buyers and developers would find the website convenient, particularly at this period of coronavirus pandemic when social distancing is expected to be fully observed.

She reiterated that the minimum requirement for a real estate agent or a property developer is the secondary school certificate and he must have an office where he could be located at any given time.

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Benson-Awoyinka said registration is free adding that the money paid in the course of the transactions would be reviewed according to the laid down rules and regulations.

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Legit.ng reports that this development is coming days after a two-storey building went up in flames in Lagos.

The fire, the report said, destroyed the belongings of residents and traders.

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