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Stakeholders decry move to impose monthly rent on Nigerians

Stakeholders in the real estate sector have picked holes in the decision of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development (NCLHUD) to impose monthly rent payment on Nigerians.
Rather, they urged governments at state and federal level to devote more resources to tackling the inherent problems inhibiting housing rather than delving into issues expected to heighten problems in the industry.
Lagos State Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Rogba Orimolade said the reality is that there is anexisting shortage of housing stocks hence bringing regulations will amount to imposing a black-market situation.
According to him, the government has failed in all their projections for over a decade in housing delivery, adding that due to their failure, it is only the private sector that could be relied on to meet their yearnings for adequate housing.
He noted that the private sector, in turn,is not building houses for charity but to make profits from huge borrowing from the banks based on double digits loan.
He said,“It doesn’t work that way. Government should face the core mandate, which involves jump-starting the housing sector especially in the area of housing finance and let sources of housing finance be cheaper for developers. We need a positive situation where they could take loans by asingle digit and individuals can still afford to take loans. As long as the housing deficits are still huge, and government on its own is not doing anything thing in reducing it. We have a long way to go, we can talk about social housing in which government can subsidize housing that is coming in. Government should rather focus on those areas.”
On his part, Mr. Sam Eboigbe, Chairman, Faculty of Estate Agency and Auctioneering, NIESV, said if such proposal is to be implemented, core professionals and relevant stakeholders must be consulted for effective implementation. According to him, if the cost of funding and other variables required in making housing available is still high, the reality of such resolution is in doubt for the housing sector.
According to him,“If there are so many things that the private sector cannot control the price of cement and other building materials, thegovernment must put a law in place so that if anybody defaults in paying the monthly rent, it should be easier to get possession of the property back.
“ There should be a legal framework for defaulters that would say for instance five days after defaulting the developer must get his property back. If there is no legal framework, the impact of such proposal could also be a lot of behind the scene dealing and discouragement for investors.”
Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Olukayode Olusanya of the Oaks Homes said that if government wants to implement such law as a social programme to assist the low-earning capacity of Nigerians, it is good, but expressed worries that it might not be a good move for property owners who would expect to collect the one or two years rents in bulk in order to reinvest, take themselves and families on vacation and boost existing housing stock.
He said such policy might also cause fluctuations in house rents from the side of the landlords who will, in turn, respond to emerging hike in prices of goods and services in the market, to jack-up the price of rents to the detriments of the tenant

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