Nigerian Senate to regulate property rental in FCT
The Nigerian Senate has moved to regulate the renting of properties in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as a bill seeking to restrict landlords in the FCT to 3-months rent collection from residents seeking new apartments within the city has passed the first reading.
According to source, the bill which is titled, ‘Advanced Rent (Residential Apartments, Office Spaces Regulation Bill, 2022’, was sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi-West).
Adeyemi, who briefed journalists on details on the bill said it was important to begin to ensure that Legislations should not just be to impose penalties on the people.
Adeyemi said there was an urgent need to enact laws that can directly affect the lives of the individuals in such a manner that Nigerians would be able to have 3 square meals and have a roof over their head.
“Some of the problems confronting our nation today is the high level of corruption and if you take a look at Abuja in particular, you see so many uncompleted houses, some of them you don’t even know the owners.
“Those, who own these properties, did not secure loans for them, there are free money that people have gotten, illegal monies, and put up structures.
“And this structure are put out in such a manner that an average Nigerians cannot afford it.
“Why do you think that some junior people go into corrupt practices, a good number of them is the struggle and effort to get their rent paid. Ask those who are paying rent in Abuja, the landlord will ask them to pay two years rent.
“So I came to the conclusion that we must put the law in place that when you are going to take an apartment, the maximum of what a landlord should ask you to pay must be three months, after three months, you can then begin to pay monthly.
“You do not allow the society to live in a manner that people can be reckless in the so-called what they have, whatever, they have in the way of assets, you must have the consideration that you have a duty to protect others, not to use your wealth to oppress people and make some people commit suicide.
“There are families that have broken up because the man of the house could not pay the rent, and some have been pushed out because the landlord asked them to pay for two years.
“If people will have to manage with their spouse to pay, we should be able to put the law in place in such that nobody will be oppressed.’’
Going further, Adeyemi said that the bill also seeks to ensure that tenants are not ejected until after 6 months if they were not able to pay, noting that it was important to put laws in place to protect the majority of Nigerians, who are poor.
It will be recalled that in a similar circumstance, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had in July 2021, suggested the collection of three-month rent by landlords and property owners as against the collection of three years rent which he said made housing unaffordable for Nigerians in urban centres.
Fashola had urged State governments to intervene in the management of rent because as long as people have to pay three years rent from salaries that are earned monthly in arrears, there will be the problem of affordability.
“If you brought it to three months in advance, there is something still called salary advance in the private sector, then people will be able to afford it,” he noted.