Human rights advocate says Lagos govt should focus on dissolving agreement, commission, caution fee rather than implement monthly rent charge

By Onome Naomi

Comrade Iche in previous reports addressed the pros and cons attached to the enforcement of the monthly rent charge by Lagos state govt. He says the issue of monthly payment of rent has many other unaddressed issues that must be looked into as in the case of agreement and commission charged by housing agents and landlords who now sees it as a way to rip people off their sweat without much ado.

On a normal circumstance, the agents commission is embedded in the rent charges to be paid out by the landlord at the point of renting an apartment but now, house agents and landlords charges exorbitant fee separately from rent thereby subjecting interested tenants to a ‘must do’ otherwise walk away. For instance; If an apartment cost N100,000 to rent, the landlord pays the agent from the paid rent but now if an apartment cost N100,000 , there is an added fee of caution, agent’s commission and other fees almost amounting to the cost of rent initially paid, causing hardship for aspiring tenants, Iche explained.

He further said:

There is need for today’s government to address the many issues causing hardship for poor and average citizens. One of such critical situation is the sudden decision to make Lagos tenants pay rents monthly, this is absolutely not the solution to housing issues.If the government truly want to help the masses, they should look into the foundation and spot the issues to be tackled first.

Tenants faces all kinds of oppression from the landlords, the main aim is to make these tenants leave to allow for an increase in rent as another aspiring tenant surfaces. Many atimes, tenants will rather hang on to abuses rather than look for another option because the new rent of a shelter will attract exorbitant fees stemmed from agent and agreements alongsides other commissions.

This numerous fraudulent charges includes: Agent fees, caution fees, agreement fees and others with amount almost doubling the actual rent charge, sometimes this charges exceeds the rent in itself. These are the challenges we expect the government to address.

Iche went on to make a reference using self, says as a landlord he disallows tenant at the point of rentage to pay unnecessary charges and will also put his agent to check. He stated that people renting houses should be treated as humans not like cash cows, urges landlords in Lagos to do same. The government should look into easing the many problems the of the people they are representing as many are victims in the hands of their landlords, he noted.

In a bid to buttress opinion on curbing this excesses by Landlords and agents, Iche recommends that the Lagos state governor , Babajide Sanwo-olu should enforce binding laws to checkmate landlords by discouraging caution fees, agreement, agent fees. If there must be such charges it should be based on a certain low percentage of a fixed price otherwise be totally eradicated. Such laws will be of great help to the masses looking to rent a house, he opined.

Read Also:Lagos State Government’s enforcement of the monthly rent charge according to tenants’s earnings is commendable, but…. Comrade Iche

In reference to the former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Iche said he came in during his tenure as Lagos state governor and stopped ‘Omo-Nile’ from demanding an extra 10% on sales of land from buyers after purchase. Today’s government can follow suit by creating a landmark history that Lagosians will not forget in a hurry for this seems to be the real issue aspiring tenants suffer in the hands of greedy landlord and house agents. Our elected leaders should put more focus on unnecessary charges as one of the most inconsiderate act by Landlords that needs to be stopped rather than implement monthly rent charges, Comrade Prince Saviour Iche aka ‘voice of the voiceless’ added.

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