Mr Adeolu Ogunbanjo, Chairman of the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN), on Friday appealed to the Federal Government to regulate the operations of estate agents nationwide to check fraudulent practices.
Ogunbanjo told Housing News correspondent in Lagos that the regulation was necessary to restore the confidence of the public in the profession.
He said the activities of fake agents had forced members of the public seeking accommodation to lose confidence in real estate agents.
He said the government could check the trend by mandating estate agents/firms to register with AEAN before they start practicing.
According to him, many prospective tenants have lost millions of naira to fake agents thus tarnishing the image of the profession.
“The profession has become an all-comers’ affair where anyone puts a signpost indicating that he or she is an estate agent.
“If the government issues such a directive and one or more agents are sanctioned for violating the rules, it will serve as deterrent to others,” he said.
According to Ogunbanjo, the profession goes beyond helping people to secure accommodation but involves selling, renting, maintenance and management of properties, among others.
He appealed to the association’s members to always be diligent while dealing with members of the public because their professionalism could help reduce fraudulent practices in the profession.
He urged those yet to register to do so through the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers