To check the rising cases of fraud in the real estate sector, Lagos State Government has enjoined prospective homebuyers and residents seeking for accommodation to avoid patronising unregistered estate agents and developers.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Adedamola Akewusola disclosed this while on a site visit at Alapere, Ketu area of Lagos State, where a fraudulent property developer collected money from over 262 prospective homebuyers for only 15 units of studio rooms.
He urged residents of Lagos State to desist from patronising quacks and criminals when scouting for accommodation and homes.
Akewusola decried the present rate of fraudulent acts of illegal Estate Agents /Developers, who through their nefarious activities are swindling innocent people of their hard earned money.
Lagos State government, he said, is greatly concerned about the rise in the criminal and callous activities of some dubious estate agents who lure unwary individuals to purchase non-existent parcels of land or rent one flat out to hundreds of tenants”.
He disclosed that it is the responsibility of Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), a directorate under the State Ministry of Housing, to register, monitor and regulate activities of genuine Estate Agents and Developers.
Akewusola further advised intending tenants to ascertain that they transact business with only registered agents who can be recognized by the state government estate agent registration banner.
He seized the opportunity to enjoin the people to continue to have confidence in government’s ability to fulfill the mandate of accessible, affordable qualitative housing.”Lagos State is a responsible government and will not relent in its efforts of ensuring that the well-being of the people is upheld”, he said.
Also the Director, Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), Ajayi Adeyeye, described the activities of the dubious estate agents as “not only criminal and illegal, but also an offence punishable under the Lagos State tenancy law of 2003 formerly known as Rent Control and Recovery Of Residential Premises law (Vol.7 Law of Lagos State 2003”.
He stressed that the law that governs the rental of property is the basis of the legal contract that defines the relationship between the landlord / developer and tenant.
Adeyeye stressed that the State Government is poised to curb the excesses of swindlers/ quacks estate agents through prosecution and appealed to the registered Estate Agents to imbibe the culture of trustworthiness in rendering services to the public.
He also encouraged the public not to hesitate in reporting any unscrupulous estate agent to Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) at Lagos State Secretariat Ikeja.
According to him, a secured society can only be achieved if all sorts of unscrupulous elements are restrained.