Lagos to penalise home owners guilty of extorting tenants

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it would penalise homeowners found guilty of renting out their apartments at exorbitant fees.

Commissioner for Housing Moruf Akinderu-Fatai in a statement, said the government would wield a big stick on allottees who engaged in sharp practices.

According to him, residents of various state housing schemes have filed complaints about the high rent being charged by homeowners.

He added that the state government will withdraw allocation from culpable homeowners.

He said: “The essence of asking allottees to make a five per cent down payment and spread the remaining amount for ten years was to make life bearable for Lagosians.

“This is what Mr Governor wants to achieve, but some people seem to be taking Mr Governor’s magnanimity for granted. They are renting those apartments out to make money. The question is why do people try to inconvenience others when the government intended to make life bearable for citizens?”

Akinderu-Fatai called on the facility managers and association members in the estates to report culpable allottees to the ministry, adding that those homeowners would forfeit their apartments with their payment refunded.

The commissioner assured that the State Government will continue to cater to the needs of first-time buyers who are in dire need of such accommodation facilities through outright purchase and rent-to-own platforms.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Abdulhafis Toriola, an engineer, said a lot of complaints have been received from some of the estates that some homeowners harbor people of questionable character hence posing a threat to residents.

He noted that the ministry as a matter of urgency shall investigate and take the right step towards safeguarding the lives and prosperity of residents in the affected estates.

The Permanent Secretary also urged allottees to take ownership of joint facilities and follow the rules put in place to maintain the estates.