• Tenants groan as Abuja landlords increase rent – Daily Trust

    Tenants groan as abuja landlords increase rent daily trust - nigeria newspapers online
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    Tenants in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are groaning over hikes in house rent by their landlords.

    Findings by Daily Trust showed that within the last one year, tenants in different areas of the FCT had been notified of rent increases by landlords.

    Some of them that were interviewed by Daily Trust queried why landlords would increase rent on houses built years ago.

    But some landlords, who also spoke to our reporters, argued that the cost of building materials had gone up.

    They also said they increased rent on old buildings because maintenance was also gulping “huge” amounts of money.

    Usman Tijani, an information technology expert, who lives in Phase 4, Kubwa, Abuja, said he was informed of a N250,000 increase only four weeks to the expiration of his rent.

    “Before I moved in with my family last year, the landlord said he would not increase rent. Only for me to get a notice four weeks ago. I will move out of the house because of the short notice.

    “The most annoying part is that the increase is from N600,000 to N850,000 (per annum) for my one-bedroom apartment”, Tijani said.

    A fashion designer, Adepoju Ronke, complained that the rent of her one-room “self-contained” apartment at Dei-Dei, was raised from N150,000 to N250,000 per year.

    A bank teller, who lives in Dutse, Majekodumi Isaac, said he was recently served an eviction notice by his landlord. He said the landlord later informed him that the two-bedroom apartment would no longer go for N550,000 but N700,000 per annum.

    Eromosele Fortune, a resident of Kuje, said an apartment that was hitherto rented for N200,000 per annum “is now between N280,000 and N350,000 depending on the location.”

    Some residents of Bwari, Gwagwalada, Gwarimpa, Nyanya, Karu, Dawaki, Lugbe, Apo Resettlement, Wuye, Wuse, Jahi District and other areas of the FCT also decried that their landlords had increased their rent.


    Landlord lords speak

    A landlord at Kubwa, Julius Odion, attributed the increase in rent to the economic state of the country.

    “The rise in the costs of building materials and construction has been a major factor for the increase in the value of the property and rent,” Odion told one of our reporters who pretended to be a prospective tenant.

    Another landlord, whose house is located in Wuse District of the FCT, Paschal Chukwu, said the tenants were not being fair to landlords.

    “My tenants have been complaining that I increased rent, but the truth is they are not considering the fact that landlords are also going to the same market with them.

    “Yes, we didn’t build the houses now, but with the price of everything going up, we too have to increase ours because it is our business and we have to survive,” he said.

    Adeyemi Folorunsho, who owns a house in Garki District, said not all landlords could be considerate.

    “As landlords, this is the right time to even protect our tenants. During Covid-19 crisis in 2020, I know how difficult it was to pay rent; so I gave my tenants subsidy for their rent and I intend to do so again, but not many landlords can do that,” he said.


    Developers seek signing of Real Estate Bill

    The immediate past President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Aliyu Wamakko, in an interview with Daily Trust, said arbitrary rent increment by landlords would have been a thing of the past if the Real Estate Development Bill had been signed.

    He said: “REDAN had initiated a bill on the development of the housing and property sector during the 9th National Assembly, which was not assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari. If the former President had signed the bill into law, all these issues arising from rent increase and tenancy agreement would have been taken care of,” he said.

    He said the lack of regulation for rent should be addressed.

    On the reason for arbitrary increase of rent in the FCT, Wamakko said: “Everything in the market is on the high side and it’s the same market that the landlords and tenants go, so it will be difficult for everything to be on the high side while rent remains static”.

    He further stated that the current development is a national issue which the government must address head on, as it is not only prevalent in Abuja, but across the country.


    FCTA director pleads with landlords

    A senior director with the FCT Administration, who craved anonymity because he was not permitted to speak on the matter, noted that there is no law in the country that dictates how much a landlord should charge tenants.

    The director however pleaded with property owners to be patriotic by “ensuring moderation in dealing with their tenants, in line with the economic reality in the country.”

    He said the FCT Directorate of Mass Housing was doing everything possible to provide affordable houses for low-income earners in the territory.


    By Philip Shimnom Clement, Seun Adeuyi & Hussein Yahaya


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