By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Lagos State Government has called on Real Estate Agents, Properties Developers and all stakeholders in the housing sector across the State to register their operations with the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), a Directorate under the State Ministry of Housing.
The directive is part of measures by the state government to clamp down on the nefarious activities of fake operators in the industry.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka made the disclosure during an interactive session with representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other stakeholders at Alausa, Ikeja.
She emphasized that the registration becomes necessary in order to curb the increasing cases of fraudulent practices related with real estate transactions coupled with the public outcry from accommodation seekers in the State.
Benson-Awoyinka stated that the purpose of the meeting was to liaise with relevant MDAs like Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Lands Bureau, Ministry of Local Government & Community Affairs, Budget and Planning to dialogue and pursue a collaborative effort.
According to her “It is necessary to scale up the activities of the Department in full so that the citizens can be protected and a database developed on the dynamics and vibrancy of the State Real Estate Sector”.
She said that the partnership of the MDAs with LASRETRAD is important for the sensitisation and implementation of the initiative planned by the Department for the grassroots, in view of the fact that the State has over 4,500 Community Development Associations and an Advisory Council who can act as stakeholders at the community level for the State.
The Special Adviser said that with over 10,000 Real Estate Agents, Property Developers and Law Firms operating in the Sector as well as 5,000 artisans, builders, valuers and other stakeholders in the housing sector, there is a need for the State Government to monitor activities and protect Lagosians seeking for accommodations or purchasing landed properties within the State from falling victims to fraudsters.
She advised affected stakeholders to start processing the registration of their organisations in compliance with Lagos State Tenancy Law (Vol.7 Law of Lagos State 2003) which governs the rental of property and prosecution of swindlers/ quack Real Estate Agents and Property Developers, hinting that the Department would be operating a zonal offices in each of the five Divisions of the State to ease the registration process.
In the same vein, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu – Fatai has appealed to residents for more caution during their search for accommodation to avoid falling victim of fraudulent practices of unregistered Real Estate Agents and Property Developers who swindle innocent residents.
He affirmed that the registration is designed to restrain unscrupulous Real Estate Agents and Property Developers and check their excesses.