BusinessDay

Lagos moves to sanitise real estate sector, mandates practitioners to register

It is now mandatory for every practitioner in the real estate business in Lagos, including house agents, property developers and professionals to register with the Lagos State government to continue their practice in the state.

The least of the requirements expected of the would-be practitioner or those already in the business, are a minimum of school leaving certificate and an office space with a traceable address.

The move is to stem increased cases of scam in which innocent citizens seeking to rent or purchase a property are defrauded of their hard earned monies. The state government says is currently prosecuting cases in courts in which developers and house agents scammed unsuspecting citizens of sums of monies running into several millions of naira. The mandatory registration will enable the government build a database of practitioners so as to monitor their activities and build public confidence in the sector. With this, fraudulent agents and developers will be detected and shove out of the system.

Toke Benson-Awoyinka, special adviser to the state governor on housing, stated this at the launch of Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) website/ registration portal (www.lasrera.com and www.lasrera.lagosstate.gov.ng) in Ikeja on Thursday.

“The intention is to create, provide, develop, continuously capture and update a unified central database of real estate practitioners and their activities within Lagos State while making it accessible to all objectives of planning and urban development,” said Benson-Awoyinka

According to her, the launch of the website/portal is also in line with the smart city initiative of the current administration, where service delivery will be technology-driven and readily available to the masses.

“We are well aware of the trend of fraudulent practices of some real estate agents/ property developers, this is reflected in the complaints received by the LASRERA in recent time of residents who had fallen victims to fake real estate practitioners while seeking for accommodation, purchasing or selling of properties.”

She noted that the government was committed to providing the enabling environment and transparent real estate sector that conforms to international best practices while also safeguarding the ultimate interest of all the stakeholders.

“As a government, we have ensure the creation of an innovative and sustainable environment to promote Lagos as a real investment destination in Africa and the world,” she said, adding that it was illegal for any real estate practitioner to be in business in Lagos without being duly registered.

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