BusinessDay

Lagos raises flag on estate agency practice, begins registration enforcement

Lagos State government has raised red flag for those involved in estate agency practice in the state that are yet to register their practice with the agency responsible for that called Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA). It advised the practitioners to do so or face the law.

LASRERA, in line with its mandate to regulate, sanitise and effectively monitor the real estate sector in the state, has begun its registration enforcement drive in some parts of the state in order to ensure that estate agency practitioners have duly register their practice with the authority.

The authority, in a statement on Thursday, hinted that the enforcement and sensitization exercise which started in Ikeja and its environs, were to be replicated across the state as part of its strategies to raise public awareness on government’s efforts to sanitize the real estate sector.

Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Housing, explained that it was important to notify members of the public that it was an offence to practise real estate in any of its forms including the display of ‘To Let, To Lease, For Sale etc’ in their offices or on properties without being duly registered with LASRERA.

The Special Adviser, who was represented at the compliance and enforcement exercise by Deji Badejo, Director, Enforcement Unit of LASRERA, said “there is need to restrict posting of banners on residential and commercial properties by unregistered real estate individuals/organisations who can easily swindle unsuspecting members of the public of their investment or hard earnings.”

She noted that many members of the public had been defrauded in the past by impostors and fraudulent real estate practitioners, stressing that government could not continue to fold its arms and allow irregularities that were capable of driving away genuine investors from the sector to continue.

Benson-Awoyinka also recalled that the Agency had written letters to over 1000 real estate individuals/organisations in the state to heed the state government’s call for regularization of the sector, while also expanding confidence of those in diaspora to invest in the sector.

“Let me state clearly here that following the letters earlier delivered to practitioners across the state, only a few of them responded to those letters, hence the need to embark on this enforcement and compliance exercise.

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This is to enable relevant stakeholders in the sector and the general public to attach importance to the call by the agency to sanitize real estate transactions in the state,” the Special Adviser explained.

She assured all residents of the state that the enforcement drive would be a continuous exercise until all practitioners in the sector were captured in LASRERA’s database in line with international best practice.

The special adviser used the opportunity of the enforcement exercise to urge members of the public to report dubious real estate practices to the agency through its various communication channels.

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