A former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, February 8, 2024, called for the review of tenancy laws in states to compel landlords to collect rents monthly.
Fashola spoke during the launch of his book titled: “Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole,” in Lagos.
He said that advance payment of rent, up to three years or more, was overwhelming tenants.
According to him, many houses are unoccupied due to the way rents are being collected.
He urged other states to copy the tenancy bill passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2011 which criminalised the collection of rent over one year in advance from a new tenant.
“I think as I’ve argued that we can look at housing not only from ownership and construction but also rental. How many houses are empty and unoccupied? Why are they empty? Why are they not occupied? Some of the reason is because of the way we collect rent. That is not the only reason.
“But if you do not understand how dramatic and painful that three-, four, or five-year rent has become to our nation, we have not consciously done anything to it except perhaps in Lagos by passing rent control law. And I think that instead of just complaining about housing every state House of Assembly did something that brought down that pain.
“Can we bring it down from three years to one year? Can we hopefully bring it down to six months? Can we let it coincide with when people get paid at the end of the month,” he said.
Source: The Nigeria Lawyer