Lagos to punish illegal Real Estate business practitioners

Lagos State Government

The Lagos State Government says it will soon begin enforcement of legal action against illegal real estate practitioners operating in the state in accordance with the law.
Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, overseeing Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Agency, made this known at the Real Estate Stakeholders Practitioners meeting at Ikeja on Friday.
Benson-Awoyinka said engaging in real estate transactions without registering with the state government or obtaining necessary approval was a punishable offence under the law.
She said: “It is illegal to practice real estate business in Lagos State without a valid LASRERA licence.
“The Law is in full force and we expect 100 per cent compliance.
“Under the law, disgruntled residents have the right to forward their complaints to the agency.
“If the agency discovers that the rights of such an individual had been violated, we will institute a legal proceeding against such practitioners according to the provisions of the law.”
The governor’s aide said the call became necessary following the upgrade of LASRERA from Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department in November 2019.
She said the approval for the upgrade of the erstwhile department to an agency was granted by the state executive council.
Benson-Awoyinka said the agency has additional mandate to establish operational offices in all the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas across the state.
She said: “In furtherance to this, it is pertinent for the state government to meet with the stakeholders in this sector to communicate this development and for smooth transition.”
She said the forum provided an avenue to sensitise stakeholders to collaborate with the government by registering their organisations with the agency for proper monitoring and data collection.
The adviser said this would enable government to easily identify fake or suspicious real estate practitioners.
She said the registration would also help government to curb indiscriminate encroachment on the government’s land and blockage of the proposed Regional and Coastal Roads.
Benson-Awosika said: “It is painful to note that several people fall victim to fraudulent real estate transactions unknowingly.
“Daily, the newspapers and social media are always inundated with reports of various types of unprofessional practices mostly in property transactions.”
Benson-Awoyinka said the ugly development, which was now becoming a daily occurrence in the Lagos property market, must be corrected.
The special adviser said such incidents might have been prevented, if all parties involved were known to the authority for standardisation.
She said this would curb and reduce fraudulent practices and put courage and confidence in real estate transaction activities in the state.
Benson-Awoyinka explained that real estate sector has always contributed to the GDP of the nation, with Lagos State being the largest contributor in this regard.
She said the viability of the sector was what some individuals were already leveraging on to perpetrate dubious acts.
She said: “This is why you all need to join hands with this administration so that unregistered practitioners and those with ulterior intentions would be identified and eliminated from the real estate business in Lagos State.
“The safety of lives and property is the primary responsibility of government, hence, the need for us to take the bull by the horn.”