Housing records rise in rental defaults, as disposable income depletes

Surveyors decry loss of legitimate instrument of income

With inflation rate at about 13 per cent and the overall hike in fuel price and its attendant high cost of goods and loss of jobs including disposable income, a high rate of rental defaults has been recorded experts say.

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Lagos branch have decried the state of the economy and what they called geometric progression in expenditure by the citenzry compared to their take home resulting in several cases of rental defaults and litigation.

In a media chat to mark the institutions week in Lagos, the Vice Chairman, NIESV Lagos Branch, Mr. Orimalade Olurogba said 80 per cent of all properties under his care had defaulting tenants who were previously meeting their obligations. He noted that some sectors, including oil and gas that were hitherto known to offer job security had been the worst hit lately.

He said, “What is most worrisome about it is that the sectors, which were termed to be secure, such as the oil and gas industry, are now the jobs that are most insecure. A lot of people are being retrenched; the high end or the upper middle class people working in oil companies and who live in Victoria Garden City and Lekki Phase 1 and other areas whose rentals are up to N4million and above are struggling. Some are even moving to cheaper accommodation. The ‘ideal and choice tenants’ that most landlords look forward to occupying their properties are currently defaulting because of the uncertainties in the economy”.

He noted that the state of the economy was affecting their legitimate streams of income and urged for urgent action by the government.

On quackery, Olurogba revealed that the institution had established a body to regulate the practice of agency by training middle cadre professionals on the rudiments of the profession and ethics to bring them up to speed to maintain professionalism.   He said they took that line of action to protect the practice of the profession and the public from being duped.

Also a past Secretary of the institution, Dotun Bamigbola, corroborating Olurogba’s position, said the institution had imputed standardisation  in her practice by training the middle cadre professionals under the umbrella body  of Association of Estate Agents of Nigeria in title documentation, agency transaction amongst others.

The Publicity Secretary Mr. Moses Emele, in his contribution noted that mass housing remained the only viable way to address the challenges of inadequate shelter. He encouraged both the Federal and State governments to provide an enabling environment for the private sector by facilitating easier access to land.

He said, “Government alone cannot provide everything but we expect them to provide an enabling environment for professionalism to thrive. We appeal to them to them to unbottle the bottle necks on land acquisition, embark on sight and service schemes and generally make land cheaper for the private sector to thrive”.

Earlier, the Chairman, Offiong Sam Ukpong  called for local content in the building sector asking government to encourage the researches in alternative local building materials while implementing the researches that has been done in the sector by b several bodies. He decried the importation of all manner of building materials into the country noting that except the National Assembly pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) the manufacturing of building materials locally and albeit the quest for mass housing with local substitute might be a mirage.