Amid growing concerns about unscrupulous activities in the real estate sector, Lagos officials have insisted that the coming on board of Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Agency (LASRERA), will completely checkmate frauds in the practice.
Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka said it is now mandatory for all real estate practitioners to register with LASRERA at a fee before they can practise in Lagos. She said this became necessary to capture and update a unified central database of real estate practitioners and their activities.
Benson-Awoyinka, who spoke during the official launch of the LASRERA website/logo in Lagos, said: “We are well aware of the trend of fraudulent practices of some Real Estate Agents and Property
Developers. This is reflected in the complaints received by the Agency in recent times from residents who had fallen victims to fake Real Estate Practitioners and property developers while seeking accommodation, purchase or sale of the property. Hence, the need to have a comprehensive database that can be used to curb these fraudulent practices in the sector.”
According to her, it has become important to sanitise the sector, which has been bedevilled by lots of fraudulent practices, because of the state’s status as the commercial and economic nerve centre of
Nigeria and Africa, with lots of investments opportunities.
She disclosed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also approved the name change from Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department to Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) with new mandates.
This, she stated, includes the preparation of rules and regulations for the practice of estate agency and other connected matters in the state, identification of persons eligible to be licensed as estate agents and renewal of annual licenses, sanction of unlicensed estate agency practitioners in the state, as well as the investigation of complaints and petitions against licensed estate agency practitioners, among others.
She further stated that failure to apply for registration as stipulated under the law and contravening or failing to comply with the provisions of the LASRERA Law would attract penalties.
On new conditions for registering agents, she disclosed that the minimum education qualification includes, possession of secondary school leaving certificate and a sufficient level of education in estate agency, while the registration fees payable cut across different tiers.
Benson-Awoyinka said the public should feel free to report incidents of frauds in the industry to LASRERA, pledging government will not charge them for it.