By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has set up an agency, Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority, LASRERA, to monitor activities of estate agents and tenancy transactions in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said with the agency, it’s no longer business as usual, saying no one can practise as a real estate agent and company without been licensed, as failure to comply would lead to sanctions.
Speaking at a briefing to unveil LASRERA, it’s portal and logo, she said the need to have such an agency had become necessary following a series of complaints about fraudulent estate agents and companies.
She said with the agency, residents can lodge complaints for such fraudulent agents to be prosecuted by the state government at no cost to complainants.
Benson-Awoyinka explained that “we are well aware of the trend of fraudulent practices of some real estate agents/ property developers.
“This is reflected in the complaints received by the ministry in recent times of residents who had fallen victims to fake real estate practitioners/ property developers while seeking accommodation, purchasing/selling of properties.
“As you all know, Lagos State has been the commercial and economic nerve centre of Nigeria and Africa with investment opportunities, hence the net migration to the state.
“The state government has worked tirelessly over the years to curb the increasing fraudulent practices in this sector and this explains the need to sanitise the industry.”
Benson-Awoyinka added that LASRERA will also investigate complaints and petitions against licensed estate agency practitioners and collate data on property transactions.
Benson-Awoyinka, therefore, implored estate agents to visit its site to get registered and get certified, saying any one with at least a secondary school certificate and have gone through a training on real estate agency would be certified by the state government to practise.