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Nigerian govt again urges landlords to charge monthly rents

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Instead of the current practice of charging one, two to three years of advance rents, the Federal Government has tasked private property owners to charge their tenants monthly, quarterly or half-year rents.

The Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the call yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 15th Abuja Housing Show.

Fashola disclosed that in the post-COVID-19 era, most tenants are owing rents or facing eviction.

“It is evident that most houses available for sale or rent belong mostly to individuals and private companies, compared to those the state or the Federal Government could provide,” he said

The minister who had sometime last year made a similar call, was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu.

According to him, in order to improve access and affordability in the COVID-19 era and beyond, it is important for private companies and individuals to give back some of what they control to citizens in the way that the Federal Government has given back to citizens some of what it controls.

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Fashola continued: “For example, in- cases where the rents of businesses or some individuals are due for renewal, the private landlords can give back by accepting monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly rents, instead of one, two or three years rents in advance.

“The risk of defaults can be secured by bank guarantees or insurance bonds provided by the tenants or the employer in exchange for a direct debit mandate from the employee for the deduction of his rent from his salary to pay the landlord.”

The minister explained that where the rent has fallen into arrears, it is possible to emulate what the FGN did through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reschedule payment on loans by rescheduling the payment for the tenant to more affordable terms, instead of adopting eviction.

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