OrderPaperToday – Trouble looms for landlords in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as the Senate has begun moves to restrict collections of three months advance rent to residents seeking new apartment in the FCT.
The bill, which passed for first reading on Tuesday, is titled ‘Advanced Rent (Residential Apartments, Office Spaces) Regulation Bill, 2022,’ and sponsored by Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi-West).
Adeyemi, who spoke to journalists on details on the bill, said it was important to begin to ensure that legislations should not just be to impose penalty on the people.
He stated that there was an urgent need to enact laws that could directly affect the lives of the individuals in such a manner that Nigerians would be able to have three square meals and have a roof over their head.
In his words: “Some of the problems confronting our nation today is the high level of corruption and if you take a look at Abuja in particular, you see so many uncompleted houses, some of them you don’t even know the owners.
“Those, who own these property, they did not secure loans for them, they are free money that people have gotten, illegal monies, and put up structures. And these structures are put out in such a manner that an average Nigerians cannot afford it.
“Why do you think that some junior people go into corrupt practices, a good number of them is the struggle and effort to get their rent paid. Ask those who are paying rent in Abuja, the landlord will ask them to pay two years rent.
“So I came to the conclusion that we must put the law in place that when you are going to take an apartment, the maximum of what a landlord should ask you to pay must be three months, after three months, you can then begin to pay monthly.
“You do not allow the society to live in a manner that people can be reckless; they have in the way of assets, you must have the consideration that you have a duty to protect others, not to use your wealth to oppress people and make some people to commit suicide.
“There are families that have broken up because the man of the house could not pay the rent, and some have been pushed out because the landlord asked them to pay for two years. If people will have to manage with their spouse to pay, we should be able to put the law in place in such that nobody will be oppressed,” Adeyemi explained.
The lawmaker said that the bill seeks to ensure that tenants are not ejected until after six months if they were not able to pay, adding that it was important to put laws in place to protect the majority of Nigerians, who are poor.
Recall that the 8th House of Representatives passed a similar bill to compel landlords against advanced rent collection.