When the Lagos State Housing Commission established the Tenancy act in 2011, many Lagos residents thought their the era of exorbitant house rents is over.
* Gov. Fashola
Ironically, happenings since then have shown that it actually marked the beginning of criminal increase in rents that has resulted into high cost of living.
The cost of renting an accommodation in Lagos State and other places all over the world varies in terms of location and facility available, coupled with the level of development and accessibility of road network in the community.
According to Barrister Wale Adeyemi, a solicitor in Ikeja, the primary contribution to the high cost of house rent in Lagos can be attributed to the congested population of people in the state.
“ The population of over 17million people comes with the demand for housing which has been continuously exploited by landlords and property developers,” Adeyemi added.
Also, the chief magistrate court in Surulere stated that 7 out of every 10 cases in the court are usually tenant-landlord issue which is usually centred on rent .out Six out of this lot are usually centred on geometric rent increment.
According to a petty survey carried out in various parts of Lagos on how much is charged by landlords for various specifications of accommodation from Iyana-Ipaja to Egbeda and Ikotun environs, below is the average cost of accommodation;
A room Apartment = 48,000 per year excluding agreement and commission of 40,000 and damage deposit of 10,000.
A room and Parlour Apartment= 72,000 a year with agreement and commission of 50,000 and damage deposit of 10,000.
A room self-contain= 80,000 a year with agreement and commission of 50,000 and damage deposit of 10,000.
A room bedroom flat= 170,000 a year with commission and agreement of 60,000 and damage deposit of 20,000,
2 Bedroom flat= 250,000 a year with commission and agreement of 100,000 with damage deposit of 20,000.
3 bedroom flat=500,000 a year with agreement and commission of 100,000 and damage deposit of 50,000.
What is applicable on the Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki and Ajah axis is about 50% higher than the above.
Mrs Ayokunle Temitope, a new resident in Lagos while expressing her shock at the cost of renting an apartment said: “I just moved in from Ilorin where I was paying 60,000 per annum for a 3 bedroom flat.
“I got a new job here in Lagos and I felt I could manage a 2 bedroom because of what I have already heard about this state.
“A two bedroom apartment I got around Eric Moore was N900,000 for a year and I’m paying for 2 years.
“Even the agreement and commission I have been asked to pay is enough to by a land in Ilorin.”
Mr Anthony Jetawo, a resident in Lagos opined that the 2011 house rent law that was aimed at curbing the excesses of the landlords by the Lagos State government has expectedly failed.
He added that the low cost housing project that was embarked upon by the Lagos state government did not serve the masses.
“How could you imagine a new building at Shagari Estate that was built by the government for the purpose of the low income earners and after the project was completed, the least structure there goes for N18 million.
“As if that was not ridiculous, the entire estate was bought in two months, now being let out by the new owners for the same higher prices that necessitated the idea.”
However, Mrs Ede Aderonke, a landlord, said one of the reasons some Landlords increase their rent is because often time it is their only source of income.
She pointed out herself being a widow and has six children to cater for all alone.
Mr Bose Okunnubi, 69, is a pensioner who has four wives and 18 children and owns a building of 32 rooms in Egbeda.
In his own words: “There is no way anyone would expect me to charge a rent lower than what I can afford to charge when this is my only income through which I keep up with family demands.
“It is my house and whosoever is not comfortable with my rent should find an alternative.”
An estate agent in Ikeja, popularly called Alhaji Eweje, argues that the costs of building materials also contribute to the high cost of rent in the metropolis today, saying that some landlords spend more than half of their income for maintenance of the building.
According to him: “If you get to the market to price the cost of sand, concrete, cement and other building materials, you will agree with me that the house owners are fair.
“Why don’t you ask why the government did not succeed in the quest to build house for the masses? Why is it that it is the rich men and women who purchase those houses built by government?
Eweje however, concluded that the issue of exorbitant house rent in Lagos and other parts of the country can only be addressed if government takes housing as top priority.
“It is possible for the government to create an affordable housing benefit if they can help subsidize the cost of the materials or they embark on capital housing projects.
“If was possible for Governor Lateef Jakande in the 80s, it can also possible now,” he concluded.