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Experts decry fraudulent activities in real estate sector | Prestige Real Estate News

Experts decry fraudulent activities in real estate sector


Built environment experts have decried rampant cases of fraudulent activities in real estate sector

The latest has to do with two diaspora Nigerians, whose reports went viral on social media last week, alleging how they paid money for land and house in Nigeria, and could not get allocation three years after.

Although, the Lagos State government, through its agency , LASRERA, was able to resolve one of the cases, others are still pending.

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Condemning fraudulent activities in the real estate sector, Femi Oyedele, said it had been variously reported that about N3 trillion had been lost by property investors in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt alone.

“In a country where it is not easy to locate one another, where corruption is rife and there is no rule of law, fraud will be prominent,” he said

He stated that there have been different stories about the breach of contracts or fraudulent activities of real estate developers and brokers, pointing out that some of them would collect money from diaspora Nigerians with the intention of getting them plots of land or a unit of house in their estate but failed to honour the contract.

“Some do not have estate at all and some even collect the money and disappear,” Oyedele said, noting that the fraudulent activities have already created lack of trust and apathy to invest amongst the disapora Nigerians that want to invest in the country.

To checkmate these criminal and horrible activities, Oyedele urged whoever that is investing in property to be watchful of the maxim “Caveat Emptor”, buyers beware’.

“It is not easy getting back money that is paid to fraudulent people because they do not save or plan for tomorrow. You have to investigate before you invest,” he advised.

Besides, he urged diaspora investors to trust referrals of professional estate surveyors and valuers more than the adverts they see on buses and newspapers.

“An estate surveyor and valuer can act as agent and make sure they get a good deal for their hard-earned money.

“An estate surveyor and valuer will not only confirm the physical existence of the property, he will also ensure it is worthwhile to invest in the property through location analysis.

“ Some properties are also hyped in that the promoters are selling them at unreasonable amount.

“An estate surveyor and valuer is able to check the current value and appreciation propensity of the property based on his training. lf an estate surveyor defaults in representing his client well, he has a professional body that the client can report to,” he stated.

Secondly, he said diaspora property investors could court the Nigerias in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) office in Lagos and Abuja for assistance.

“For people that want to invest in landed property and who do not want to fall prey to callous developers, they can check the website of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) to look for names and contacts of professional estate surveyor and valuer who can help them.

“Secondly, they can contact the ministry of land or housing in the state where they want to buy land. Government properties are easy, cheap and safer to buy,” oyedele said.

Thirdly, he said they can contact NIDCOM office in Lagos and Abuja to make enquiry, adding that, “they can send the details of the land and developers to their banks to verify. Banks do not only keep money for you, they can also advise you on what to do with your money and assist you in having a safe transaction through their legal department.”

Lagos -based estate surveyor and valuer, Sola Enitan said there’s much to be done in the sector

His words: “There’s so much to be done for the sector. It’s not just about registration of estate agents and collection of registration fees of N150,000 and doing annual real estate fair. The real work that can earn government of Lagos State hundreds of billions of naira is left unattended to because they’re oblivious of the responsibility they are saddled with.

“First point of call is an Amendment of the LASRERA Law. Any law that was promulgated without public hearing or enacted without circulation of the publication has so much to hide. The LASRERA Law needs to be amended to function right.

There’s an entire latently rich subsector that’s been overlooked. We will keep watching them, hopefully, they will get it right soon, without consultation.”

– Nigerian Tribune


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