The Inflated Cost Of House Rents In Abuja
Abuja as a popular city has a mixed population made up by people from all walks of life both within and outside Nigeria who are all out to make the most of the various opportunities available in it.
Nevertheless, Abuja is an expensive city with a high cost of living particularly in the area of accommodation. In some of the high class areas a two bedroom flat apartment can go for as high as N4,000,000 per year. Consequently a lot of houses in Abuja remain empty as very few people can afford the high rates.
However, in some of the satellite towns, such as Lugbe, Karu and Kubwa, accommodation is quite affordable as a two bedroom bungalow goes for about N700,000 per year.
But the fact remains that accommodation is expensive in Abuja and most of these apartments are demanded by civil servants.
The government’s attention has being drawn many times concerning the actions of house owners which is making the rents for these buildings very exorbitant as well as their attitude of demanding two years rent at a time. The result of this action is that these houses remain locked up for years while many people suffer accommodation problems. Concerned persons have appealed to the government to address this pressing issue so that these houses will be made available to inhabitants of the FCT especially the low income earners. The government was also urged to make acquisition of lands easier so that people can buy lands and build their own houses.
It has also being suggested by concerned persons that the prices and rents of houses should be determined by rent tribunals set up by the government. The rent tribunals will also have the duty of monitoring the activities of these land and house owners.
Another suggestion proffered is that mortgage institutions should be made to favour civil servants and low income earners and some clauses such as the equity contributions should be done away with so that mortgage loans can be easily accessed by those who desire it to enable them to acquire houses.
It was equally suggested that the issue of accommodation would be greatly reduced if housing estates were developed in different areas of the city by the government and given out at cheap rates to people. This would provide comfortable and affordable accommodation to the teeming population.
More so, it is the view of many, that it should be an offence for a house to be left empty for a period of six months.
Some were of the view that the rent of these buildings are so high because the owners acquired the lands at exorbitant prices from third parties and the materials used for building are expensive. This makes the owners place the houses at a high price because they want to recover their money and have substantial profit from the rent or sale. Hence they believe that if lands are given directly to the developers then the price of the houses would be greatly reduced.