The Menace of Lagos Real Estate Investment Scams

Accommodation is one of the fundamental human needs. People keep moving into urban areas such as Lagos in search of greener pastures and this leads to the increase in population at a very fast rate.  This amounts to a challenge of providing accommodation or housing solutions to the teeming population.  
The Lagos real estate industry is a large one as people are always in need of buildings either for residential, business or other purposes.  It is always best to do business with professionals to get good value for your money and not be scammed out of your hard earned money. 

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There are many instances of where people have suffered great real estate investment losses because they did not make their dealings with real estate professionals. Some have paid for accommodation and upon moving in will discover that another person is already occupying the space.  Trying to get a refund will be harder than a camel passing through the eye of a needle. 
Some just sign any agreement that is dropped in front of them without properly going through it and when a problem arises in the future they will be running from pillar to post without any form of solid evidence or backing to support them. 
These are just few instances of how people have lost their money either because they are in a hurry to get the whole process over and done with or they tried to cut corners and did not go through real estate consultants.

Just  recently residents at Horizon Premier-1 Estate in Lekki, had issues with the Management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, and its Managing Director, Richard Nyong, over the alleged distortion of the original estate layout to build shops in the space initially marked out to be used as a children’s playground, green area and recreation facilities in the estate. The matter was taken to a Lagos High court. 
The residents, in the matter before a Lagos High Court, made it clear that they wanted the estate management to return to and make use of the original plan for the estate. They also demanded for compensation because there has been a delay of over two years in implementing the plan.  
There were equally complaints by residents in its existing Lekki Gardens estate about the bad conditions of facilities which they believe was as a result of poor maintenance. Others complained about faults in the structure such as cracks on the wall and disjointed pipes which they believed were as a result of poor workmanship.

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Scams in getting access to land and permits

The World Bank, in its Ease of Doing Business Series in Nigeria, ranked Lagos State was ranked as the worst place to secure construction permits Nigeria by the World Bank in its ease of doing business series in Nigeria. The reason for this is actually not far fetched. As earlier stated a lot of people are in need of houses or lands as the case may be and some people want to seize this opportunity and dupe people, causing them to loose their hard earned money. This has led a lot of investors who would have invested in the state to go to other near by states such as Ogun State to invest and establish their business.
There are always reports of how people have been scammed or duped when they wanted to acquire properties for either residential or commercial purposes. This should put people on alert and every one should be very careful whenever they want to invest in real estate. 

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Blame Nigerian’s love for cheap things and greedy developers

A usual occurrence are adverts or people walking up to others and trying to convince them to buy very good houses, lands or other properties at a ridiculously cheap amount. 
Before you put your money down and decide to go for any property of your choice, please make sure that you are dealing with professionals so as not to fall victim to scammers. 

Property developers should equally endeavour to make use of standard quality building materials. Some developers are in the habit of using substandard materials and employing poor workmanship.  This is of course covered by beautiful painting and designing.  When people then pack into the building it won’t be long before the faults will start showing and the occupants will then waste money on repairing or maintaining the property.  This is by no means a good way of doing business because you would have lost trust with that client who will be more than happy to tell anyone who cares to listen how you developed the property with substandard materials and poor workmanship.  This leaves a very bad impression on your business which will be difficult to recover from. But if on the other hand you do the rightful thing you would have gained that clients trust, referral won’t be difficult at all and this rubs off well on your business.  In the end it is always right to do the right thing. 

Navigating through the mine field of dodgy real estate agents
If there is one thing we have made abundantly clear in this write up it for you to be very careful whenever you are making any real estate deal.  Do not be in a hurry as this involves a lot of money and if you are swindled out of it, it won’t be a funny matter. 
Read your agreements properly and obtain clarifications where necessary before appending your signature. It is always best to do this with a professional or someone who really understands the real estate industry such as a lawyer.

  The Nigerian Tenant, The Landlord & His Rental Apartment

The Lagos State Tenancy Law 2011 was introduced to take care of the relationship, rights and obligations of tenants and landlords under Tenancy Agreements. It equally regulates the mode for the recovery of premises and other related purposes. If you are not conversant with this law you can get a lawyer to help you know your rights and the different remedies available under the law. There is also the Rents Tribunal which is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that helps in settling issues involving rent.

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