Wednesday, June 12th 2024

Reps Move To End Annual Rent Payment In Abuja

Reps Move To End Annual Rent Payment In Abuja
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In response to the escalating housing crisis in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, a member of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo (PhD), representing Ikono-Ini Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom State, has introduced a motion aimed at transforming the rental landscape in the nation’s capital. Titled "Implementation of Monthly Rent to Encourage Inclusive Rental System and Curb Arbitrarily Increase in House Rent in the Federal Capital Territory," the motion seeks, among other things, the Implementation of a monthly rent system to alleviate the financial strain on tenants.

Rep. Ukpong-Udo highlighted several critical issues affecting tenants in the FCT. Among the primary concerns is the common practice of landlords demanding at least one year’s rent upfront, with some requiring as much as two years’ payment in advance. This system imposes a significant financial burden on tenants, especially those with limited incomes. The cost of renting properties in the FCT is alarmingly high, with one-bedroom apartments costing between 1 to 1.5 million naira per year, two-bedroom apartments ranging from 2 to 3 million naira per year, and three-bedroom apartments well over N3.5 million per year. In addition to these steep rents, tenants face exorbitant additional charges, including legal fees (up to 20% of the rent), agency fees (5-10%), service/maintenance fees (N150,000 and above), and caution fees (ranging from N150,000 to N400,000)

Rep. Ukpong-Udo emphasised that civil servants and artisans are already dealing with numerous economic challenges, following the removal of fuel subsidies, rising foreign exchange rates, increased electricity tariffs, and higher taxes and levies. These factors exacerbate the difficulty of managing high rental costs, making it imperative to address the housing issue urgently.
To tackle these pressing issues, the motion proposes the implementation of an inclusive rental system that allows for affordable monthly rental payments. This approach aims to provide tenants with greater flexibility, improve cash flow management, offer reasonable move-out options, and ensure a stable income stream for landlords.

Furthermore, the motion calls for government intervention to formulate policies that regulate house rents and landlord activities in Abuja. It also advocates for the construction of affordable low-cost houses and estates specifically for civil servants, helping to reduce the financial strain on those who serve the community. The motion urged the Federal Ministries of Housing and Habitat and Works to prioritize the construction of affordable housing for civil servants. It also mandates the Committee on Housing and Habitat and Works to ensure compliance with these objectives. By implementing these measures, the motion aims to create a more equitable and manageable rental market in the FCT, ultimately improving the quality of life for hardworking civil servants and artisans.


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