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New Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Law to Boost Investor Confidence

Posted by OneAfrica Properties on August 16, 2021
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Regulations and Expectations

The Lagos State Government has said that investors and other relevant stakeholders in the built sector can now heave a sigh of relief from all forms of fraudulent practices, following the recent passage of a law for real estate practitioners by the State House of Assembly.

Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made the disclosure at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, during a Stakeholders Engagement organized by State’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), with the theme: “Redefining Opportunities in Real Estate: Regulations and Expectations.’’

According to her, the government is ready to curb fraudulent activities in the real estate industry with right laws and regulations.

Speaking on the rationale for the Stakeholders Engagement, the Special Adviser said that while LASRERA and its stakeholders are eagerly awaiting Governor Sanwo-Olu’s assent to the new law, it was necessary to further engage relevant practitioners in the industry about the content of the law and also encourage them to take ownership of it.

Summary of the Stakeholders Engagement

Apart from engaging, the stakeholders, the Special Adviser added that the forum also seeks ways of exploring the diverse opportunities inherent in the real estate industry, while also exposing participants to the industry, regulations and expectations.

“The overall intention for this stakeholders forum is for all participants to learn new and relevant skills that would be useful in up scaling your businesses and developing the industry as a whole.”

She said that the stakeholders engagement was organised to ensure that the policies of the government for the real estate industry gains the confidence of estate agents, with a view to curb fraudulent practices in the industry.

Her words: “ As a government that cares about this profession, we will continue to ensure effective and conducive environment for real estate business and investments to thrive in Lagos State.”

Benson-Awoyinka called on all the stakeholders to join hands with government to sanitise the sector, saying, “the real estate industry has visible and invisible untapped opportunities that can positively impact on the businesses of estate agents and other investors in the industry.

She stated “ to achieve this, it would require the collaboration of all industry stakeholders, including real estate professionals, practitioners and property developers to boost the sector in the state.”

She maintained that to unleash the endless opportunities that the real estate industry has to offer, regulations must be put in place to protect the interest of investors and the general public.

The special adviser assured stakeholders that there would be transparency in the real estate industry, adding that all hands must be on deck to tackle all the challenges confronting the industry and alleviate the fears of the public and investors.

Benefits and Impact of the LASRERA Bill

Speaking on the introduction of LASRERA Bill (The Benefits and Impact), the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN, clarified that the intention of the law is not to regulate the practioners, saying that the real estate body already has a body in charge of regulating its activities.

He added that the law becomes necessary in order to curb fraudulent practices in the real estate sector and also assure investors in the sector of a fair deal as a way of promoting ease of doing business in Lagos State.

The keynote speaker at the event, Mr. Gboyega Fatimilehin, who spoke on the topic “Real Estate Regulation as it affects Estate Agency,” said that countries with existing regulatory framework for the real estate sector and its services were able to attract investors.

“This allows for a transparent and effective functioning of the sector and gives the regulators (or government) the financial and administrative independence to aid in the regulations, which reassures investors.

“A well-regulated, fully-functioning, and transparent real estate market can be a very important factor in the growth of a nation’s economy. A market that is settled, predictable and trusted can experience high levels of growth and investment.”

Fatimilehin stated that there was crisis in the sector and that stakeholders must continue to see instances of fraud and malpractice in the sector in addition to the aforementioned lack of transparency, which has reduced the level of trust in the market.

“This is a hindrance to investment in the sector both in terms of the local capital and foreign direct investment which is required to address the shortage of adequate real estate products in our market,” he said.

Foreclosures and its Effects on Real Estate

Another speaker and Managing Partner, Libra Law, Mr. Afolabi Balogun, who spoke on issues surrounding foreclosure and its effect on real estate, noted that banks are the major challenge with the foreclosure of mortgaged property, due to proper documentation by the bank.

He explained that Foreclosure Clause and redemption of mortgage is governed by Provision of Order 55 Rule of the High Court of Lagos State Civil (Procedure) Rules 2019.

“Which requires banks to only file originating summons and furnish the Court with substantial particulars of the debt but most times banks are unable to do that,” he said.

Balogun stated that banks should be more diligent with these approach in order for Courts to speed the process of the foreclosure in their favor.

Source: Guardian NG

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