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Lagos, lawyers in talks over amended LASRERA law, monthly rental policy

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
11 April 2022   |   2:52 am
Towards implementing the new policy in real estate transactions, the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) has held talks with practising lawyers in sector

Managing Partner, Adetola Ayanru &Co, Ms. Adetola Ayanru (left); Representative of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,Lagos State, Mrs. Aderinsola Olanrewaju; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka; Partner, Tope Adebayo LLP/ Secretary CPIC, NBA-SBL,Aderemi Fagbemi and Company Secretary/General Counsel, UPDC PLC, Mrs Folake Kalaro at a stakeholders forum organised for practicing lawyers by LASRERA in conjunction with the Construction and Infrastructure Projects Committee of the Section on Business Law, Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos.

Towards implementing the new policy in real estate transactions, the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) has held talks with practising lawyers in sector on the newly amended LASRERA law and explored benefits inherent in the proposed monthly rental scheme.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Stakeholders Forum, which was in conjunction with the Construction Projects and Infrastructure Committee of the section on Business Law, Nigerian Bar Association (CPIC, NBA-SBL), at Victoria Island, the Special Adviser the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, underscored crucial roles expected to be played by lawyers in the implementation of the new law.

She said that it became imperative for lawyers to be well guided by the provisions of the law to enable them give professional advice to their potential clients in the area of property and real estate business transactions.

Benson-Awoyinka, who decried the level of frauds perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals in the real estate industry, said most fraudulent real estate transactions do not engage lawyers from inception of such transactions.

She, however, stressed that the LASRERA law was reviewed to regulate and bring sanity to the sector, as well as all transactions therein, stressing that the role of property lawyers is to protect the interest of all parties in any real estate transaction, as legal professionals.

“In real estate transactions, lawyers and estate agents offer completely different services, real estate agent is involved in the process of buying/selling properties or rental services while all paper works are handled by a lawyer as prescribed by the law.

“To this end, our perspectives and experiences as learned professionals will make these deliberations and recommendations impactful while meeting international best practices in the real estate market,” she explained.

Speaking on the proposed monthly rental policy , the Special Adviser noted that the scheme is a social investment programme of Lagos State government to alleviate suffering of the residents seeking comfortable shelters, stressing that the state government would not compel any landlord to subscribe to this initiative.

She said: “On the monthly rental scheme, we will not legislate on it, but we will continue to work towards the scheme being generally accepted by the residents.

“What we are proposing is a scheme, whereby we are going to bring in group of financiers to finance this scheme by paying the landlord on a yearly basis and the tenant gets the opportunity to repay on the monthly basis.”

In his key note address, the State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN expressed optimism about the new law, saying that it was designed to bring sanity into the sector and weed out touts that have made a lot of gains fraudulently from the sector.

He assured that the law would change the landscape of real estate development and management in general.

Onigbanjo, who was represented by the Director, Legal Drafting, Mrs. Aderinsola Olanrewaju of the Ministry of Justice explained that law and regulations are very critical to the real estate as the forum would avail participants the opportunity to understand the intricacies of the legislation.

Speaking via a virtual platform, the Chairman, CPIC, NBA Section on Business Law, Mr. Olayode Delano, SAN, said that the LASRERA Law would be beneficial to investors and property owners in the State.

While Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe clarified the issue of duplication of roles by different Government Agencies, at the panel discussion, saying that all MDAs has specific functions though there are areas of synergy.

She explained that while Lasrera concentrates on post construction stage of real estate, other agencies of government are either involved in the conception stage, which involves building materials testing, building control and implementation of approved building plans among others.

The Company Secretary Secretary/ General Counsel, UPDC PLC, Mrs. Folake Kalaro, during the panel discussion on the LASRERA law, emphasised the need to review the academic qualifications for real estate practitioners as stipulated in the law.

She stated that the law is a path towards ensuring normalcy in the real estate Industry, but want government to ensure implementation of most of the policies, particularly the aspect that affect the real estate market in the state.

Another panelist, the Managing Partner, Adetola Ayanru & Co, Mrs. Adetola Ayanru, affirmed that the law seeks to address professionalism in the real estate sector considering the importance of real estate in Lagos State and its contribution to the State’s economy.

She said that when the law becomes fully operational, cases of fraud and sharp practices would become a thing of the past and more foreign direct investment would be attracted to the State.