In order to stem the tide of fraudulent practices in the real estate business and also ensure speedy trials of erring real estate agents in Lagos State, the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority, (LASRERA), has called for the collaboration of the Judiciary in providing designated judges solely responsible for the handling of real estate related matters.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made the request on Tuesday when she led some principal officials of the Agency to the office of the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba during a Courtesy visit.
Benson-Awoyinka said that for LASRERA to effectively enforce the Law guiding activities in the sector in Lagos State in form of misconducts, complaints or petitions from the public against persons or organisations within the sector, there is need for an assigned Courts and designated Judges to see to all Real Estate Matters in order to fast Track, Speedy hearing of Real Estate matters in such Courts.
She appealed to Honourable Chief of the State to consider the agency’s request due to the huge and incessant acts of fraudulent and quackery practices by some Real Estate Practitioners and the need to expedite hearings on matters that affect real estate businesses in the State.
In her words, “the Courts will accelerate the dispensation of all matters/issues in relation to real estate and ensures that victims get justice within a reasonable time and refunded accordingly especially if the perpetrators are culpable, adding that the properties of the culprits might be confiscated and sold to offset the payment already made by the affected victims.”
Benson-Awoyinka also added that the introduction of Foreclosure by the State Government would help decongest and expedite the liquidity of Mortgage assets.
According to her,” The State Government needs to sanitize real estate transactions so as to conform to the global practices and also to attract investments in the sector while also increasing the socio-economy of the State.
‘”The Real Estate Business has always been a good investment that needs the State Government to act as a gatekeeper because people seek for accommodation either to rent, buy or sell around the World.” the Special Adviser intensified.
The Special Adviser said that the efforts of the State Government in the housing sector are aimed at curbing the rate of reported and increasing cases of fraudulent practices in the Real Estate Sector across the State.
She informed that Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Law, Cap L28, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, provides for the establishment of the Lagos State Regulatory Authority. (LASRERA) which is to regulate the practice of Real Estate Agency in the State so as to identify persons eligible to be licensed as Real Estate Practitioners and provides for the issuance and renewal of Permits annually.
Benson-Awoyinka maintained that the agency has the responsibility of collating a database of Real Estate Practitioners/ Property Developers and Agents thereof.
She assured residents of the State that the State Government remains committed to the provision of protection for all residents of the State especially when there are perceived cases of fraudulent activities in the Real Estate Sector.
While responding, Honourable Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba, pledged that the State Judiciary will support in the fight against fraudulent dealings in the Real Estate Practice in the State.
He described the request of the agency for designated Courts to fast track the issues/ matters of the dubious activities of some fake Practitioners in the sector as a welcome development just as he also promised to assign judges to handle such cases within some jurisdiction in the State.
He used the occasion to also clarify that the Lagos State Judiciary has not stopped Bankers Order in the course of the dispensation of justice but would expect due process to be followed in seeking such orders.
He concluded by giving a strong commitment to the agency in its efforts to sanitize the industry as well as its pursuit of relief and quick dispensation of justice to the people. He thanked the Special Adviser to the for seeking such collaborations amongst the two arms of government which will further enhance the objectives of the agency.