By G9ija

The Lagos State Government has warned residents to desist from patronising unregistered estate developers or agents while seeking accommodation or dealing in properties.

Speaking at Ketu on Monday, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Wasiu Akewusola, gave the advice following a fraudulent property developer who has allegedly duped no fewer than 262 prospective home buyers.

“Residents of Lagos State should desist from patronising quacks and criminals when seeking accommodation and homes to buy,” Akewusola said.

He decried the high rate of fraudulent acts of illegal estate agents and developers who, through their nefarious activities, are swindling innocent people of their hard-earned money.

“Lagos State Government is greatly concerned about the rise in the criminal and callous activities of some dubious estate agents, who lure unwary individuals to purchase non-existent parcels of land or rent one flat out to hundreds of tenants,” he said.

According to the permanent secretary, the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), a directorate under the state’s ministry of housing, is responsible for registration and regulation of genuine estate agents and developers.

Akewusola advised intending tenants to ensure they transact business with only registered and certified agents.

He noted that professionals were those recognised by the Lagos State Government estate agent registration banner.

He urged residents to continue to have confidence in the government’s ability to fulfil the mandate of accessible, affordable qualitative housing.

“Lagos State is a responsible government and will not relent in its efforts of ensuring that the well-being of the people is upheld,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Ajayi Adeyeye, Director of LASRETRAD, described the activities of dubious estate agents as criminal and illegal.

Adeyeye said that illegal transaction was an offence punishable under the Lagos State Tenancy Law of 2003, formerly known as Rent Control and Recovery of Residential Premises Law (Vol.7, Law of Lagos State, 2003.

The director noted that the law defined the relationship between the landlord/developer and tenant, adding that government was committed to curbing the excesses of swindlers and quack estate agents through prosecution.

He urged the public to report unscrupulous estate agents to LASRETRAD at the Lagos State Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja.

“A secured society can only be achieved if all sorts of unscrupulous elements are restrained.”

He appealed to registered estate agents to be trustworthy in service delivery to the public