Oyo Assemblyman raises alarm on exorbitant charges by estate agents

Mr Babajide Adebayo, member representing Ibadan North 1 Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly on Tuesday condemned high charges being imposed by estate agents in the state.

Adebayo, who bared his mind on the development at plenary, emphasised the need to regulate activities of estate agents and surveyors alike in order to end such exorbitant charges.

He said the practice of extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public, in the name of helping them secure apartments, was now rampant in most parts of Oyo State.

“Cases abound of agents collecting money from three or four different people over a single property.

“I am, therefore, suggesting that there is the need for the Oyo State government through the Oyo State Ministry of Lands, Housing and Physical Development to intervene.

“I am also calling on other professional bodies like the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, as well as the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN) to regulate and bring some sanity into this practice.

“All there charges are rather too high and exploitative. There should be ways of reducing the activities of quacks in the practice,” he said.

The Assemblyman said,“ Potential tenants must resist any attempt to make them pay exorbitant fees and they should also try to negotiate the fees to avoid being exploited

“Officers of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies should help investigate and bring erring estate agents and surveyors, whose criminal activities have been reported to them, to book to serve as deterrent to others.

“Estate agents and surveyors must get registered with their professional bodies and issued membership certificates.

“This will enable members of the public to identify the real estate agents and the fake ones among them.”

He lamented that the house agents in Oyo were in the habit of collecting fees such as agency fee, agreement fee, caution fee, legal fee, inspection fee among several others.

“Some even request for registration fee, and when they give you what they call total package for the rent, you will be shocked and speechless,” he said.

Other Assemblymen thanked Adebayo for raising the issue with the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin (Ibarapa East), admitting that the agents were milking the people.

The Speaker, therefore, mandated him to get more information on the practice to enable the legislature take definite action. (NAN)

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