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Recession: landlords reduce rents as apartment stayed unoccupied

Following the present economic recessing facing the country, some house-owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reduced their house rents so that people can afford the houses. Many houses in the FCT have remained unoccupied as many people can no longer afford to pay rents due to the harsh economic situation. Checks revealed that even the houses being occupied presently, tenants still find it difficult to renew their rents. Some of the house-owners, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday, attributed the reduction to the current economic recession bedevilling the nation, which had made so many tenants unable to pay their house rents. Others attributed the reduction to their religious beliefs, which encourages them to assist the needy and de-emphasise on profit for any business venture. Mr Friday Shamaki, a house owner at Kpaduma Village in Asokoro area, said he had to reduce his house rent to enable his tenants pay other bills, as well as to reduce unnecessary argument that may arise from the inability to pay the usual rent. “It is obvious that the nation is facing recession which had forced the prices of commodities and services to increase drastically. “This has affected everyone, and has made me to reduce house rent from N250,000 to N200,000, which will go a long way to prevent any unnecessary argument or fight with my tenants due to their inability to meet up with the rent charges.’’ Mr Folunsho Adegoke, a house owner in Karu area said he reduced his house rent to attract and encourage tenants to remain in his house, rather than leaving it unoccupied. “I just finished building this four blocks of two- bedroom flats, which initially I wanted to give out at N300,000 each, but I had to reduce it to N250,000 so that the house doesn’t remain empty and starts deteriorating,’’ he said. Titus Ishaku, who owns a house in Bwari said he reduced his house rent because of his religious belief, which encourages him to be his “brother’s keeper’’ as well as to assist the needy. “ It is expected of every child of God to assist the needy and not capitalise on the fact that the nation is facing economic recession to milk some people dry all in the name of making profit.’’ Ishaku advised other property owners, especially shop owners to reduce their rents to enable their tenants businesses flourish, which would be beneficial to the nation as well. However, some tenants agreed that many landlords had reduced their rents. Mrs Janet David, a civil servant residing in Kubwa area disclosed that her landlord had reduced her house rent for a two-bedroom apartment. “My landlord was kind enough to reduce the house rent from N450,000 to N350,000 in view of the economic situation of our country and without any middleman or agent to make any profit,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, some tenants had appealed to the Federal Government to enact a law to check the high rent being demanded by some property owners in spite of the recession. “Government should also enforce the implementation of the law to reduce exploitation by property owners.’’ Mr Abraham Timothy, a civil servant in Karu area decried the enforcement of laws that would prohibit property owners from issuing quit notices without giving tenants enough time. “My landlord just served us a notice some days back that he wants to renovate the house, so we should find an alternative accommodation before our rent expires in Feb. 2017.’’ Also, Isaac Adeyemi, a resident in Kpaduma Village said his landlord had given him notice that his rent would be increased in 2017. “This man has no sense of pity for the predicament all of us in Nigeria are facing due to the economic recession. “He said he wants to increase the rent from N120,000 to N150,00.” he added. Adeyemi appealed to the government to come to the aid of low income earners by initiating schemes that would provide them with houses to reduce exploitation by elites property owners.

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