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Housing Crisis: House of Reps Proposes Monthly Rent System in Abuja | The Bureau Newspaper

In response to the mounting housing crisis in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo (PhD), a member of the House of Representatives representing Ikono-Ini Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom State, has put forth a motion aimed at overhauling the rental landscape in the nation’s capital.

Entitled “Implementation of Monthly Rent to Encourage Inclusive Rental System and Curb Arbitrarily Increase in House Rent in the Federal Capital Territory,” the motion seeks to introduce a monthly rent system to ease the financial burden on tenants.

Rep. Ukpong-Udo outlined several pressing issues affecting tenants in the FCT, notably the prevalent practice of landlords demanding upfront payment equivalent to one or two years’ rent. This practice places a significant financial strain on tenants, particularly those with limited incomes.

Rental costs in the FCT have skyrocketed, with one-bedroom apartments commanding annual rents ranging from 1 to 1.5 million naira, two-bedroom apartments fetching between 2 to 3 million naira per year, and three-bedroom apartments commanding over N3.5 million annually.

Additionally, tenants are burdened with hefty additional charges, including legal fees (up to 20% of the rent), agency fees (5-10%), service/maintenance fees (exceeding N150,000), and caution fees (ranging from N150,000 to N400,000).

The lawmaker underscored the economic challenges faced by civil servants and artisans, compounded by the removal of fuel subsidies, escalating foreign exchange rates, higher electricity tariffs, and increased taxes and levies.

These factors exacerbate the struggle of meeting exorbitant rental costs, necessitating urgent intervention to address the housing crisis.

To combat these challenges, the motion advocates for the adoption of an inclusive rental system that facilitates affordable monthly payments. This approach aims to provide tenants with greater financial flexibility, enhance cash flow management, offer reasonable move-out options, and ensure a steady income stream for landlords.

Furthermore, the motion calls for government intervention to enact policies regulating house rents and landlord activities in Abuja. It also proposes the construction of affordable low-cost housing estates specifically tailored for civil servants, thereby alleviating the financial burden on public servants.

The motion enjoins the Federal Ministries of Housing and Habitat and Works to prioritize the construction of affordable housing for civil servants and mandates the Committee on Housing and Habitat and Works to oversee compliance with these directives.

Through these proposed measures, the motion seeks to establish a more equitable and manageable rental market in the FCT, ultimately enhancing the quality of life for hardworking civil servants and artisans.

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