As concerns continue to swell within the metropolis over a proposed tenancy law in Lagos, professionals, particularly, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) have begun serious consultations that may culminate into dialoguing with the state government.

To this end, NIESV’s national body has set up a committee to liaise with its Lagos Chapter to understudy the law as copies of the law had been sent copy to all members for their inputs, especially, areas they perceive not to be in conformity with their rules or Act establishing and guiding the practice of estate surveying in Nigeria.

This was confirmed by NIESV  President. Mr. Bode Adediji last week. Already, the chapter last week during the institution’s 2010/2011 yearly general meeting, held within the branch secretariat complex, Commercial Business District (CBD), Alausa, Ikeja also hinted of the planned dialogue withthe state authorities.

At the meeting, members were urged to expedite action on the law and forward their observations and recommendations to the NIESV committee saddled with that responsibility.  A random sample conducted proved that almost all members in Lagos had gotten the electronic version of the law.

Also, a source hinted that, once members’ views have been collated, the institution would within the next two weeks at the maximum go into discussion with the state government to address all germane issues raised.

Since the Lagos House of Assembly passed the bill, there have been permutations among built professionals, mainly estate surveyors. This was why the institution had to avail members copy of the law.

According to the bill, it shall be unlawful for a sitting tenant to offer or pay rent in excess of one year for a yearly tenant in respect of any premises and any person, who receives or pays rent in excess of what is prescribed by the law shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of N100,000.

The bill further spells out the rights of parties, which states that the tenant’s entitlement to quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the premises, which includes privacy, freedom from unreasonable disturbance, noise, pollution and nuisance, as well as, exclusive possession of the premises, subject to the landlord’s restricted right of inspection.

The bill consists of 47 sections, including jurisdiction of the courts, obligations of the tenant, obligations of the landlord, length of notice, services of notice, among others.

Also, the bill will allow a tenant to enjoy privacy, as the landlord must give a written notice in a case where he/she needs to inspect the house being occupied by the tenant.  This law shall be applicable to premises let before and after the commencement of the law.

In his valedictory speech, immediate past Chairman, Mr. Elias Oversuor, who reviewed his stewardship for the two years in office, noted that there are still some challenges the institution must overcome if it would have its place.

“One such challenge was, and still is, in the areas of members’ not-too-comfortable commitment to their financial obligations to the branch.

“Although progress has been recorded, there is still room for improvement.  There was also the challenge of misinformation about the working of the executive by some members for reasons we cannot explain.  We pray for a change of attitude among such members for the general good of our great branch in particular and our noble profession in general. Worthy of concern also is the general apathy of members to the programmes and activities of the branch.  We must rise above this weakness to bring more ebullience into the branch.”

In his acceptance speech, the new Lagos Chairman of NIESV, Mr. Solomon Olusola Fatoki promised ensure delivery of qualitative service that would further enhance the practice of estate surveying in the state.

Fatoki sets six-point agenda including reviewing, adding or amending where necessary statutory programmes of the branch, completion of the secretariat, adequate integration of members both old and young, as well as, their welfare and strengthen relationship with the state government over job security of members in government service, possible government patronage for practicing estate surveyors and valuers, as well as, other incentives.

Others are to have beneficial relationship with organised private sector such as Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Associations of Small and Medium Scale Industries and liaise with other professional bodies, with a view of repositioning practice of estate surveying; and promised to engage in adequate positive publicity for the branch and her activities.

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Source: The Guardian