With increasing spate of rent default by tenants across the country, especially, in the urban centres, most tenants are now seeking cheaper accommodation in remote areas.
Inflation, high cost of living and the harsh operating environment have affected the disposable income of most people, as they were unable to meet their rent obligations as and when due.
To this end, real estate experts have decried this growing trend coupled with multiple court cases as more tenants faces legal evictions procedures from the courts due to rent default.
Hence, experts cautioned against further increments in house rents, stating that, more tenants have continued to move to suburbs in search of cheaper accommodations that meet their current financial standard.
Realtors attributed increase in house rents to inflation, cost of maintenance and renovation cost while citing that, the prices of building materials have skyrocketed, hence, instigating the further rise in rental prices of residential properties across the country.
Speaking, one of the Landlord and owner of a block of four rental apartments in Festac, Lagos, said; nearly everything has increased in price, from foodstuff to building materials. For a landlord like me who lives off rents paid by tenants, I have no choice but to transfer this high cost to them, else, my survival may be threatened.”
Reacting to increase in house rent, a tenant and spare part dealer in Lagos, Emeka Ejiofor, accused the landlords of being shylocks by taking advantage of a bad economic situation and a largely unregulated sector to fleece tenants.
Another tenant, Olusola Asogbon said, “my landlord, who wanted to increase rent, met with strong resistance from the tenants. Rather than communicating with us at the beginning of the year, he decided to inform us 8 months into the year, so we rejected his plan,”
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Abiodun Bewaji, of Abiodun Bewaji Consulting firm, confirmed the wild rent hikes warning that the trend could continue as the year winds down.
He said; “One of the fallouts of the Covid-19 pandemic is our inability to get tenants to pay up their outstanding rents. Many realtors are currently dealing with multiple cases of rent defaults, particularly among the lower- and middle-income earners. Conclusively, rent default is more pronounced for residential properties than for commercial properties.”