The senator representing Delta North, Ned Nwoko, has initiated a Bill, titled: One-Month Rent Limitation and Landlord Registry Act, to make it easy for tenants to pay their rents monthly instead of the current one-year, two or three-year practice, if passed into law.
The senator said the proposed law would foster a cordial relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
Nwoko is expected to present the proposed Bill before his colleagues when the Senate resumes plenary on January 30.
Commenting on the essence of the proposed Bill while addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, Nwoko said: “There is the need for us to understand the issues at stake here. Rent control is for both the rich and the poor. There are houses/flats of different classifications all over the country.
“The issue here is that it is unfair on tenants to be asked to look for such huge amounts for advance payment of rents of one year or two years.
“It is not done in any civilised nation. Where does the money come from? (Would it come from begging, lying, stealing, killing, deceiving, etc?) What is needed is a rent control body to effectively monitor and implement the law in every local government and in every state.
“Every tenancy agreement must be in a written form and a copy must be filed by the landlord and the tenant at the rent control agency.
“This must be done two weeks before the commencement of the tenancy; otherwise, there will be a fine of 10 per cent of the total rent sum.
“The low cost housing has nothing to do with rent control. They are houses built by any of the tiers of government for the low income earners or for the vulnerable in the society, including the disabled, among others. They are not houses where a rent is paid. They are simply built for the masses in the categories mentioned earlier.
“It is almost impossible for any government to build enough low cost houses for those in need unless they partner some housing associations or some other voluntary agencies.
“But the best way forward is for people to earn well and the banks to give mortgages at an affordable rate of no more than three per ent.”
“This way, people will become house owners over a period of time. These are long-term plans and solutions.”