Since after the days of Shehu Shagari and Lateef Jakande, tenants in Nigeria have been perpetually at the mercy of landlords who not only collect their rents upfront, but also increase same at will.
Shagari and Jakande were the second republic president of Nigeria and governor of Lagos State respectively who, as a matter of state policies and programmes, embarked on massive development of low-cost housing mostly for low-income earning Nigerians.
Many Nigerians who benefitted from those housing programmes are enjoying their comfort of those houses till today. But today, a vast majority of Nigerians, especially those resident in Lagos, are not finding it easy having a roof over their head even as renters because of high house prices.
As a response to this challenge which, in Lagos, cuts across over 80 percent of the residents, some estate developers, public and private operators alike, have intervened with structured schemes that allow tenants to acquire their houses, pay rents over a period of time and own those houses.
1.Mixta Africa: This developer has an initiative for home acquisition focused on affordability. The initiative is called DUO which, according to Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, is a homegrown solution for mid-income earners who have difficulty paying outrightly for a house or experiencing delays in accessing a mortgage.
The DUO gives renters the opportunity to start out as tenants and end up as homeowners in a simple, straightforward transaction. “The thought of being a tenant paying your due rent and subsequently becoming a homeowner within 3 years is the major attraction for interested subscribers.
This initiative gives you the opportunity of not only living your dream of becoming a homeowner but also enjoying the benefit of living in a serene and luxury environment that offers all the comfort, convenience and recreation necessary for a healthy life,” Akinkugbe-Filani added.
She disclosed that as a rent-to-own scheme, DUO is currently applicable to Mixta’s fully finished 2 bedroom Marula Park home which is located in Lagos New Town, off Lekki- Epe Expressway with Beechwood Park and Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate as its close neighbours.
2.Alpha Mead: Rent4Less and Rent-to-Own are two models this developer has initiated to enable affordability of housing. The company is worried that landlords, over the years, are charging 1 and 2-years rent on their properties.
“Government is looking into monthly rent payment but the approach is not the right one as you cannot legislate on what you do not own. What should be done is to meet the objectives of landlords and tenants for the system to work,” Femi Akintunde, the Group Managing Director, explained.Related News
According to him, their Rent4Less approaches landlords with large units, pay upfront and fill it up with tenants who want to pay monthly while “Rent-to-Own combines our affordable housing solutions and mortgage accessing capabilities to help subscribers on Rent4Less own their homes.”
3.Legrande Properties: This is a Lagos-based property developer, currently developing 5,000 affordable housing units in Lagos. It has come up with a rent-to-own initiative as a means to meet the huge housing needs in the country. But this initiative, according to Babajide Durojaiye, the managing director, is an opportunity for only contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF).
The initiative is premised on its new project called Alexandra Courts Estate in lbeju-Lekki which is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Lagos State Government and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). “It also provides opportunity for loans to off-takers who are contributors to the National Housing Fund scheme up to N15 million,” Durojaiye assures.
4.Family Homes Funds (FHF): As federal government’s intervention in the housing sector, FHF facilitates home ownership. Its mandate is to provide 500,000 housing units in five years and create over two million jobs in the process.
The Funds has a product it calls Help-to-Own which contributes 40 percent of the total cost of new homes for low-middle income individuals as loan. The product does not require repayment of the loan in the first five years after which monthly payments are made starting from an interest rate of 3 percent, rising gradually to a maximum of 15 percent in the 20th year.
This product is for first time home buyers and for individuals who can provide a minimum deposit of 10 percent of the purchase price and can take responsibility for any associated fees. The product is also for those who earns between N500,000 and N1.7 million yearly.
5.Lagos Ministry of Housing: Curiously, Lagos, which is seen by many home seekers as an exploiter and a major competitor with private developers, also has a Rent-to-Own housing scheme that targets first time home buyers.
This scheme is a response to the concerns raised over the unfriendly conditions attached to home ownership through the Lagos Homes Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS). The new product has about 4,355 housing units it inherited from the mortgage scheme.
These houses came from 12 housing estates including Sir Michael Otedola Estate, Odoragunsen, Epe, Odo Onasa, Agbowa, Igbogbo Housing Estate, Ikorodu, Egan -Igando Housing estate, Alimosho, Lateef Jakande Gardens, Igando also in Alimosho. Other estates for the scheme are CHOIS City, Agbowa, Olaitan Mustapha Housing Estate, Ojokoro, Iponri Estate, Surulere, Sangotedo Estate, Eti-Osa and Ajara Estate, Badagry.
It requires individual subscribers to pay only 5 percent of the cost of the housing unit as a commitment fee and the balance is spread over a period of 10 years with minimal interest. According to Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, the state’s Commissioner for Housing, Rent-to-Own has recorded about 1,230 beneficiaries from inception.