Published On: Sat, Jun 19th, 2021

Delta Tenants Lament High Cost Of House Rent, Call For Govt. Intervention

LAGOS JUNE 19TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Delta State Government has been called upon to look into the constant and indiscriminate house rent increment by landlords, especially in the state capital territory areas of Asaba and Okpanam.
Respondents who spoke to our correspondent in Asaba and Okpanam, described as outrageous and unbearable, the rate at which owners of houses were increasing rents for tenant.
They wondered why Asaba, predominantly occupied by public servants, should be having what some called ‘cut throat’ rent, saying it was no longer the issue of shortage of houses but that of man’s inhumanity to man.
It was discovered that a single room self-contained apartment in Asaba and parts of Okpanam now goes for between N150,000 and N200,000 while that of room and parlour self-contained cost as high as N300,000 to N350,000.
Our correspondent also gathered that a fairly standard two-bed room apartment depending on the location, now goes for N400,000 to N500,000 while the same standard of three bed room cost between N500,000 and N100,000, and duplex from N2 million depending also on the disposition of the owner.
Some residents in the state capi¬tal territory who bared their minds, lamented that the situation had become unbearable, and called on the Delta State Government to intervene and provide a permanent solution to the issue.
Debby Edemate, who was on a house hunting mission, said that having affordable house for rent in Asaba and environs was becoming impossible, blaming it on what she referred to as shylock landlord that forget they were once tenants.
She added that apart from the exorbitant annual rent, the agency fee and other fees a new tenant was expected to pay were too outrageous, explaining that most agents were behind the constant and increment in house rent.
“One has to pay an extra N50,000 to N150,000 or more as the case may be depends on the type of accommodation, and this is making life in Asaba even more difficult.
“I just hope the Delta State Government can place a measure to subsidize rentage
and also checkmate the activities of the so-called house agents and their agencies,” she said.
Another respondent, Chuks Mordi, a civil servant, said civil servants were the most affected, saying all they earn as salary now go into payment of rent and also rendering them perennial debtor.
“The most affected group of people by this outrageous rentage, are the civil servants.
“How much is a civil servant’s salary that he or she can afford to pay such exorbitant rent?”
“Take for instance those on salary grade level 01 to 10 going by this, will spend their annual earnings on rentage,” Mordi lamented.
According to him, the only way out was for the state government in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing to embark on massive low-income housing scheme across the state for civil ser¬vants and other residents in the state.
He said that the idea would also turn out to be a source of revenue to the government, especially now that oil rev¬enue could not be relied on.
However, Mr Emmanuel Benyeogor, a landlord, stated that the hike was as a result of increased cost of building materials as well as the current level of inflation in the economy.
He hinted that even though some of the houses were not built recently, the cost of maintenance necessitated the increment.
Speaking on the possible solution, Mr Benyeogor said: “If the government can come up with an effective policy to checkmate the current rate of inflation in the economy which has resulted in the increase in prices of not just building materials alone but almost everything in the market, then rentage can be minimal.”

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