The Nigeria Senate on Tuesday considered a bill to make it an offence for landlords to demand advance payment of rent beyond three months.
The bill was sponsored by the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Smart Adeyemi.
Adeyemi while speaking after the first reading of the bill on the floor of the Senate, stated that the bill would enable tenants to make a maximum advance payment of three months rent, with subsequent monthly payment. And it should be applicable to tenants of residential apartments, office buildings and any spaces in Nigeria allotted for rent.
He said, “We have discovered that landlords are compelling tenants to make one year and two-year advance rent payments before they would give them keys to their apartments.
“It may not be an issue to quite a number of people, but to many others, it is a a serious injury.
Most Nigerians need the protection of the law to be able to meet their basic needs after paying rent”.
“Many landlords did not secure loans to build their houses; they are products of free money they acquired from the system. Yet, they make life difficult for poor Nigerians who do not have such privilege of making ill-gotten money from the system to put up structures”.
“Most buildings are constructed in such a manner that an average Nigerian would not be able to afford it. Many tenants are involved in corrupt practices to get their rents paid, while the ladies are taking into prostitution”.
“The law we are proposing stipulates a maximum advance rent payment of three months. After the expiration of the three months rent, the tenants are expected to pay monthly”.
“There are many tenants whose salaries are competing with their rents because they live in cities like Abuja or Lagos. The law we are proposing is to protect the poor from any form of oppression” Adeyemi submitted.