Rent is a periodic payment made to an owner of a property for the use of such property. This payment is on the increase n modern times due to several factors which includes increase in the price of goods, inflation and greed on the part of landlords. Similarly, the collection of rent is limited by a lot of problems which often results to rifts between landlords and tenants. However, these problems of rent collection can be solved successfully, thereby promoting a cordial landlord –tenant relationship. This study therefore seeks to achieve this by identifying the problems of rent collection in residential properties in Enugu, and make recommendations on how to solve these problems.
The government overtime have put up measures to help ensure that the process of rent collection is less cumbersome. These measures have come in form of rent control edicts and recovery of premises edicts, as well as the setting up of rent tribunals. These laws have been adopted by various states of the federation, and modified to address the problems of rent collection peculiar to their state. States such as Cross-River, Kwara, Anambra and Lagos State have done this. These laws will be reviewed in this study, in order to arrive at a better understanding of how these laws canbe used to address the problems of rent collection in residential properties in Enugu metropolis.
Three neighbourhoods have been selected for this study. They include: new Haven, Obiagu and Achara Layout all in Enugu metropolis.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Housing is one of the most basic needs of man second to food and followed by clothing. As man continues to undergone changes from one stage to another, the need for decent housing keeps arising. Increasing human population and advancing technology have increased the need for housing. This need overtime have been addressed through the provision of residential property by developers who in turn collect rent from the tenants. Increasing demand for housing which keeps rising above the available supply has given rise to hike in rental price of housing, especially residential housing.
Housing as a basic need is being provided by the public and the private sector. The private sector which is a major provider of housing do so at exorbitant prices and employs various methods in collecting rents. However, the process of rent collection in residential properties is marked by problems which often lead landlords to take extreme measures to ensure that rent is collected. Sometimes too, landlords and tenants do engage in long legal battles which often times linger on over a long period of time.
Measures to address the problems of rent collection have been adopted by the public and private developers. The government have enacted rent control edicts and rent tribunals to help to ensure that rent collection issues are properly handled with minimal disagreements.
Rent collection is a method of residential property management for both the public and private providers of housing. It involves the collection of an agreed sum of money after a specified period of time which could be monthly, annually or bie-annually as the case may be. Rents collected on residential property are used to manage the property and rehabilitate the property if necessary. This helps to increase the life span of the property. Rent to be collected on a property is usually subject to increment after an agreed period of time in order to accommodate inflation.
Rent collection in Nigeria as well as in Enugu metropolis is the principal duty of the provider of the housing. However, this duty most times is delegated to other parties who collect rent on behalf of the owner. Such delegation is usually made to Estate Agents, caretakers or any other representative who engage in contractual agreements on behalf of the landlord both for rent collection and admittance of new tenants. Estate Agents when acting on behalf of landlords charge monthly or yearly fees for their services. These fees are added tot eh rent payable by the tenant, further increasing it.
The government as a provider of housing have made several attempts to address the issue of rent collection in Nigeria. Laws such as the rent control and recovery of premises edict and other similar laws found in various states are some of the measures taken by the government. The rent control edict has been adopted by various states of the federation to reflect their peculiarities. These laws cover areas such as fixing of rent, mode of collection and increment.
Rent collection on government owned residential property has lesser problems than that of private individuals. This is often the case because tenants perceive the government as having the power and right to eject them from their houses more than private individuals. Therefore, they easily comply with the payment of rent without delay whether the price is high or not. The mode of collecting rent from tenants by the government which is usually through government agencies also help to reduce the problems of rent collection on government owned residential property.