Lagos State has received a total of 1,577 petitions regarding real estate fraud over the span of four years

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Barakat Odunuga-Bakare, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, has revealed that the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) has been inundated with over 1,577 complaints regarding real estate fraud since its establishment in 2020.

During a press briefing held in Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, Odunuga-Bakare shared the agency’s efforts in addressing these issues. “We have received well over 1,577 complaints from the inception of the agency in 2020 till date. We have successfully resolved 1,027 cases, and currently, eight cases are undergoing legal proceedings related to real estate fraud,” she stated.

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Expressing concern over the mixed bag of developers within the sector, she emphasized the importance of registration to sanitize the real estate industry. “We have a mixture of both good and bad developers in the sector. It’s crucial for brokers, developers, agents, and realtors to register to ensure transparency and accountability,” she urged.

Highlighting the swift redress mechanisms available, she encouraged victims of fraud to file petitions with LASRERA. “If you encounter agents or developers engaging in fraudulent practices, you can file a petition with LASRERA for prompt resolution. The Attorney General has assured that special courts expedite real estate cases, ensuring judgments are delivered within 90 days to 24 months,” she added.

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Odunuga-Bakare also underscored the collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies and the private sector to combat fraudulent activities. “We have collaborated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to address real estate fraud. This partnership has yielded positive results, with over 1,000 cases referred to us for resolution,” she explained.

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Regarding registration figures, she revealed that fewer than a thousand real estate practitioners have registered with LASRERA, despite the significant number of practitioners in Lagos State. “At present, we have fewer than a thousand registered real estate practitioners, while there are over a hundred thousand individuals practicing real estate in Lagos State,” she concluded.

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