A Review of the Lagos State Estate Regulatory Authority Law, 2021
The concept of land ownership and/or management has remained an important conversation for a long period of time. Critical factors that drive the need for the ownership and/or control of land and investment in real estate is the potential for value appreciation and the ability to wield economic power through the total or short-term ownership of real estate. Considering the rise in the population of Nigeria, most especially in Lagos State, with an estimated population of over 20 million people, the need for the regulation of real estate sector to achieve a balance between private and public interests has never been more important.
It is in view of this that the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2021 passed the Lagos State Estate Regulatory Authority Law, 2021 (Law) with the aim to regulate real estate transactions in Lagos State and for connected purposes. Prior to this Law, there was the Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Authority Law 2015 (LSERAL 2015), which was expressly repealed by the Law. This article reviews the Law, discusses the novel provisions and the impact on relevant stakeholders – individuals, corporate organisations, and potential investors in the real estate industry in Lagos, Nigeria.
Widened Scope of Application
Prior to the enactment of this Law, the LSERAL 2015 limited its operation to “estate agent(s)” thereby focusing on only a limited part of the real estate sector. However, by the provision of the Law, the scope of application has been widened to cover not only real estate agents but also mortgage transactions, the financiers , the facility managers, and all other players in the real estate sector like legal practitioners, registered architects, registered engineers, social scientists, registered town planners etc. By the combined reading of section 1 of the Law, it defines “real estate transaction” to mean “any service, mortgage or financial exchange between a person or an organization and the public with respect to matters pertaining to real estate in the State…” and section 27 which extends the application of the Law to property developers, facility managers and property management company, there is more to the impact of the law on real estate transactions in the State.