By Ononye VC

The Senate has commenced work on a bill that seeks to regulate house rent in the Federal Capital Territory.

The bill, which passed the first reading on Tuesday, sought to reduce payment of house rent by tenants from one or two years at first instance to three months and subsequent monthly payment.

The sponsor, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi) said the bill was to cushion the effect of outrageous rents on properties in Abuja.

“Many residents of FCT are finding it very difficult to cope with huge rent payments, the reason many of the houses built for such purpose are empty.

“Some landlords always insist their tenants pay for one year or two years rent. That is wrong. By this bill, Nigerians especially Abuja residents will now be paying rent on monthly basis after the expiration of the initial three months.

“The law we are proposing stipulates a maximum advanced 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,” he explained.

In case of stiff resistance from landlords, Adeyemi said the proposed law would provide opportunities for petitioning for any tenants forced to pay rents above three months

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