Estate agents new tick with online pictures deepens challenges in finding apartments

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Due to the high cost of acquiring properties in Nigerian cities, many have resulted to renting apartments, but getting suitable accommodation has now become more difficult than building one.

This is because the fresh tricks by estate agents who post nice pictures of available apartments for rent online without actually having them.

Checks by BusinessDay revealed that, most of the time, the pictures posted online by real estate agents are either from the previous apartments they helped a client to rent or it was copied from their colleagues’ gallery.

For many, this act by these agents has made it almost impossible to have easy access to accommodation in a country where there is more than 17 million housing units deficit.

Mathew Adebowale, a young man squatting with his friend in Lagos, knew that finding an apartment to rent in Nigeria’s commercial centre would be difficult, and so he resorted to searching for a studio apartment online.

But he wasn’t prepared for what came next. “After I saw nice studio apartments online, I contacted two of the agents and I was asked to come to their offices. I went there and I was told I had to register before I could go to check out the apartments,” Adebowale said.

He told BusinessDay that he paid the registration fee as he was in urgent need of the apartment. “My friend’s family was already complaining of my continued stay with them because the apartment where seven of us were staying was a studio apartment like the one I was searching for,” he said.

The 24-year-old has been living with his friend and his family since 2015 when he left Ogun State for Lagos in search for a white collar job.

 When Adebowale was taken to view six different … Read More...