THE IMPACT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF QUACKS ON THE PRACTICE OF REAL ESTATE PROFESSION IN NIGERIA.
OREAGBA .K. OMOTOKE
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE (HONS) IN ESTATE MANAGEMENT
DEPARTMENT OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT
1.1. Background to the Study
The notion of professionalism is based upon a practitioner in whatever vocational field to serve not only his client but also the society at large. This implies the need to maintain a high degree of ethical responsibility and conduct, because integrity must be the watch word for any profession. Thus the attainment of professional status involves a discipline of study, a compilation of knowledge and a basis of trust coupled with practical experience. However, the more diversified the field of practice, the less likely it becomes for high professional codes and standards to be maintained and therefore estate agency in particular can present problems. Agency can be referred to as the business of representing or providing a particular service for people or organizations while an agent is a person who acts on behalf of another with respect to a particular transaction, also an agent as somebody who officially represents somebody else in business or somebody who provides a particular service for another. On the other hand, Real Estate, in broad definition, refers to land and everything fixed permanently a part thereof, and the nature and extent of one's interest therein. In law, the word real, as it relates to property, means land as distinguished from personal property; and estate is defined as the interest one has in property. Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 defined estate agency practice as acting or holding oneself out to the public as ready to act, for a commission, fee, reward or other consideration, as an agent in respect of the sale or other disposal of land and buildings and of any interest therein or the purchase or other acquisition of land and buildings and of any interest therein or in respect of the leasing or letting of land and buildings and of any interest therein. Ibiyode(2009) in an interview with the Saturday Tribune refers to an untrained and unregistered member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) practising estate agency as a quack. Over the years, real estate agency practice has witnessed the influx of both professionals and non-professionals alike. Registered Estate Surveyors and Valuers, lawyers that serve as solicitors, property consultants, mortgage institutions, land vendors and uneducated intermediaries are found in estate agency business (Opalana, 2009). Akomolede (2006) makes the point that it is only idle and unsuccessful lawyers who leave their own profession to dabble into estate agency. He further explained that butchers, mechanics, drivers, accountants, lawyers, teachers, students, security guards, even idle housewives and just about anybody can dabble into the practice for the purpose of earning a commission. Statistics derived by Akpoyibo ( 2009) shows that in the past 5 to 8 years, fraudsters, operating under the cover of estate developers, estate agents, property consultants and management, among other business names, have taken over the city of Lagos, duping and bringing misery and confusion into the lives of their victims. Some of their methods are quite sophisticated, they would place advertisements in the print and electronic media, use bill boards and even print hand bills to announce vacancies for flats, self-contained apartments to let or even land and houses for sale (Akpoyibo, 2009). This situation has seriously affected the image of practicing Estate Surveyors whereby owners of properties have handed over sales and lettings of their different properties to agents who in most cases are not reliable and do not have legal rights to carry out such activities and...
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