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OAU Students Lament Hike In House Rent

By Adejumo Kabir

Some students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, are lamenting the hike in cost of renting apartments in the last two months which they attributed to the new on-campus accommodation policy of the institution.

The new policy implemented by the management of the school has forced many students to live off-campus. It banned unauthorised students from residing at the school’s hostels, marking a departure from what was obtainable up to the last session.

Students, whose parents are low and middle-income Nigerians, have been exposed to severe hardship by the hike since March.

The students also said the landowners have some arbitrary clauses in their tenancy agreement to protect their interest and to prevent tenants from raising their voices.

The owners of houses on their part argued that there is no law stipulating the amount to charge tenants.

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“It is appalling for me to receive call from my landlord telling me that he increased the house rent from N10,000 monthly to N20,000 and I have to pay advance for six months if I want to retain my rent.

“I called others and they told me the same thing. Upon resumption for the new session, he (landlord) forced me and a co-tenant to vacate the house following our refusal to pay the unjustifiable and exploitative hiked amount,” Tunde Okeowo, a student of Department of History said.

Another student in College of Health Sciences, Tumininu Fatoki, told our correspondent that students can no longer cope with the hike.

“I stay in Asherifa and the situation in that axis is too tense and becoming unbearable. A room self-contain of N75,000 yearly has now increased to N150,000 without explanation. All efforts to persuade my landlord to reduce the rent failed.

“The most painful thing is that he does not maintain the house and lacks decent toilet facility. Moving to a new house would cost more so I have to look for a friend so that we share the money. We hope Osun State government come up with a law to regulate house rent.”

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While reacting to this development, a landlord in Modakeke, Taiwo Faromaye, argued that there is no law stipulating the amount to charge tenants. He said the hike was due to the influx of students into the town.

“There is no regulation stipulating amount to charge. The only means to solve the rent menace is availability of more houses because the population of students off campus is growing day by day. When there are more houses, there will be competition, which would bring the house rent down.”