Blog, Real Estate Stories

Vincent and Sons Property Managers Episode 3

Sharon had tried every emotional blackmail trick in her bag yet Vincent was not backing down on his request for a DNA test.

Things were definitely not going according to plan at all.

Vincent was supposed to be eating from her palms by now, taking care of the woman that would give him his first son. Instead, he was stubbornly insisting on an intrusive DNA test before the child was born.
He kept talking about Stanley, her MBA course mate that had dropped her off at home a few times.

Stanley would chat her up just to check up on her but Vincent would insist that they were sleeping with each other.

The news of the pregnancy turned Vincent into a monster. He was definitely not as happy with the news as Sharon had thought he would be.
“Hello beautiful. It’s been a while since I saw you in class…”
Stanley’s chat came in to lighten Sharon’s mood. He was definitely growing on her.

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Barrister Johnson was having a terrible day. The flash drive that he had backed up his files on was corrupted and his laptop would not come on.

He had about 5 years worth of work on the laptop. He had an hour to upload the documents he needed on the portal the government had created to help his client demonstrate compliance.

He had deleted the email his client sent after downloading the attachments on his laptop and flash drive. His client was out of his location and was unable to get the document across again.
He got a broadcast message from his brother on how all things work together for good.
“How would this one work together for my good now, Chidi?”, he thought.
A light bulb went off in his head. He quickly replied Chidi and told him his issues.

Chidi, the IT guru, asked him to check his “Bin” and hope the email had not been discarded.
He checked and found the email. It was a huge relief.
He quickly retrieved the email, downloaded the attachments and completed the upload on a desktop computer.

He had never been as happy to receive a broadcast message from Chidi as he was at that moment. God bless Chidi!
He wished wriggling out of the water quality law suit he filed against the landlord and the property managers was just as easy. The process of opting out was an uphill task. He wished he counted the cost before agreeing to withdraw the law suit.

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Vincent was relieved that the barrister tenant had agreed to withdraw his lawsuit.

Vincent and Sons Property Managers could not afford to have a lawsuit on their hands while bidding to get on the approved vendors list (Facility Management Services) for some heavyweight multinationals.

The competition was stiff and they had to be on their toes.

This was also a major reason why he couldn’t accept the baby Sharon was carrying.

The vendor selection committee was leaving no stone unturned. Someone would argue that such level of scrutiny was unduly invasive but he had to do whatever it takes to win that portfolio of contracts.
There was also the issue of his agreement with Ogbuefi Madu, Adaeze’s father. He definitely did not want to return to Awka-Etiti with belongings that could only fill one nylon bag…
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Stay tuned for more stories from Vincent and Sons Property Managers Ltd.

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Blog, Real Estate Stories

Vincent and Sons Property Managers – Episode 2

Adaeze wondered why Vincent was acting shadier than the already shady Vincent she knew. What was he up to this time? She was actually tired of harassing the women she suspected that he was having affairs with. He always lied that they were his clients whose property he was managing. She knew that one day, he would run out of lies. When that day would come, she could not tell.

She had put her all into raising their kids and building the home. She had tried all the tricks she knew to keep Vincent faithful but she knew he was jumping from bed to bed.

She had spoken with a counselor that advised her to start a business and take her mind off Vincent. She had decided to take her future into her own hands.

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Sharon did not expect Vincent to request a DNA test. He said he wanted the test even while she was pregnant. She had read about the risks associated with that intrusive DNA test and had told him to wait till the child was born. He insisted that the DNA test was a condition for him to accept the child. There was a second condition but even that one was subject to condition #1. In addition, she was to resign as a property consultant in Vincent and Sons Property Managers Ltd and get paid off handsomely. She was not sure she wanted this entire drama. Vincent was definitely more shrewd than she gave him credit for. Things were definitely not going according to plan…
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Barrister Johnson was getting ready for the day when someone knocked. His wife went to check who it was and told him that the “head tenant” was the one at the door. They had given Mr. Agboso the nickname because he was the tenant that had lived in the 20 flat apartment the longest. Everyone wondered if his umbilical cord was buried under the tree in the compound. Tenants had come and gone but Mr. Agboso remained. From the looks of things, Mr Agboso appeared to be doing well enough to have built his own house and relocated there.

“Barrister Johnson, good morning”

Mr. Agboso spoke gently, as usual.

“How are you doing? How is the family? I see you are heading out of the house for somewhere obviously important so I won’t waste your time. I’m here to discuss the law suit you filed against the property owner and the property manager”.

“Thanks for going straight to the point, Mr. Agboso. I have an 8am appointment I can’t afford to miss. Please can we schedule a better time in the evening to discuss the matter?”

“Sure, Barrister Johnson. That definitely works for me. Have a pleasant day and all the best with the meeting”.

After Mr. Agboso left, Mrs Johnson brought the issue up again.

“Ikenna, my beloved husband, this path you are taking scares me o. I don’t want to become a widow at this age o. We still have 4 kids to train and you know their school fees alone require both of our resources. This is not the UK o; this is Naija. Nna, reconsider your stance. The amount we are to contribute is far less than the resources we will commit to see this lawsuit to its logical conclusion. My husband, think deeply about this course of action”.

” Obidia, my Oriaku, I have heard you. I will think about it deeply. Now, can I go for my meeting, ma? I’m running late”.

They both laughed as she helped him knot his tie properly.
——–
Stay tuned for more stories from Vincent and Sons Property Managers Ltd.

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Blog, Lagos, Property, Real Estate, Real Estate News

Lagos Building Collapse – Another Avoidable Tragedy!

Ayo Baje

There must have been tears in heaven-and torrents of it! That is, for the 10 year-old school boy who died on his birthday; the traumatized parents, including one Mrs. Adedayo Adedoyin who lost one of her twin daughters, other voiceless victims as well as the owner of Ohen Private Nursery Primary school, all crushed to cruel death.

The tragedy was caused by the collapse the three-storey building housing the school located at No 14, Massay Street opposite Ojo, Ita-Faaji Victoria Island, in Lagos on that fateful black Wednesday of 13th March, 2019.

It was more like a mind-bending, midnight horror film, full of sorrows, tears and blood that seemingly belonged to the realm of a thespian’s weird imagination. But it was not. The tragedy took place at 10: 20 am and was as real as one’s accompanying shadow, hovering in the silent sun.

In fact, as at late afternoon of that day about 41 persons, including pupils and other residents of the building, were rescued from the rubble by emergency workers. Those that were reportedly injured were receiving treatment at the Lagos Island General Hospital, Massey Children Hospital, Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

As usual, groundswells of regrets take over when preventable deaths such as this take place. If only… if only, the school proprietor, (now late) had acted fast when one Bukola Salami, a former teacher in the school had counseled her to relocate it to another place. That was when he noticed the unusual shaking of the school building, as if some mysterious stones were being thrown at it! But then she complained of not having adequate money to do the needful.

That teacher resigned from the school, and saved his life. But the proprietor remained and has unfortunately gone to the Great Beyond with some of her innocent pupils. So sad. What makes it more painful include the facts that it could have been prevented, innocent lives, especially of the younger generation were lost and the culture of impunity underlining the calamity persists.

As media reports have it, that house had been marked for demolition since 2015. But given our crass culture of worsening impunity, nothing has happened ever since. Indeed, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had this to say about the tragedy: “as you can see, some of the buildings have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from the landlords”.

Yes, you read that right. Nonetheless, he has given an assurance that “we must save lives, those that fail integrity test will be evacuated and demolished”. Hopefully, that may not be the last we will hear about this gory tale.

Yet, tears are not enough. Actions- prompt and proactive ones at that could do the magic and save many precious lives. The concern raised by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara should be instructive.” This is one too many of these building collapses that usually claim the lives of innocent people. It is time for decisive actions to be taken against all found culpable of breach of building standards and that end up in disasters”. Well said.

It is appalling to note that no decisive actions have been taken against previous incidents of collapsed buildings across the country over the decades. Nothing came out of the collapsed multi-storey building at Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State (1974), Barnawa Housing Estate, Kaduna, Kaduna State (1980) and the mosque building, Osogbo, Osun State(1986). There were similar ones involving the uncompleted two-storey building, Isinkan, Akure, Ondo State (1998), two-storey residential building, Funbi Fagun street, Abeokuta, Ogun State (1998 amongst several others.

Narrowing it down to Lagos, there have been those involving the Industrial Development Building (NIDB), Lagos (2006), a two-storey market plaza in Oshodi, Lagos (2010), killing at least four persons and leaving many others wounded. Others are the three-storey building at 15, Alli Street, which collapsed at about 11.00 pm and fell on a bungalow at number 13 of the same street, leading to its collapse in the same year.

Chief among the terrifying incidents of building collapse in Nigeria is the July 2006 collapse in Surulere, Lagos state where three buildings caved in causing pandemonium among residents and killing no fewer than 28 lives and left 50 others severely injured. Also in Lagos, about 37 people lost their lives in four-storey building mishap at Ebute Meta, same month in 2006.

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Another unforgettable tragic collapse occurred precisely on September 12, 2014, where over 100 worshipers were killed in a six-storey building which was under construction in the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos state.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NAMA) and other emergency services were criticized for withholding information about the accident and much remained unclear about the number of deaths and their nationalities.

On 8 March 2016, a five-story building collapsed while under construction in Lekki District, Lagos, Nigeria. At least 34 people were killed. Thirteen other people were pulled from the collapsed building alive.

Going by the eye witness account on the recent school building collapse in Lagos from one Abayomi Olaniyan rescue effort was slow. None of the victims could be saved within the first thirty minutes of the tragedy. Though eventually, assistance came from the Lagos State Ambulance Service, Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Building Control Service and the Red Cross, more lives could have been saved if the intervention by the rescue team had come in time.

We must be concerned about identifying the root causes and find lasting answers to building collapse in Nigeria. In a research paper entitled: “Causes and Effects of Building Collapse in Lagos State, Nigeria” Messrs Oseghale, G.E, Ikpo, I.J. and, Ajayi, O. D. the study revealed that the major causes of building failures were bad design, faulty construction, over loading, non-possession of approved drawings, possession of approved drawings but non-compliance, and the use of quarks.

In the two case studies considered, the total direct loss to the building owners was thirty eight million three hundred and eight five thousand, seven hundred and twenty one naira (N38,385,721) at one hundred and ninety seven naira to one US dollars, central bank Nigeria of exchange rate as at 14th March, 2015.

Still on finding solutions, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, a real estate mogul and the candidate of the African Democratic Party (ADP) in the recent governorship election conducted in Lagos state, has called for a thorough and objective inquiry into the collapsed school building in Lagos, looking meticulously for practical lessons that can be applied immediately to prevent such further occurrence.

Said he: “A quick review of all buildings used as public spaces of gathering, whether as schools or malls or event centres, on more than one floor, needs to be undertaken by specialist civil engineers.

Furthermore, he has canvassed for special equipment to be used to verify the dead-weight carrying capacity of the upper decks of these buildings. Once that is done, existing buildings can be rated for specific kinds of safe uses that will not cause collapse of this kind. A stitch in time will save nine.

Blog, Fire Safety Tips

FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HOME

A fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of COMBUSTION.

A fire produces

  •  Heat
  • Light
  • Various reaction products

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Elements of a Fire

Fires can often get out of control and produce negative outcomes.

The elements required for a fire to occur are

  • Fuel
  • Oxygen
  • A source of ignition
  • Free radicals (to propagate the fire)

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Common Causes of Fire

  • Electrical appliances
  • Cooking
  • Candles
  • Smoking

Fires can result in

  • Injuries/deaths from smoke inhalation/burns
  • Destruction of properties

Tips To Prevent Fire Outbreaks

  • Proper Housekeeping:
    Ensure that flammable materials are properly stored.
  • Don’t overload extension boxes or electrical sockets.
  • Don’t leave food being cooked on the stove/cooker unattended to.
  • Keep burning candles away from flammable materials and away from windows.
  • Don’t leave a burning candles unattended.
  • Switch off electrical appliances and disconnect from the mains when not in use or when leaving the home/office.

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  • Keep flammables a safe distance (at least 3 feet) away from potential heat sources.
  • Extinguish cigarette butts completely and dispose properly in ash trays/butt cabs.
  • Do not smoke while in bed.
  • Keep matches/lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that electrical works/repairs are done by qualified electrical technicians.

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Separate the 3 elements required for a fire and you can prevent a fire from starting.

If you have any questions, feel free to send an email. I am a fire safety engineer, I should be able to help or point you in the right place to look.

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Blog, Real Estate

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN REAL ESTATE BUSINESS

1. SURVEY PLAN

A Survey Plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. The people that handle survey issues are Surveyors and they are regulated by the Office of the Surveyor General in Lagos as it relates to survey issues in Lagos.

A Survey Plan must contain the following information:

  • The name of the owner of the land surveyed
  • The address or description of the land surveyed
  • The size of the land surveyed
  • The drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document
  • The beacon numbers
  • The surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up
  • A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not
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Sample Survey Plan from Land Information New Zealand

2. EXCISION

The Land Use Decree of the 28th of March, 1978 vested all lands in every state of the Federation under the control of the State Governors. The Land Use Act coupled with other laws made it possible for the Governor who was now the owner of all lands in the state to actually have the power to acquire more land compulsorily for its own public purpose to provide amenities for the greater good of the citizens.

Fortunately, the government recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence, a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for state government to cede a portion of land to the original owners (natives) of each area.

An Excision means basically taking a part from a whole and that part that has been excised, will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state. By having it recorded into the government document, it means the land has now been gazetted.

3. GAZETTE

A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded.

A Gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.

A Gazette is a very powerful instrument the community owns and can replace a Certificate of Occupancy to grant title to the villagers. A community owning a gazette can only sell land to an individual within those portions that have been excised to them and the community or family head of that land has the right to sign your documents for you if you purchase land within those excised acres or hectares of land.

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Sample official Lagos State Gazette

4. DEED OF ASSIGNMENT

A Deed of Assignment is an agreement between the Seller of a Land or Property and a Buyer of that Land or property showing evidence that the Seller has transferred all his rights, his title, his interest and ownership of that land to that the Seller that has just bought land.

For a Deed of Assignment to be exchanged between both parties, it has to be recorded in the land registry to show legal proof that the land has exchanged hands and the public should be aware of the transaction. Such recorded Deed of Assignment come in the form of either a Governor’s Consent or Registered Conveyance

5. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY

A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), issued by the Lagos State Government, officially leases Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs. As already indicated above, all land belongs to the Government.

A C of O however is the officially recognized Document for demonstrating Right to a Land.
What happens after 99 years? That question is still subject of debate among experts. Most have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Others postulate that as the new owner of the land, you the buyer, can renew the certificate of occupancy when it expires.

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Sample Certificate of Occupancy

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