International Journal of Innovations in Sustainable Development, Volume 10, Number 2, 2018

ISSN: 2026-801X

 

CHALLENGES TO EFFECTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IN MAIDUGURI METROPOLIS, BORNO STATE, NIGERIA

 

Mala Ali Modu1, Gabriel Igbe Akeh2Kyari Bulama3, Audu A. Usman4,

1&2Dept. of Estate Management & Valuation, Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri, Borno State

3&4Department of Architecture, Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri, Borno State

Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ABSTRACT

This paper examines challenges to effective property management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria. Data for the study were obtained from property managers in licensed Estate Surveying and Valuation Firms operating in Maiduguri Metropolis. Thus, purposive random sampling technique adopted in selecting all the [eight (8)] active Estate Surveying and Valuation firms and duly analysed using tables and percentages. The challenges identified include: default in rent payment

(100%), delinquency maintenance payment/service charge by tenants (94%), insufficient information on tenants to aid in tenant selection (90%), vacation of premises by tenants without notice (87%), improper use of available facilities by tenants in the premises (84%), insistence on down-ward review of rent by tenants (81%), sneaking in extra people or animals by tenants (71%), carrying out of illegal business by tenants (68%), illegal occupation of premises by IDPs (65%), fighting or domestic dispute among tenants (61%),constraint in inspection of premises due to tenant behaviours (58%) and difficulty in payment of commission on part of the tenant (39%). It is suggested that there is the need for the property manager to take enough time to find out some basic information about the prospective tenant; andshould establish and review from time to time standards or criteria for tenant selectionas the situation demands.

Keywords- Property manager, Property management, Property manager’s functions

 

INTRODUCTION

The property management services sector in the real estate industry is significant or a very useful and growing economic activity contributing to creation of wealth and generation of employment in the society.A study conducted byCase, Quigley, and Shiller, (2005); and Dietz, and Haurin, (2003) indicated that property management contributes not only to income and wealth creation but also enhances societal happiness by increasing the rate of homeownership. Property management encompasses the careful organization of individual and material resources with the aim of achieving defined objectives in real property investment(Aliyu, Funtua, Mammadi, Bukar, Garkuwa, and Abubakar, 2016). The individual that provides these range of servicesis the property manager (Nwachukwu, 2007).

The property manager is a person or firm who operates a real estate property for a fee often on behalf of a landlord; renders services such as,meeting an owner's investment objectives; maintaining detailed tenancy records; ensuring adherence to lease terms; tenant liaison on a day-to-day basis; meeting statutory obligations; and operating property on a sustainable basis (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 2018). They render services in both public and private sectors on behalf of property owners(Taylor, 2014). This suggest that a property manager carries out a wide range of discussion, negotiation and consultation with clients, fellow professionals, allied trades, landlord/tenants, statutory authorities and the public.Hence, they encounter numerous challenges that come with managing the portfolio in different business situations.

With 1,434,149 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)due to Boko-Haram insurgency(IDMC, 2016), Maiduguri Metropolis of Borno State Nigeriais experiencing unprecedented population growth. A sizeable number of these IDPs are not in government designated camps, there are those that afford renting private residential properties, others inhabit school’s buildings or sleep in the open. While others illegally occupying newly completed and uncompleted structures or accommodation land belonging to private individuals within and in the outskirts of the Metropolis.The property managers’ challenges havebecome even more complex as many of the potential tenants are very

 

Challenges to Effective Property Management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria

 

desperate in securing accommodation in different neighbourhoods of the Metropolis.Hence potentially bad tenants are therefore difficult to avoid in the selection process.As noted by Olawande (2011), most prospective tenants are usually eager to meet the terms, conditions, and requirements set for new tenants but often become unruly as soon as they take possession of the accommodation units. Sometimes the property manager encounters an unfortunate event that tenants fight or domestic disputes with co-tenants or neighbors’; involving in unauthorized business in the dwelling; sneaking in extra people or animals into the home; and refuse to pay rent as at when due. The consequential effect of these situation will no doubt affects the smooth running of the property and eventual loss of fee to the property manager and income to the investor.Given this challenge, and the importance of property investment to the economy, it is significant to develop an effective property management strategy in achieving not only the objectives of property owners, but also the preservation of the value of the investment property.

It is against the above backdrop therefore, that this study is undertaken to examine tenants challenge to effective property management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria; andto proffer appropriate recommendations.

 

MEANING AND NATURE OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Policy Review (1974)cited by Olayonwa (2000), that property management is all facets of the use, development and management of urban land, including the sale, purchase and letting of residential, commercial and industrial property and management of urban estates, and advice to the client on planning. Whilst, Yiu, Wong and Yau (2006), viewed it as a branch of the management discipline, which emphasizes how to plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control property-related activities such as security, cleaning, and maintenance, to the provision of value-added services to achieve designated objectives. Similarly, Case et, al. (2005); and Dietz, and Haurin, (2003) also indicated that property management contributes to income and wealth creation; and that enhances societal happiness by increasing the rate of homeownership. Furthermore, Aliyu et, al. (2016) viewed property management as the careful organization of individual and material resources with the aim of attaining defined objectives in real property investment. It is seen by Macey (1982) as the application of skill in caring for the property, its surroundings and amenities and in developing a sound relationship between landlord and tenant and between tenants themselves in order that the estate, as well as the individual houses, may give the fullest value to both the landlord and the tenants. Upholding this view, Oladokun and Ojo (2011) viewed it as anundertaking thatinvolves diligence, commitment and special skills for its practice, but its effective utilization also ensures the optimization of the investment return to the owner.Effective property management is therefore difficult to realize without consideration of a professional; in the light of the current development and growth of urban centres and government policies on landed property issuesin Nigeria that led to the introduction of certain technical and legal challenges. Hence, there is the need for well trained and experienced specialists for greater efficiency in property management.

 

The Property Manager

A property can be managed by the owner, but technically the owner will not be addressed as property manager (Udechukwu and Johnson, 2016). This assertion is confirmed from the description given by theRoyal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (2018),thatthe property manager is a person or organization who operates a real estate property for a fee often on behalf of a landlord; renders services such as, meeting an owner's investment objectives; maintaining detailed tenancy records; ensuring adherence to lease terms; tenant liaison on a day-to-day basis; meeting statutory obligations; and operating property on a sustainable basis. In other words, the manager is responsible for the selling, leasing, transferring and operating of real estate property. They act as links between different individuals involved with the real estate industry and ensure hitch-free operations and transfers of real estatein both public and private sectors (Taylor, 2014). Therefore, the` property manager carries out a wide range of discussion, negotiation and

 

International Journal of Innovations in Sustainable Development,Volume 10, Number 2, 2018

ISSN: 2026-801X

 

consultation with clients, fellow professionals, allied trades, landlord/tenants, statutory authorities and the public.

 

Functions of Property Manager

Professional property managers work as an operative of an owner of large properties or as an independent manager for a number of owners.This saddled with them a primary responsibility to the landlord and a secondary responsibility to the tenant (Udechukwu and Johnson, 2016). The managers’ relationship with the landlord and tenant go a long way in establishing their (landlord and tenant) expectations to the lease as both will pursue and expect a number of rights and benefits (Modu, Ibrahim and Habib, 2010). This assertion is similar to Udechukwu and Johnson (2016), which noted that the property manager’sforemost priority isensuring that the specific real estate property is handled and managed as effectively as possible; and that responsible for managing other property workers to aid them in completing their duties.

 

From the foregoing, the property managers’ duties as the agent of the owner can be categorized under four different responsibilities: management of the physical site, management of personnel, management of funds and accounts, and management of leasing activities and tenant services. Although, these responsibilities are geared towards preservation and increasing the value of the property, achieving it presents different challenges to the property manager. This is because property managers operate in a dynamic environment that is influenced by globalization, technological changes, laws and regulatory standards and sometimes insurgency. It is in this vain that Drucker (2001) and Montana and Charnov (2008) observed that the challenges facing by the property manager are a natural part of the process of managing and are in most time situational, effective responses to such challenges will often depend on the prevailing situation.

 

However, there exists no prior research in the literature that addresses the general challenges of property manager with respect to tenants’ attitude in security threatened environment of a developing economy like Nigeria.A closely related paper is the work of Gbadegesin and Ojo (2011), who assessed the ethics extant in the practice of property management within metropolitan Ibadan of Nigeria and established the necessity to shift the practice emphasis on quality and ethical conduct; and that the statutorily recognized property managers are still lagging behind in implementing necessary qualitative management approaches. Olawande (2011) examined real estate investment through proper tenant selection in Nigeria and suggests that an application of a scorecard will reduce the incidence of bad tenancy and enable investors to derive value from investment in real estate. Oladokun and Ojo (2011) seeks to identify the factors that are responsible for the incursion of non-professionals into property management practice in Nigeriaand found out that the contributory factors in their perceived order of importance include high income derivable from property management practice, provision of unsatisfactory and less than standard service by estate surveyors, lack of confidence by clients on the estate surveyor to evict erring tenants and shortage of qualified personnel.

 

Similarly, Oladokun and Aluko (2014) examined dispute resolution in corporate multi-tenanted property managementin Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Nigeria and found out that there often existed disputes and when it occurs, the common reaction is for them to alert other users of the building; and that the methods of dispute resolution adopted are arbitration, mediation, conciliation and litigation but the most commonly adopted method is arbitration. Another related study is the work of Taylor (2014) which investigated the experiences of property managers operating in the small open economy of Jamaica.The focus of the paper was to provide insights into the nature of management challenges experienced by property managers and their responses to those challenges. Li (2014) conducted a study on the value of property management services and found out thatproperty management does add value, especially to older and more dilapidated

 

Challenges to Effective Property Management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria

 

properties; and that there is money to be made by high-quality companies providing services for lower quality buildings.

From the above review, most of the studies dwelled on a certain aspect of property management there exists no prior research in the literature that addresses the general challenges to effective property management in a volatile environmentsuch as Maiduguri Metropolis where there is high demand for properties as a result of influx of IDPs fromother local government areas of the state due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents. Therefore, this study is aimed to explore challenges to effective property management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria.

 

METHODOLOGY

The study was a descriptive survey and relied on two main sources of data; primary and secondary data. The primary source of data consisted of questionnaire, personal observations, and personal interviews. On the other hand, the secondary source of data involved the information that were extracted from relevant studies conducted by other researchers. The target population comprises of registered Estate Surveying and Valuation Firms operating in Maiduguri Metropolis. This is becausethe Estate Surveyors and Valuers Act No 24 of 1975empoweredEstate surveyors and valuers to manage property in Nigeria. Thus, purposive random sampling technique adopted in selecting all the senior staff including the head of practice of each of the eight (8) active Estate Surveying and Valuation firmsin Maiduguri Metropolis of Borno state. The choice for this sampling technique is not unconnected with the number of existing firms in the study area and to ensure obtaining adequate information to assist in a better understanding of the phenomenon under study.Out of the forty (40) questionnaires administered, thirty-one (31) were able to retrieve and this represented 78% of the total questionnaire administered which is considered adequate for the study. The collected data were then analyzed using tables and percentages.

 

The study area

Maiduguri, also called Yerwa by its locals is the capital and the largest city of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. It is located at coordinates 11°50′N 13°09′E and occupies an area of 50,778 square kilometres. The city sits along the seasonal Ngadda River which disappears into the Firki swamps in the areas around Lake Chad. Maiduguri was founded in 1907 as a military outpost by the British and has since grown rapidly with estimated population of 3.7 Million out of which 1,434,149 are IDPs from the other local governments of the state (IDMC, 2016). A survey of property markets in Nigeria (2009) positioned Maiduguri as the third most expensive for buying and renting in the country next to Abuja and Lagos (Abubakar, 2017). Prior to the Boko Haram insurgency Maiduguri remains the principal trading hub for the northeastern Nigeria; and that its economy is largely based on services and trade with a small share of manufacturing.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Demographic information of respondents

One of the most important profiles of the respondent was educational qualification (Table 1), a sizeable number (65%) of the respondents holds Higher National Diploma (HND), while 23% possessed Bachelor degree as highest qualification.Similarly,77% of the respondents are associate members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Table 2).This suggests that the respondents obtained the requisite academic and professional qualifications that will enable them to effectively provide the required answers to the questions in the survey and validates the reliability of the data obtained for the study.

 

Moreover, as the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Act No 24 of 1975 empowered Practicing Estate surveyors and valuers to manage property in Nigeria, many firms are fully involved in property managementpractice. For instance, 52% of the firms surveyed involved in property management practice (Table 3). These areas of specialization was chosen as a result of the firms’ frequency in rendering of these services in the study area. In addition to firms’ involvement in property management, majority of the firms were established over ten (10) years. For instance, 3%

International Journal of Innovations in Sustainable Development,Volume 10, Number 2, 2018

ISSN: 2026-801X

 

indicated practicing for over twenty years, 29% indicated sixteen to twenty years,39% indicated eleven to fifteen years of practice, while 23% and 6% indicated six to seven and one to five years of practice respectively as shown in table 4. This implies that most of the firms had the required years of practice that will guaranteed reliability of data sought for this study.

 

Furthermore,Table 5 revealed the common types of properties under the firms’ management portfolio and the level of involvement in property management. For instance, 48% of the sampled firms indicated that residential property recorded the highest in their management portfolio. This is followed by shops/shopping complex, industrial properties and public properties (32%, 10%, 7% and 3%) respectively.

 

Table 1: Educational qualification of respondents

Qualification                                                        Response                                                    Percentage (%)

National Diploma                                                        2                                                                      6

Higher National Diploma                                             20                                                                    65

Bachelor Degree                                                          7                                                                      23

Master Degree                                                              2                                                                      6         

Total                                                                            31                                                                    100

Source: Field survey, 2018

Table 2: Professional status of respondents

Status                                                                   Response                                                     Percentage (%)

Probationer                                                                  7                                                                      23

ANIVS                                                             24                                                                    77

FNIVS                                                                         0                                                                      0

Total                                                                            31                                                                    100

Source: Field survey, 2018

Table 3: Firms area of specialization/professional practice

Specialization/professional practice                     Response                                                    Percentage (%)

Property Management                                                  16                                                                    52

Facilities Management                                                  2                                                         6

Project Management                                                    1                                                                      3

Property Valuation                                                       5                                                                      16

Estate Agency                                                              7                                                                      23

Total                                                                            31                                                                    100

Source: Field survey, 2018     

Table 4: Years of Firms’ establishment

Year                                                                     Response                                                     Percentage (%)

Between 1-5                                                                2                                                                      6

Between 6-10                                                              7                                                                      23

Between 11-15                                                                        12                                                        39

Between 16-20                                                                        9                                                          29

Above 20                                                                     1                                                                      3

Total                                                                            31                                                                    100

Source: Field survey, 2018

Table 5: Types of property in firms’ management portfolio

Challenges to Effective Property Management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria

 

Types of property                                             Response                                                              Percentage (%)

Residential                                                     15                                                      48

Commercial (shops/shopping complex)               10                                                      32

Accommodation land                                       3                                                        10

Industrial                                                       2                                                        7

Public properties                                             1                                                        3

Total                                                                           31                                                                   100

Source: Field survey, 2018

 

The study sought to find out the challenges to effective property management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria. Questions were put to the respondents in order to determine those challenges. Although, the list contained in the questionnaire is not exhaustive of the entire range of the challenges, it covered the most significant number of challenges to effective property management. The responses obtained as shown in Table 6 reveals thatdefault in rent payment (100%) is the most challenging factor. This is not unconnected with the economic situation of the study area as crippled by the Boko Haram insurgents and the class of the existing tenants. The implication of this is that since one of the objectives for letting a property is to earn income in way of rent, where this is not attainable as at when due, the investment goal of the property investor is defeated and that there will always be future maintenance problems.Similarly, twenty-nine (29) respondents representing 94% are of the view that delinquency maintenance payment/service charge by tenants is also a challenge to the property manager. This findings collaborates earlier findings by Taylor (2013) which revealedthat among the major challenges of the property manager is delinquency in maintenance payments.The consequential effect of this is gradual setting in of obsolescence as there will always be future maintenance problems.

 

Furthermore, twenty (28) respondents representing 90% indicated that insufficient information on tenants to aid in tenant selection remains a challenge to the manager. The implication of this is that insufficient information ontenant may lead to unruliness on part of the tenant as soon as they take possession of the accommodation units. Another challenge indicated by twenty-seven (27) respondents representing 87% is vacation of premises by tenants without notice. This may also be attributed to insufficient information on tenants. In addition tovacation of premises by tenants without notice is the issue of improper use of available facilities by tenants in the premises (84%). This is not unconnected with the background of some of the tenants. Some of these tenants came in to the study area as a result of Boko Haram insurgency in the rural areas as observed during the field survey. This however implies that there will be improper use of the facilities by these category of tenants as they may not be familiar with some of these facilities which in the long run affects the functional and economic ability of the property.

 

Insistence on down-ward review of rent by tenants (81%) is another challenge to the property manager. This response is not different from the views sought during the interview held with some landlords. The economic recession and activities of the insurgents in the study area has immensely contributed to this review pressure. This poses a challenge to the manager as the income from the property may not be enough to ensure smooth running of the property. In the same vein, sneaking in extra people or animals by tenants (71%) is another challenge noted by the respondents. This finding is in agreement with the physical inspection of properties carried out, where relatives and all sort of domesticated animals belonging to tenants were found loitering the premises. This implies that more pressure will be exerted to the available facilities and create nuisance to the immediate neighbours.

 

The results of the study also revealed that 68%carrying out unauthorized business. This is also a constraint to effective property management as indicated by the respondents.This view is similar

International Journal of Innovations in Sustainable Development,Volume 10, Number 2, 2018

ISSN: 2026-801X

 

to the findings sought during personal observation and physical inspection of properties. For instance, some grinding machines and power generators belonging to tenants were seen in some of the properties. The implication of this is nuisance and noise pollution to the immediate neighbours which may eventually lead to lose of existing and potential tenants.Illegal occupation of premises by IDPs (65%) is also indicated by the respondents as a challenge. This is also consistent with the personal observation made during the field survey where a sizeable number of these IDPs were seen illegally occupying newly completed and uncompleted structures or accommodation land belonging to private individuals. The implication of this is that the manager may lose income and incur additional cost of repair/maintenance as pressure would be exerted to the available facilities.

 

Other challenges indicated by the respondents include: fighting or domestic dispute among tenants (61%),constraint in inspection of premises due to tenant behaviours (58%) and difficulty in payment of commission on part of the tenant (39%). These findings are consistent with the outcome of past studies by Olawande (2011),Udechukwu and Johnson (2016), Modu et, al. (2010) and Taylor (2014) on the challenges of property manager which show that the manager encounter challenges such as dispute among tenants, constraint in getting access to the premises for inspection and problem of payment of fees.

 

Table 6: Challenges of Property manager with respect to tenants’ attitudes

                                                            Response

Challenges                                                                                                               Yes     %        No       %

Delinquency maintenance payment/service charge by tenants                        29      94      2        6

Default in rent payment                                                                          31      100     0        0

Illegal occupation of premises by IDPs                                                      20      65      11      35

Insistence on rent review (decrease) by tenants                                          25      81      6        19

Constraint in inspection of premises due to tenant behaviours                       18      58      13      42

Difficulty in payment of commission on part of the tenant                                      12      39      19      61

Insufficient information on tenants (for tenant selection)                              28      90      3        10

Sneaking in extra people or animals by tenants                                           22      71      9        29

Fighting or domestic dispute among tenants                                                         19      61      12      39

Carrying out illegal business by tenants                                                      21      68      10      32

Improper use of available facilities by tenants in the premises                       26      84      5        16

Vacation of premises by tenants without notice                                          27      87      4        13

Source: Field survey, 2018  

 

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

As the property management services sector in the real estate industry contributes to creation of wealth and generation of employment in the society, the study showed a number of challenges

 

Challenges to Effective Property Management in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State, Nigeria

 

face by the property manager.Most of these challenges attributed to low perception of tenancy/lease agreement issues of the property management on part of the tenants.This is because as the study revealed many of the potential tenants are IDPs from the Boko Haram insurgency affected areas of the state and are always desperate in securing accommodation heedless to proper understanding of the tenancy/lease conditions. The consequential effect of this is loss of income and increasing maintenance cost to the property manager. Therefore, the objective of the investment is defeated if proper measures are not put in place.

 

The following recommendations has been made based on the findings of the study:-

-         Having information on tenant is significant as the possession and occupation of the property. Hence there is the need for the property manager to take enough time to find out some basic information about the tenant.     This will assist in curtailing problems to do with lease in the future.

-         In addition to obtaining tenant information, standards or criteria for tenant selection must be established           and strictly adhered to and should be reviewed from time to time as situation demands.

-         Public enlightenment campaign should be embark on by the state branches of the Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers on what constitute a tenancy/lease agreement and the need to employ the services of the property manager or real estate agents on any matter regarding land and landed properties through mass media. This will go a long way in assisting both the tenants and landlords to understand their rights and obligations in tenancy/lease agreement.

-         There is the need for the enforcement of attendance of Mandatory Continuous Professional Development programmes for property managers as a strategy to enhance improved professional practice in the study       area and the country at large.

 

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International Journal of Innovations in Sustainable Development,Volume 10, Number 2, 2018

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