CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES (A CASE STUDY OF BENIN CITY)
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The unceasing abandonment of residential buildings and development projects is so shocking in the developing countries such that Nigerian has remained one of the countries in such difficulty (Ayodele and Alabi, 2011; Kotangora, 1993; Osemenan, 1987). Therefore, the significance that the incessant abandonment of residential buildings and projects would bring several effects on real properties and its values and the economy cannot be overemphasized since some of the abandoned buildings and development projects provide the basic services that should enhance the real properties developed.
Abandoned residential building is a building whose occupant has moved out basically due to poor maintenance and infrastructure, security, dilapidation, natural disaster which has made the building not to be habitable. The abandonment of residential properties and development projects is the act of isolating the building or discontinuing any activities or maintenance works on such development project within a time frame of the contract agreement and with no intention of returning back to the development (Spelman, 1993). Similarly, O’Flaherty (1993) while reflecting on property development projects suggest that it is when an owner or developer is ceasing to provide the required maintenance management to a developed property.
However, real property development and maintenance being a capital intensive undertaking should be critically analyzed to ascertain its feasibility and viability before embarking on it. But, on several occasions and as it had been observed, governments, contractors and agencies have abandoned old buildings and development projects mid-way into construction and completion.
The causes and effects of these residential building abandonments are not just peculiar to a particular reason rather cut across several reasons (Ayodele and Alabi, 2011), and as well as creating a total dwindling effects on the values of developed properties located close and within the vicinity. Most of this abandoned residential building usually turned into hideout for criminals.
Although, the location of the abandoned property and demand is equally important but accessibility and the availabilities of the infrastructures in the real property location and in the surrounding built environment should be of much more significant determinants in this study context. Values in itself are not intrinsic (Schram, 2012) rather depends on the benefits derivable from that property.
While this remained the case for real properties, it is essential for any real property to have sustained improved values, and this is assumed to be influenced by the availability of the earlier mentioned infrastructures in the real property location. So, if the needed infrastructures are imperious in determining the property values. Benin City is the State Capital of Edo State, Nigeria is characterized with lots of abandoned residential building due to urbanization, poor infrastructures and roads. Residents of Benin City living in erosion prone areas have to pack out of their houses because of flooding and fear of reptiles. Some school buildings have been abandoned due to neglect by successive government which has turned into hideout for criminals and cultists.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The causes and effects of abandonment of residential property has been a subject of concern for experts in real estate. Therefore, the study purpose is to investigate the causes and effects of abandoned residential property on real property and its values. The cogent of this study is on the premise that the expected real properties and its values in Nigeria are suspected to be dwindling as a result of incessant abandonment of residential properties. But, by exploring this context should help establish and recognize the causes and effects of abandonments of buildings by citizens, governments, policy/decision makers, educationalist and practitioners. This, through eradication of these causes should expect to eliminate these identified effects and sustain real properties and its values in the economy.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To identify the causes of abandonment of residential properties in Benin City.
- To examine the effects of abandonment of residential properties in Benin City.
- To identify the solutions to issues of abandoned residential properties in Benin City.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the causes of abandonment of residential properties in Benin City?
- What are the effects of abandonment of residential properties in Benin City?
- What are the solutions to issues of abandoned residential properties in Benin City?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The results of this study will educate the general public on the causes and effect of abandonment of residential building in Nigeria with a view of reducing the issues of building abandonment in Nigeria.
- The outcome of this study will guide the government and policy makers on ways to make and implement policies that will reduce the rate of residential building abandonment in Nigeria.
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the causes and effect of abandoned residential properties in Benin City will cover all the cases on abandoned residential buildings in Benin City carefully examining the causes. It will also cover the consequences of the abandoned buildings in the affected area.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Ayodele, E.O. and Alabi, O. M. (2011), Abandonment of Construction Projects in Nigeria: Causes and Effects; Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS), Vol. 2, Iss. 2, pp. 142-145.
Kotangora, O. O. (1993); Project Abandonment, Nigerian Tribune.
O’Flaherty, B. (1993) Abandoned Building: A Stochastic Analysis; Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 34, pp. 43-74.
Osemenan, I. (1987); Project Abandonment; New Watch Magazine, Vol. 1, pp. 15.
Schram, J.F. Jr. (2012); Real Estate Appraisal, Sixth Edition, Rockwell Publishing, USA.
Spelman, W. (1998); Abandoned Buildings: Magnets for Crime; Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 21, National Vacant Properties Campaign.