You have several options open to you if you feel you have been cheated in a real estate transaction. While some people argue that real estate purchasers are equally consumers and should have several rights under the consumer protection laws, I strongly believe it is quite dangerous and time wasting to seek redress under relevant consumer protection laws where real estate transactions is involved.


According to the business dictionary, a consumer is a purchaser of a good or service in retail; an end user and not necessarily a purchaser in the distribution of goods and services. If this is the case, the question is does a purchaser of real estate product falls under the contemplated meaning of a consumer or not? Can such purchaser of real estate product be covered under the relevant protection law? If a consumer is a purchaser of a good or service and the Sales of Goods Act does not expressly cover real properties, does it imply that the purchaser is not covered?


I would rather advice that a purchaser of real estate product who feels cheated can seek redress at the following places:


  1. ARBITRATION OR MEDIATION TRIBUNAL: Where the purchaser has a binding contract with an arbitration clause, the first step to take is to initiate an arbitration proceeding to pursue the resolution of the dispute in the real estate transaction. Most real estate contracts do include arbitration clause anyway.

  2. COURT: The aggrieved purchaser may institute an action in court to seek redress. Usually, I advise that amicable resolution should be pursued before purchasers resort to litigation.

  3. ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC): The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is saddled with the responsibility of checking various economic and financial crimes within the country. The institution has a department which tackles land and property fraud. An aggrieved purchaser could petition the EFCC where the transaction is clouded with several elements of fraud.

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