June 13, 2024
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Renovating buildings in Lagos requires a permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) for activities such as retiling, re-plastering, and other aesthetic improvements, as per the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019.

Renovation applications must be submitted to LASPPPA, including details of the renovation and any previous planning permits.

Experts emphasise the importance of renovation permits for ensuring compliance with building codes, maintaining safety and structural integrity, and conducting environmental checks.

Many Lagos residents may be unaware that renovating their buildings—whether residential or commercial—requires a renovation permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).

This includes activities such as replacing floor tiles and other aesthetic improvements. 

According to the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019, under the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, Cap U2 of 2015, it is illegal to carry out these renovations without a permit. 

Specifically, Section 5 (A.1) of the regulations clearly states, “No building shall be renovated in the State without a renovation permit granted by the Authority.”

To provide further clarity, here is how the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019, defines renovation:

“Renovation” means any act done to cause an improvement to a building’s beauty, and shall include changing of windows and doors, re-plastering, reroofing, replacements of floor coverings, recladding, retiling, kitchen or bathroom remodelling, plumbing works, electrical works, and does not include carrying out of structural improvement or changes to the building.”

This means that Lagos residents must obtain a renovation permit from LASPPPA before re-plastering their buildings, changing windows and doors, reroofing, remodelling kitchens or bathrooms, or carrying out plumbing and electrical works on existing structures.

Failing to do so would contravene the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019.

Section 5 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019 outlines the requirements for any Lagosian wishing to renovate an existing structure.

According to Section 5 (A.3), anyone intending to renovate a building must submit an application to the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority before beginning the renovation.

This application should include details of the renovation and any evidence of a previous planning permit, if available. The application process will incur a fee equal to 25% of the current processing fees. 

If an application for renovation does not include a previous planning permit, the regulations specify that the application must be submitted “As-Built” and must comply with the minimum planning standards applicable to the location.

This process will also incur a fee of 25% of the current processing fees. 

Should the application not meet the minimum standards, Section 5 (A.5) requires that the applicant make the necessary adjustments to comply with these standards before the renovation permit can be granted by the authority. 

Section 5 (A.2) of the regulation provides that an applicant will only be issued a letter of Renovation Permit subject to satisfying certain conditions specified in the regulations. 

To understand the rationale behind the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019, which require obtaining renovation permits from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority before undertaking any building improvements, several building experts to gain their insights on the matter. 

Kingsley Cletus, an architect, highlighted the critical benefits of obtaining renovation permits before making improvements to existing buildings in Lagos.  

He explained that these permits ensure compliance with the building codes and regulations set by the Lagos State Government, which is essential for maintaining the safety, integrity, and habitability of the structure.  

Cletus provided specific examples such as converting external plumbing to conduit plumbing or changing a building’s roofing from wood to steel, both of which can significantly impact the building’s stability and safety.

These modifications must be approved to ensure they meet regulatory standards and do not compromise the structure’s integrity. 

 “Renovation permits include checks for environmental compliance, ensuring that the renovation work does not negatively impact the environment or violate any environmental regulations,” he said. 

A real estate consultant based in Lagos, specialising in facility management, who spoke anonymously, echoed the importance of obtaining renovation permits.

He emphasised that these “permits involve inspections by qualified officials who verify that renovations comply with building codes and are carried out safely.”  

This oversight reduces the risk of construction-related accidents and ensures that the structure can support the intended changes, thereby maintaining the long-term safety and stability of any property. 

Obtaining renovation permits is essential for ensuring that renovation projects are conducted safely, legally, and to a high standard, benefiting both property owners and the state.  

However, experts emphasise the need for increased public awareness about the importance of these permits.  

They also recommend that the Lagos State Government expand the workforce of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority to ensure broader compliance with the mandate to obtain renovation permits before starting any projects. 

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