Things to Consider Before Renting an Apartment. 20 Things to Think About Before Renting Apartment
It is the dream of everyone to find a dream home or apartment, but every good things comes with its own challenges. Finding an apartment in Nigeria has become a challenging task, due to several factors that will be discussed below.
Looking for a good apartment, without running into trouble in Nigeria has to be done strategically, due to several factors that tenants have encountered over the years while looking for an apartment. Some of these unforeseen problems could have been avoided if proper research has been carried out during the course of the search. Here i will be taking you through various signs to watch out for when searching for a house in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
Good access road is one of the important factors to consider when looking for a house to rent. A man whose pregnant wife falls into labour at night will find it very difficult to convey his wife to the hospital for safe delivery. These can lead to serious complications that can cause internal injuries to the mother and unborn child and death eventually. As minor as the road issue looks, bad road can cause major setbacks and painful stories in a family.
Using road networks during rain seasons can be very frustrating and also dangerous. A man recently set out to travel out of Lagos so he must catch up with the first morning bus. He had to leave his estate before sunrise. There was heavy downpour during the night. He had to walk through the flooded road to get to the bus-stop. The fury of being soaked in the cold water after having his bath was not bad enough, he went through a path that had a deep gutter which he was not aware of. He fell inside with his luggage and couldn’t climb out as the gutter was deep and it was slippery below. This incident is capable of causing death if it was a little kid as the child could have drowned if no one was around to rescue. Bad access road has subjected to people to loneliness. This is because the road scares friends and family away from visiting regularly.
People fall from bikes along bad roads and have to spend more money on transportation. This is due to the fact that the bad road discourages transporters and the few available ones, increase transport fares without apologies. They spend a lot of money repairing their bikes & vehicles and the money is recovered by the high transport fares.
It is always recommended to inspect properties to be rented during rainy seasons as this is the best period to ascertain the true state of the road in an environment.
Water supply is very very important. It is one of the most important things needed to live comfortably in an apartment. Water is needed to clear up kitchen wares after use. It is used to flush the toilet after waste disposal. It is used to wash cloths and bath. When the kitchen is a mess because water is not available to clear used wares, bad smell, flies and cockroaches will fill the place. This can be very annoying.
It will also be impossible to cook food when water is not available. Using the toilet for urinating and eliminating wastes from the body is one thing that is done every day. This will be difficult when there is no water to flush the toilet. The house becomes engulfed with terrible toilet smell. This is a health hazard as it can lead to an outburst of certain epidemic capable of spreading within the neighbourhood. Bathing is a must in the morning and at night just as used clothes must be washed. This cannot happen if there is no water.
Good Water supply
Epileptic water supply can happen in apartments without back up plan to pump water when there is no light or when too many tenants depend on well water in a compound which makes the water dry up eventually. In some cases, there is water but it is dirty or cad to use.
It is important to carefully check water supply before taking decision on renting a property to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Nigeria is still yet to come up with stable power supply but some areas are better than others when it comes to power supply. Some areas get totally disconnected from power distribution companies when they refuse to pay bills, get physical and threaten officials of the power company.
Getting an apartment in a place like this will mean budgeting money to personally generate power through use of generators, inverters and solar panels. This can be as expensive as the rent depending on the capacity needed. Areas without life will hardly have a night life as the whole environment will become dark when the sun sets. Workers whole close late will have a silent path way to go through before they get to their homes.
A Secured environment is one of the factors to consider before moving into an apartment. There are two types of tenants in Lagos those that sleep with one eyes open and those that sleep with both eyes. Some areas are known as crime bases for notorious criminals. Some have rapists, buglers, armed robbers, kidnappers and bullies living in the environment. Some environments also have such people to deal with because they are vulnerable.
Some communities and estates have stubborn tenants and landlords who consider paying security bills and community development meetings a liability rather than an asset for development and improvement. Renting a house in such an area is a very bad idea.
Some areas in Lagos state and Ogun state between 2016 and 2017 where terrorized by heavily armed militants whose alternative source of oil bunker income failed when supply of fuel was cut off from the pipelines they vandalized regularly. They had to settlefor other forms of making money such as kidnapping, robbing houses and obtaining people. The nature of sophisticated weapons in their custody give them so much confidence to resist law enforcement agent. Many of which they have killed while these nefarious activities are at top gear. Some of the affected areas were houses close to swamp and water ways as this was a major transportation route for them.
Sometimes short interviews with residents in prospective areas to live can help gather enough information to evaluate the security condition of the environment. Getting information on the world wide web is also good for ascertaining security state of various locations as Newspapers now use online websites to broad cast crime watch news. We will review Cleanliness, Good Neighborhood and Religious background of inhabitants in an environment in our next Chapter.
20 Things To Consider Before Renting An Apartment in Nigeria
1. Unpaid PHCN Utility Bills : This has become a major challenge for new home owners who might have inherited huge PHCN bills from the ex tenants of the house, who has refused to pay up electricity bills , and sometimes, these bills accumulate to the tune of hundreds of thousand. Therefore before you go on pay for an apartment always ask for the recent PHCN Utility Bills of the apartment.
2. Patronise Trusted Agents : Always patronise trusted Agents with many years of good track record.
3. Erosion : This is something no one is going to tell you. You will have to carry out further investigations to really know if the house or the area is prone to erosion. The easiest way to know is to visit the apartment during rainy season, another way is to look out for water marks on the wall as a result of erosion, But some landlords have been known to repaint the houses after rainy season to cover the spots created by erosion. So it is always a good practice to investigate properly before going on with such transaction.
4. Fraudulent Landlords / caretakers: This is one of the biggest nightmare of house hunters, some Landlords and Caretakers are known to defraud their prospective and unsuspecting clients by illegally collecting money from them and several other tenants without letting out the apartment to them. Always get your lawyer and Government security agencies involved before proceeding with such transactions.
5. Illegal Service Charge: It should be a good practice to always ask from the beginning the total amount of service charges and other charges you will be paying monthly or yearly if applicable. Some house owners are known to defraud their tenants by introducing some illegal payments or charges after you must have moved into the apartment. Asking from the beginning will save you a lot of headache.
6. Soak away Smell: Make sure your apartment is not located close to the soak away. Some soak away are not well built and are known to collapse and also introduce some foul smell into the environment and if your apartments happens to be located just in front or behind the soak away, you might have issues with the ugly smell emanating from the latrine.
7. Agreement : Read and understand the terms and agreement drafted by the landlord before going ahead to sign it, You might want to get your lawyer involved before signing any form of agreement, If you don’t feel comfortable with anything stated in the agreement you can always call the attention of the landlord to it,
8. Know the History of the house: Do a little research about the house you are planning to move into. Note this is where you will be spending a lot of your time, you will need to ensure the house is safe, well protected and secure, some houses are prone to armed robbery attacks, epidemics , diseases etc
9. Cost : One of the biggest factors to consider is the cost of the house compared to your budget. It is always advisable not to get an apartment that is not too expensive and not more than your 3 months salary, maximum of 4 months salary. That is , if you earn one hundred thousand naira in a month that is 1,200,000 in a year. Your rent shouldn’t should be between 300,000 and 400,000 per annum.
10. Good Road: Another major difficulty is good roads in and out of the facility .
11. Easy Accessibility: Look for areas with that is easily accessible and within close proximity to other major areas. Always look for areas that can be easily accessed.
12. Ventilation: Avoid apartments with bad ventilation and poor lighting. Some areas are not well structured and this often leads to bad ventilation or poor lighting within the apartments
13. Avoid apartments close to religious centres: Religiously centers are supposed to be place of worship but over time, some religious centres have been known to cause noise pollution, traffic gridlock within the areas that they are situated.
14. Avoid markets places : Market places are usually noise centres and living close to market places has it’s own challenges
15. Don’t Stay too Close to family members: Even though this might sound controversial, sometimes you need privacy and you wouldn’t want your siblings or family members running to your house without informing you.
16. Avoid Damaged apartments: Avoid houses with too many damages that will incur more cost to you.
17. Get a standard house: Go for high quality houses that can withstand rust, wind and any form of natural disaster
18. Avoid Area prone to Violence: Some areas are known to have high number of
19. Avoid Lousy Landlord: Note just as you have a boss at work, at home, your landlord is also like your boss, because he monitors and manages every activities and persons living in the house. So it is always a good practice to indirectly interview your landlord to be before making any commitment. Sometimes a little research around the area will help you out.
20. Avoid Industrial Areas which could induce noise and other health related risk or hazards
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