Consideration Before Renting Out Rooms and Annex in Nigeria
Nigerian tenants have many rights when renting a room, including the right to a written agreement, occupy a property in peace, issuance of receipt of payment, valid quit notice, compulsory 7 days’ notice to recover premises, right to renew a tenancy, and right to review rent. Despite these rights, there are some basic things that should be considered a priority when renting a room or annex in any part of the country. Here, we provide some useful guidance:
Have a receipt for renting out rooms and annex
Please make sure to have a receipt of your payments to an apartment. This receipt will be good evidence for you to show that you have paid your rent and now you own it. People are tricky in some situations and may act cunning when you don’t have proof. This theory applies in both ways.
If you are a landlord who is renting out your rooms, you have to give the new tenant a receipt of payment, and likewise, the tenant should ensure they keep the receipt as evidence of payment. Should there be legal issues that arise in the future, these receipts can be accepted as evidence of payment. Also, it is important to be mindful of rushing into committing to a long-term tenancy agreement without any assurance that your landlord will allow you to live peacefully over the committed years. Be sure to only commit to long-term tenancy agreements where you trust that you will be able to live peacefully, based on recommendation, your own experience for the previous years, and potentially with an agreement that has some legal backing.
Having good access to the road
Make sure there is excellent access to the road from your rented apartments so that you can commute to places on time. If you own a vehicle, it might be worth it to see if the building can be accessible by car. If you plan to commute with public transportation, then it might be worth it to ensure the building is not very far from the main roads. Having less time to spend in road traffic is a major benefit of living in the right environment. For landlords, houses having good access to roads may add some more value to renting out their rooms and annex.
An electricity meter
If you are renting a room or annex, check if it is possible to install a pre-paid electricity meter- if absent in the building. Many Nigerian houses don’t own an electricity meter with them and are paying high bills for electricity due to the lack of it. As you are newly renting, you might want to avoid this tricky problem in order to spend money more wisely. You have to have an idea of the allocated estimate for your electricity.
Some of the 3-story buildings in Nigeria have only one single electricity meter with them. Your renter is the one who will ask you to pay money for the electricity you used and sometimes you may pay this amount without a sound knowledge of how much electricity you consumed. But how can you be sure he is telling the right amount? You can’t! That is why you need a separate meter for yourself. Also, make sure to not pay outstanding amounts of bills by the previous users from your apartment as it is none of your business. To avoid this error, ask if there are any pending electric bills before you sign and move into your rented property.
Avoiding the crime-prone areas
Some places have a high record of crime scenes, and they are crime-prone areas. If you are renting a new place, your safety should be the first priority. Who can guarantee security nowadays? We can’t assure you of the safest places to live across Nigeria as it would differ from state-to-state. Expensive places in Lagos state, like Lekki, VGC, and Banana Island are some of the best places to live safely. In Abuja, places like Gwarinpa, Maitama, Asokoro, etc are also safe to live in. In Port-Harcourt, places like Old GRA, New GRA, and Trans-Amadi are among the safest places to live. However, since some of these places are not affordable for the common citizen, it is best to enquire about the safety of a new neighborhood or area from people already residing there.
Find the reasons of previous owners to leave the place.
Before you rent out rooms and annex, make sure to find the reasons why the previous tenants left. These may provide clues on potential issues that may arise during your tenancy- if any.
Sometimes you may be tricked into paying for an apartment because it looks so good and cheap. However, not taking the necessary precautionary steps and asking questions may result in some serious regrets. By finding out the reason why previous tenants moved away, you will surely be doing your safe a favor of avoiding similar issues if they were bad at all.
Renting out rooms and annex is not an easy task. There is so much to consider before making the move. However, by having the right guidance and information, you can benefit from renting a new place without encountering unforeseen issues in future. Use JaBazaar to post houses or flats to rent in Nigeria or to find one.