A lot of reports suggest that more and more people in Nigeria prefer to rent apartments instead of buying property, which is why the rent part of the real estate market is growing rapidly. Nowadays you can find some great property in every Nigerian city: Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, Oyo and Ogun. Renting an apartment has a lot of advantages over buying one, but if you’ve found the apartment of your dreams and want to build a good relationship with the landlord so that you can rent the apartment successfully for years, these 7 useful tips will make every landlord fall in love with you as a tenant.
1. Be punctual
If you’re still at the stage where you’re viewing apartments looking for the most suitable one, it’s important to never be late for viewing. Everyone involved in the viewing process, including the owner and the real estate agent, have a very tight schedule. By being more than 15 minutes late you risk ruining their schedule, forcing them to cancel their next appointments or to be late as well. No one likes to wait for someone, so keep that in mind while getting to your next viewing.
2. Be attentive
Even though renting is not as serious and long-term of a contract as purchasing the apartment, you still have some obligations when you sign the papers, so it’s important to pay the full attention to the apartment’s details. Take a good look at the whole apartment, including the smallest details and the farthest corners, and if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with the agent or the landlord before the papers get signed – that way you’ll avoid renting property with some serious defects or inconveniences.
3. Inspect the infrastructure
One of the key factors of rental property is the available infrastructure. Young people with jobs and family usually look for well-equipped apartments in the centre of a big city, but even if living in a large city is not your top priority, infrastructure is still very important. Access to transportation, shopping malls, hospitals and schools, business centres and grocery markets – there are so many places you need on a daily basis, and living close to them means you’ll have to waste less time on commuting, while getting a chance to spend more time with your family or on your hobbies.
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4. Don’t be rude
A lot of potential tenants walk into an apartment they’re viewing and start making remarks about the state or location of the property. This is a key mistake: by insulting the property you ruin your relationship with the landlord and possibly with your real estate agent. Even if you have a lot of thoughts on the apartment and what you would do with it, wait until you leave the place. As soon as you’re out of the premises, you can voice your opinion on the state of the property and possible renovations you plan to do once you move in.
5. Be honest
A lot of property owners have a number of strict rules when it comes to renting out an apartment. Some owners prefer tenants not to have any children, while others have a policy against dogs, cats, and other pets. By concealing the truth you will achieve nothing but lying to the landlord, and this lie will definitely come out. If you’re in love with an apartment, but you don’t fit the rules designed by the landlord, better tell them the truth and ask them to change their minds – sometimes people warm up to the tenants so much that they can ignore their own rules.
6. Be realistic about your budget
The price range for rentals in Nigeria is huge: you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in a small city for ?60,000/year or get a luxury duplex in Abuja for ?3,000,000/year. The choice depends on the property size, the number of rooms, the availability of furniture and modern conveniences, the infrastructure, the neighbourhood, and so on. Before you go apartment hunting, you need to decide how much you can spend. Keep in mind that the asking price will not be your only expense: you will also need to pay the agent’s fees, the cost of signing an agreement, and possibly a service charge.
7. Lower your expectations
Finding a perfect piece of real estate is not an easy task at all: even if you have enough money to rent the apartment of your dreams, you may still lose a competition with another potential tenant, or the owner may change their mind. In order not to feel upset about every missed opportunity to live in your dream apartment you can slightly lower your expectations and settle for a place that is not as perfect as you imagined, but can still give you the life you wanted.