While buying their own apartment or house is a lifelong dream for many modern Nigerians, sometimes it’s easier said than done – after all, purchasing your own property requires a lot of money and is not something you can achieve immediately. The solution most people are using is renting. At first glance, renting is the perfect alternative to buying: it’s affordable, it’s flexible, and it gives you more freedom. However, finding your perfect place to rent isn’t as easy as it seems, but with our help you’ll move into your dream property in no time.
1. Look at your finances
One of the things that influence your choice of a house or apartment the most is your budget. Before you make any sort of commitment, decide how much you can pay for property every month. If you can afford relatively large payments, consider taking a mortgage and buying property instead of renting, if that’s what you want. Otherwise, you and your family need to allocate an amount of money that you will always be able to pay on time. As a rule, your rent amount should not be more than 40% of the family income. After you’ve decided on a budget, you can start looking for your new place online – for example, on JiJi.
2. Consider location
Whether you have a large family with several children, or you are a bachelor moving to a big city, location plays an important part in the process of choosing a place to rent. Depending on your needs, your new property will have to be close to schools, hospitals, plants, business centers, shopping malls, and other places. Plus, pay extra attention to the traffic situation in the area. Is there a developed public transportation system? Or, if you own a car, how good are the roads in the area and are there constant traffic jams? The safety of your chosen location is another important factor influencing the choice of the property.
3. How much repairing is needed?
There is almost no way for you to find a completely flawless property on your first try. Even the best house or apartment you can find will likely have one or two imperfections, not to mention the state of apartments that are in the low price range. This is why, when you are seriously considering renting a certain house or flat, take a good look at the state of the property and calculate the cost of repairs you will need. Repainting the walls, fixing the plumbing, upgrading the electricity and renovating the floors will require some time and money for you. You can negotiate the renovation with the landlord: for example, he can give you a discount in exchange for you to do your own repairs, or you can get the landlord to do the repairs himself.
4. Find out about security deposit
A common practice for many Nigerian landlords nowadays is to make their tenants pay a security deposit – an amount of money, usually one or two monthly rents – that covers possible defects and breakages caused by the tenant. While it’s a reasonable practice that protects the landlord from expenses needed for repairs. However, some dishonest landlords are known to abuse this practice, forcing the tenants to pay for repairing the things that had already been broken. To avoid these extra fees, take your potential landlord on a tour around the apartment before you sign the lease, and point out any damaged or broken inventory, listing it on a piece of paper and making the landlord sign that paper.
5. Prioritize the features
Every prospective tenant in the world is looking for property that will meet every single one of his requirements and preferences. Nevertheless, in reality we often have to let go of the certain desired features in order to obtain the ones we need the most. Accept the fact that you are unlikely to find the ideal property on your first try, so while you need a place to live, settle for the offer that incorporates the most of your desired features. Often you will have to choose between to completely different things: for example, you can’t live in a quiet neighbourhood and have the busiest shopping malls and business centers in your close proximity. This is why a successful choice of property to rent is all about prioritizing your desired characteristics!