Just like the proverb that says cut your coat according to your cloth. Getting a new apartment in Lagos might be fascinating but there are some vital things you might need to take care of in your quest for a new home.
Here are 10 factors you need to consider before making that move:
Renovation: If you are moving into an old house, there may be damages, though some landlords do some work on the house before taking new tenants. But for your own good do a thorough check to determine if there is more work to be done and how much it would cost. It may be better to look for another one if the cost of renovation is too high or if the damages are beyond repair.
Proximity: Is it close to your work/business place/school? This is a major factor to consider in Lagos due to the heavy traffic congestion. You do not want to be a perpetual latecomer at work/school because you live very far away. It reduces stress for you, cost of transportation and saves you time.
Water: Water supply is a basic and essential amenity. You would need to confirm that water runs in the compound or close to the house you intend to move into.
Space: Whether you own a car or not, having ample space is good for relaxation. It helps for ventilation too.
Security: Most streets in Lagos have gates that are shut between 12 midnight and 5am, guarded by local vigilantes for security reasons. Find out what security measures the area you are looking to live have in place. This is important for life and property. Most people park their cars on the street and keep their generators in the open; you need to be sure that the place is safe.
Noise Pollution: Look out for public facilities around the hood before making that move. If you are a family, you might not want to raise your kids around pubs, strip clubs, etc. You certainly do not want to live in places close to factories, markets or religious facilities.
Utility Bills: Confirm what utilities you would pay for and when i.e. electricity, LAWMA etc. If it is an old house, ensure to ask about outstanding bills to avoid surprising yourself and if the house is new make sure the owner has settled all dues/charges with the necessary authorities before you pay.
Power Supply: We all know that power is a huge problem in Nigeria but some parts of Lagos are unlucky with power supply. Except you generate your own electricity or just do not mind, you may need to ask your potential neighbours about this.
Flooding: Be warned, a lot of places in Lagos experience flooding due to poor sand filling, poor drainage and other causes. Renting an apartment in dry season can be very deceptive and you may not notice watermarks if the house have been newly painted so you need to do your research before you find yourself in another Maroko.
Spiritual Factor: There are houses with funny inscriptions and symbols on the gate, etc. For those who are spiritually inclined, be sure that you are not moving into an occultic coven where things will fall apart. Do your homework! Ask questions! Observe! Before making commitment.
Involve a Lawyer: Get a lawyer to go through the contract terms before you sign. Tighten all loose ends to be on the same page with your landlord. Question any clause/terms you are not comfortable with such as rent increment, pets, visitors etc. Never assume that your landlord will understand, make sure you understand, verify and clarify before making payment.
You also need to know that agency fee is different from agreement/legal fees. Most houses in Lagos take one year rent.