Have you ever woken up to loud bangs at your door at 4 am? Ever had someone turn off your generator without permission? Then you probably live with your landlord.
It’s immensely frustrating, trust me I know. But it took you months to find this place, you spent thousands of naira on agency fees and it’s a great commute to work. You don’t want to give it up. But you know if you continue to live with your landlord, one of you is going to end up dead and it’s not going to be you.
Before you hit up your old agent to change houses, read this.
Your landlord is not your friend.
Here’s the first thing you should know – your landlord is not your friend. In the first couple of months, he’s going to seem like a really great guy. He’s going to ask about your family and friends, might even invite you over to his house. Don’t fall for it, keep your distance. Because next thing you know he’ll yell loud enough for the whole compound to hear, that you lack home training because you were raised by a single parent. Your offense could be just blocking his car with your own.
You are never home.
Even when you are home, you aren’t home. That’s the only way to deal with landlords who come knocking at your door at 2 am to ask for money to pay LAWMA. No matter how long or hard he knocks, never succumb. When you see him the next day and he complains, tell him with the most innocent look you can muster that you weren’t home.
Do your own maintenance.
Chasing your landlord to fix every spoilt bulb or tap is not worth the headache. Just do it yourself so you can live long. Here’s what happens if you wait – Either your landlord never comes through or he fixes it with materials so subpar you’d end up redoing it yourself in two days after waiting two months for him to fix it.
Ignore ignore ignore.
For the landlord who won’t stop reminding you about how much of a favour he’s doing you. You know the type. The one who keeps whining about how much of a great deal you got. Even though he has refused to fix the water pump for three months now. Even when he threatens to rent your apartment to someone else, just because you missed the last tenants’ meeting. Ignore.
Get your tenancy agreement signed in black and white.
There’s no such thing as a verbal tenancy agreement. Even though your landlord is your father’s, uncle’s best friend and you’ve known him since you were 5 years old. Get it in writing so that no one wakes up one day and tells you the terms of the agreement have changed or that the rent you paid at the beginning of the year isn’t enough for the space you are living in.
If you find yourself staying at work for longer hours just to avoid your landlord. If your heart skips a beat every time you hear a knock at your door. If just the mere sight of your landlord triggers a panic attack, just move. A great rent price and constant light are not worth your peace of mind. And if you are a young female tenant and your landlord won’t stop telling you about how his pastor as said you should be his third wife. Move my sister and not before reading him the riot’s act.