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Tips to rent in Abuja 2017-06-02T15:35:25+00:00

This article is a tentative to provide our visitors with tips to rent in Abuja.

We believe this topic to be of general interest and that our vision may not be exhaustive, so please do not hesitate to contact us in order to enrich and share your experiences!

In the course of our meetings with potential tenants, we always hear about very improbable stories of unprofessional landlords and/or agents on the place.

As it is usually the most important budget you’ll have to spend in the country and also the very place you’ll need to feel at home, accommodation is of extreme sensibility in relation with your personal way of living.

Clean, fast and secure access road from your office to your accommodation, from your accommodation to freeway are mandatory. Traffic is erratic, roads are not always in good shape in Abuja new outside town areas …

Facilities are to be carefully checked:

  • What is the surrounding looking like? How far is the next police station? Are there Security Guards in the surrounding properties?

  • How is the security organized in the property itself? How many guards?

    • Speak to them … Will you trust them?

  • How old is the property? When have last exterior walls maintenance been completed? Is the property properly surrounded by outside walls with no breach?

  • What is the water system in place? Is it independent or connected to the town’s network?

    • Is there water treatment, tankers, heaters, boosters?

  • What is the power set? Is there a back up generator? Size? How old? A fuel tanker? Size? Autonomy of the property? Alternative energy power plans?

  • How good are plumbing and electricity networks?

  • Is there a formal preventive maintenance plan in place?

    • When took place the last pest control treatment?

  • How is to be organized for small corrective maintenance work?

  • Is there a Security plan, fire extinguishers? Expiry date?

  • Do you have burglar proofed security doors, windows?

  • Air conditioning? TV network? Internet access?

  • Is the accommodation already cleaned, painted, furnished?

    • What will you have to pay for, what cost?

Location is sensible, some organizations do not allow international staffs to live outside town, even outside some districts in town (Wuse, Maitama, Asokoro). Security reasons leads therefore to a narrowed market where prices are hard, not to say impossible, to negotiate.

However it may be extremely difficult to benchmark as there is a lot of variation in between the quality of building, facilities, locations in Abuja. Anybody may want to weight complexe ratios whenever personal feeling, word of mouth, landlord’s reputation may finally be the most trustable decision makers.

Also, understand that you are in Nigeria and nowhere else, that whatever is written down as the Law may not be agreeable in this singular market. That if you sign and pay for a ‘bad agreement’ with inconsistent party, you’ll hardly have any recourse as the Law may not easily lend itself to implementation.

Therefore it is of the most extreme importance to know as much as possible about your Landlord’s reputation and professionalism in the long run. How long have he be on the market? Is he trusted by previous or current tenants? Is he insured? For what? Is there a maintenance team? How are employees treated?

To avoid bad surprises and overhead costs, we advise you to keep the following statements in mind:

  1. Are you talking to the Landlord or to an Agent? If you are talking to the landlord, you may not have to pay ‘agreement’, ‘commission’ or whatever dues on top of your renting & services fees

  2. It is ok to pay upfront money to an agent for him to start working for you but never ever pay the total amount until you have proof that the accommodation is duly vacant and before you have met the landlord and came to an agreement with him

  3. Further, understand that ‘agents’ are many times working together (opposite Valencia Hotel effect): insist on dealing in offices, use websites and external trustable reviews, have a signed agreement with them if you to deal with agents

  4. Read the Tenancy Agreement in full details, be sure of what the services include and exclude, ask for reasonable termination delays, refund of unused balance, privileges details, brings up any concern before signing the agreement

  5. Ask for a rent receipt before paying anything to the landlord. The rent receipt shall state the date when the rent was received, names of the landlord and the tenant, location of the premises in respect of which the rent is paid, amount of rent & services paid and the period to which the rent relates.

  6. If possible, have a lawyer to review and validate your Tenancy Agreement

 

Business Etiquette in Nigeria 2017-06-02T15:35:25+00:00
Warning: this content is a courtesy of Internations. Internations website provides more informations about working in Nigeria.

General Tips

Establishing a personal relationship with your colleagues and superiors is common in Nigeria. You can expect the first two hours to be spent getting to know each other. Family and health matters are very important in Nigeria, and they will inevitably be brought up.

Please don’t try to rush through this process or impose your own agenda at these initial meetings. For things to go smoothly afterwards, it is important to be pleasant and agreeable. In private meetings, don’t be shocked if they are interrupted by calls, emails, or knocks at the door; Nigerians do a lot of work in teams and managers constantly manage them.

The matter of addressing people might be hard to get used to for expats from “first-name office cultures”. You should always wait until you are invited to use someone’s first name. Until then, Nigerians prefer the use of Mr./Mrs./Ms. and surname.

Titles are of utmost importance, too. Many Nigerians will insist on being addressed with full titles at all times. Some occupations are used as titles as well, such as “engineer”, for example.

Greetings

Greeting processes are very important in Nigeria, and it is rare to just greet someone in passing. Take time to exchange pleasantries and ask about each other’s well-being. To shake someone’s hand is common; if you are a man greeting a woman, wait for her to extend her hand first.

Try to greet each person in a group individually, in order of seniority. This is a common sign of respect, which can also be applied to superiors. It is also appropriate to bow your head when shaking the hand of someone much obviously older than you.

When speaking to superiors and seniors, try to avoid eye contact. In general, Nigerians make much less use of eye contact than members of Western cultures. Insisting on looking others in the eye during a conversation might easily be taken as a sign of rudeness or even aggression.

Business Cards

There is no exact way or time to exchange business cards, but you should always endeavor to receiver another’s with either both or your right hand – never with the left. Always take a moment to examine the business card before putting it away in a business card holder. Don’t ever write on your business cards; if your details have changed, have new cards printed. You should be sure to include any academic and professional titles on your business cards.

Nigerian Time

Generally, Nigerians live and work at a more relaxed pace than you might be used to. Punctuality is valued, but sticking to schedules is less important than an individual’s particular situation. Also, due to the erratic traffic conditions, being on time can be quite hard.

Patience is a virtue you will sorely need when doing business in Nigeria. It is often wise to schedule important meetings well ahead and to call in the day before to confirm.

Miscellaneous Etiquette Tips

Please remember that there are a number of different ethnicities, cultures, and religions living side by side in Nigeria. Make sure to ask co-workers about their background in order not to offend anybody by accident.

A useful piece of information for upbeat people: the “thumbs up” sign, which in Western societies usually denotes that everything is all right, can be very offensive in Nigeria!

The Nigerian concept of personal space is almost nonexistent. It is quite normal for people to stand close to you when talking or standing in line. While this may seem unpleasant to some, please be tolerant and do not tell people to back off.