Tips to rent in Abuja

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Tips to rent in Abuja

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


By | 2017-06-02T15:35:25+01:00 June 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

About the Author:

Yves is the Business development manager for Relais International based in Abuja, Nigeria

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