Renting an apartment in Lagos is one of the most tasking time-consuming experiences. Lekki is one of the high brow and expensive areas in Lagos State with prospective residential, commercial and agricultural locations.
Before renting an apartment in Lagos, it is important to conduct due diligence on the apartment to be rented, the landlord, the location, and all other factors, before making a decision on the apartment that suits the needs of the tenant and also to avoid being swindled as a result of the ignorance of the prospective tenant. This article aims to give a brief guide on the factors to be considered in renting an apartment in Lekki, Lagos.
Factors to Consider in Renting an Apartment in Lekki
- The Rent- the rent is the consideration paid by the tenant to the landlord for use of the residential apartment. The rent to be paid on an apartment plays a major role in the decision-making process of renting an apartment. Lekki is one of the populous areas of Lagos State occupied majorly by high-income earners; hence, it is not unusual for the rent to be expensive. Before renting an apartment, the prospective tenant must determine if he/she can reasonably afford the rent by considering one’s budget.
In addition to the rent, some apartments in Lekki usually include a service charge in addition to the rent, which includes charges for water, sewer, garbage, electricity, security, etc. It is important to find out the cost of utilities to provided and ensuring the provision for services or utilities is contained in the tenancy agreement.
- The Apartment– it is important to conduct a due diligence investigation on the apartment to be rented and to check for any physical defects. This can be done by physically visiting the prospective apartment for inspection purposes and not relying majorly on the pictorial presentation of the apartment. Upon visitation, it is important to check the cosmetic appearance such as the roof, windows, building structure, etc, and also the availability of the necessary amenities such as electricity, water, security, etc.
- Landlord- another important guide is to determine who the landlord is. Often time prospective tenants come in contact with agents who procure the agreement for them. There have been issues of house hunters being swindled of their money because they transacted with unscrupulous persons posing as agents of the landlord. Bearing this in mind, it is important to have knowledge of the owner of the apartment and also to determine if the landlord is a person of good ethics and can guarantee the tenant quiet possession and enjoyment of the apartment.
- Duration of the Tenancy– another guide to renting an apartment in Lekki is to consider the duration of the tenancy, whether for the long term or short term that suits the needs of the tenant.
- Tenancy Agreement- this is a legal agreement whether written or oral executed between a landlord and a tenant regarding possession of premises (it is advisable to execute a written agreement). After deciding on the apartment to be rented and negotiation on the rent is concluded, a tenancy agreement which sets out the terms and agreement between parties is executed between the landlord and the tenant as proof of an existing contract between parties. The option for renewal of the tenancy agreement must be expressly stated in the agreement as well as the length of notice to be given before terminating the tenancy.
Before signing this agreement, it is advised to consult the services of a lawyer to scrutinize the agreement to ensure that all clauses contained in the agreement meet the needs of the tenant and to prevent any form of liability. The tenancy agreement usually contains important clauses such as;
- Full names and addresses of the parties (landlord and tenant).
- Full details of the demised property in Lekki.
- Duration of the tenancy.
- Consideration (rent) to be paid on the apartment and the method of payment.
- Mode of terminating the agreement.
- Rent review clause (where applicable).
- Renewal clause.
- Re-entry clause.
- Undertakings (covenant) to be performed by the landlord.
- Undertakings (covenant) to be performed by tenant.
- Commencement date of the tenancy.
- Agency Fee & Legal Fee: Apart from rent, the cost for renting an apartment in Lekki and most parts of Lagos often includes. Such fee is usually between 5% to 10%. Tenant must pay agency fee and legal fee separately. However, such fees are only payable in the first year of renting the apartment, the tenant will not pay such fees upon renewal of the rent in subsequent years.
- Receipt– another guide to renting an apartment is to ensure that the tenant collects the receipt of payment of the rent and other fees as proof of payment. The is receipt very important because most landlords do not provide a tenancy agreement immediately after the payment. The receipt is only evidence of the contract of a tenancy prior to signing the tenancy agreement. The receipt should contain the following-
- The date on which the rent was received.
- The full names of the landlord and tenant.
- Location of the premises in respect of which the rent is paid.
- Amount of the rent paid, and
- Period to which the payment relates.
Finally, renting an apartment in Lekki can be a challenging experience, hence, it is important to be properly guided before making any form of payment to avoid being swindled or renting an apartment that will be detrimental to the tenant. The factors stipulated above are also applicable to renting apartments in other parts of Lagos and most parts of Nigeria.
By Real Estate Law Team at Resolution Law Firm