Apartment Hunting: What First Hunter Needs to Know
Whether in Ghana, Kenya or Nigeria, securing an apartment has been always hectic for the first timers and second timers, especially when the initial experience gained during the first hunting was not used judiciously for second hunting. As a first timer, many things need to be considered. The level of socioeconomic status and behaviour in relation with others should be prioritised.
Before the Race
The status and relationship with other people before the need for an apartment should be stepping stones to getting the apartment that aligns with income level and the kind of people one intends to associate with. In urban centres of Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, experience has shown that people prefer having apartments close to the people of like minds.
For instance, in Nairobi and Lagos, both government and private organisations’ employees prefer staying in apartments that close to their workplace and co-workers. While considering this, first timer needs to consider his or her monthly income. It would be counterproductive to have an apartment in choice areas with high rental fees when the monthly income is meager.
When the apartment is sought by an agent, first timer needs to be careful most especially in the areas where agents are not operating within the formal system. From Ghana to Nigeria and Nigeria to Kenya, the story remains the same. There are dubious agents who will not hesitate to collect money without remitting it to the owner of the apartment.
The golden rule is that don’t not pay until you have seen the apartment. When it seems that the landlord is equally eager to rent the apartment out, be careful. There are might be some hidden structural or electrical defects at the apartment being covered by the landlord. In this case, first timer must visit the apartment at night, not only during the day.
While inspecting the apartment, make sure you get at least two neighbours within the location and ask them about the place, including the landlord’s attitude and behaviour if he or she lives there.
After the Race
If the landlord lives with you after renting the apartment, your evaluation of him or her must continue. Try to meet your neighbours as soon as you packed in. It is highly necessary that you have a good relationship with every neighbour. In case of emergency while outside the compound, there is a need to have contact details of your neighbours. You also need to be mindful of the internal and external security issues.