For most tenants, a lot of factors influence their decision to move out of their present apartment; these factors which include security, water, electricity etc. cannot be put away as they contribute immensely to the daily activities of residents.
There are over a dozen reasons to move out of your present accommodation, from the professional angle we will be looking at key reasons that should determine when to start looking for accommodation elsewhere.
When should you move out of your present apartment?
Facilities failures don’t just start all of a sudden, the facilities must show signs periodically before breakdowns. The onus lies on the landlord to hire personnel for routine checks on all facilities connected and servicing his property. If there are consistent incidences of Negligence in restoring facility shutdowns especially when you pay service charges, it’s a good sign to start looking elsewhere. This is because any property owner who turns a blind eye to breakdown signals consistently is more likely to throw the burden of replacing a new facility on tenants by increasing service charges when the facility finally breaks down beyond repairs. Lack of accountability for the service charge contributed by tenants is a clear sign that the landlord deeps his hands into the purse which is detrimental to efficient running and maintenance of the facilities installed.
Outrageous Rental Reviews:
Steer clear of houses with a history of outrageous rent reviews. The law allows landlords to review rents periodically, but within a reasonable percentage putting into consideration the economic condition and living standards of the citizens generally. It will be reasonable to increase rents every 2 to 3 years at say 15 to 20 percent of old rent, so if old rent is N100,000 per annum the reviewed rent would come to 120,000 (at 20%). But in situations where after 2year a landlord goes on to increase by 50 percent or more is a bad sign. Irrespective of the reasons presented, it’s only a matter of another 2years until you start paying more than double your existing rent whether the economy is doing well or not, worse when landlords don’t give tenants sufficient notice (which is 6months minimum) for a rent review, it’s only a sign that the landlord is self-centred and undesirous of considering the state of livelihood of his tenants. Of course, the property is an investment and owners should reap from it, it shouldn’t cause the landlord to exhibit such a heinous attitude toward tenants who appear more vulnerable and sometimes with not much of a choice but to succumb. If you fall in this category, start looking elsewhere for suitable accommodations and do thorough background checks to avoid a repeat.
Poor Maintenance Culture:
Poor property maintenance increases dilapidation and deface of property, a much deeper Impact on the property is the decay of building components leading to functional obsolescence. If landlords persistently refuse to take maintenance seriously, it’s a red flag for tenants. The risk of decaying buildings is far beyond its physical look. Tenant’s health is actually at stake. For example, highly dilapidated buildings tend to collapse.
The various environmental issues in a building include; a collapsed drainage system, sinking soak-away pit and septic tank, lags in sanitation, broken inspection chambers, blocked drains, uneven foundation etc. These issues shouldn’t be taken for granted. If not much is done to suppress the effect of these problems, a lot of harm will be put on the health of residents.
Some landlords often introduce rules and regulations that do not meet tenant’s convenience. Rules that are at variance with the initial provisions in the Tenancy Agreement may not be accepted by sitting tenants without a fight unless this is unilaterally agreed on by both tenants and landlords.
Insecurity is a major factor in determining one’s decision on whether to remain in a property or relocate. Properties within capital territories tend to be more secure than properties in suburbs or slumy areas. It would be unwise to live in areas that consistently record armed robbery and kidnap activities.
Neighbourhoods with epileptic electricity say little about their level of development. Electricity is an essential part of a modern life. People use electricity for cooking, ironing cloths, illumination, refrigeration etc. It practically does a whole lot of services in a residence, an important part is that it saves residents the cost of fueling and maintaining generators, particularly if prepaid meters are used such that you recharge as you consume.
Frequent Change of Property Managers:
Frequent change of property manager or lawyer is a sign that all is not well. In most cases only terrible landlords change managers or lawyers frequently, also the possibility of outrageous rent increases is high. Most bad landlords would always try to coarse their lawyers to compromise their practice and succumb to the landlord’s bidding. Where such lawyers don’t comply, they are immediately replaced. Some landlords interfere with the Management of their houses even after appointing a lawyer or manager, by so doing try so hard to suppress the managers and force them into contravening and trampling on tenants’ rights over houses they occupy.
There have been cases where landlords sell off their property without informing sitting tenants, only for the tenants to find out after the transaction is completed. Affected tenants are then placed in tight corners as the new owner most likely will serve quit notices in the guise of wanting to renovate the property. If by any chance you discover that your landlord is planning to or has sold the house where you live, you must start looking at relocating to avoid duress.
Irregularities in Agreement:
It is expected that tenants get a copy of the tenancy agreement after the landlord has signed his own part. If at receipt of your copy, there are clauses that were initially not there at the time you signed, carefully highlight the variances and call the attention of your lawyer and landlord, you may want to plan relocation at the effluxion of tenancy for the running tenure.
Potential tenants are in the habit of asking questions before paying for accommodation. Some property owners always try to convince potential tenants to pay rent with promises to repair or replace bad doors, windows, roofs, fittings, furniture etc when tenants bring their attention to damages that require urgent repairs. Any landlord who fails to fulfill such promises are bad landlord hence, should be followed up or move to better accommodation. As much as possible try to make landlords make written promises to forestall denial in the future and to enforce or compel fulfillment of promises.