From the landlords who will force you to be a part of their morning prayers to those who will insist no one must visit you, and those who will turn to accurate timekeepers and monitor your every movement, living with a landlord or landlady can be plenty wahala. In my 200 level as an undergraduate, my landlord once told me he didn’t want many people visiting me at home, and even if they did, they mustn’t use the toilet. His excuse? He didn’t want the soakaway to get full quickly. Ah, I was ‘shook’.
During my NYSC, my friend’s landlord had one major rule – the guys could bring in as many women as they wanted, but the ladies were not allowed to have male visitors. The ladies were also not allowed to wear any clothing that was above their knees. Why? He wanted to ensure they don’t turn out wayward or get pregnant.
Yesterday, Alex asked people to share the weirdest rule their landlord/landlady ever gave them and, mehn, the replies are so hilarious. I mean, how can you be banned from eating yam just because your landlord said so? After you have paid rent o – your own money.
What Does the Law Say?
Your right to occupy a rented property in peace
Every tenant, no matter his status or location in Nigeria, has the right to an agreement when renting an apartment. The moment you pay your rent and append your signature on a written agreement, you earn the right to occupy the rented property in peace. When you become a tenant, you have legal and equitable rights over the rented space. This means you can play ludo if you want or eat yam, as long as you have paid for the apartment.
It doesn’t end there, your landlord/lady has to take permission from you before entering your apartment. This means that you can sue your landlord for trespassing if he comes into your space without permission from you. Yes, he/she built the house, but you have paid for that space/apartment, and as long as your rent has not expired, it is your space.
Your right to a written agreement and receipt
“Me, I don’t have problem o, shebi you have paid, just pack enter like that.” Ah, don’t dull, it’s a trap. As a tenant, you have the right to a written agreement between you and your landlord before you move into an apartment. That way, you can always refer back to this written agreement if your landlord/lady goes back on their words. You should also get the receipt of your payment before moving in. Even if you are allowed to pay in installments, still collect receipts for each payment. This receipt must include the name of the landlord and the tenant, the amount paid and the date of such payment, the property for which such payment is made, the duration that such payment will cover and the signature of the receiver. This will save you a lot of wahala in the future. Read your other rights here.
How to Get a Wahala-free Apartment
Living in the same compound with your landlord or landlady can be very tiring for some, that is why you must shine ya eyes before renting an apartment. Before you pay for that apartment, you can ask the neighbours about your landlord-to-be. Is he/she troublesome? Spirikoko? Loves to fight? Controlling? Nice? Just have a little idea of who you are going to be sharing a compound with before moving in. Don’t let had I known be your portion.
Better still, if you are eyeing that apartment but the landlord is already giving you plenty rules and regulations, you better japa. After all, “life without liberty is like a body without spirit” – Kahlil Gibran.
So, guys, what’s the weirdest rule a landlord/lady has ever given you?