Thursday, October 4, 2012


Renting and buying property is like playing the lottery, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. There is an estate along the Lekki expressway that sold its units for N30m a year ago, they are now being exchanged for N47m! The same units were being let for N1.6m a year ago, and are now asking N3m and above! This particular developer has earned such a good reputation, that his developments are snapped up long before they are even completed. Whereas some other developers have completed units sitting empty for two years or more, having to lower rents, just to attract clients.

It appears that some landlords and developers are stepping up their game a notch and are now improving on the quality and standards of their properties. I have in the last few weeks seen some very good quality developments on serviced estates, and not in the expected “highbrow” areas, but in Lekki and further along the Lekki Expressway! This really does go to show you that people should start expanding their horizons and going further afield to get good quality properties

I know everyone is terrified of the daily traffic gridlock, but, if you want to live in a good safe estate, in a well built and finished home which you can retire to at the end of a hectic day, then it may really be worth spending 15 minutes extra in traffic and going to sleep with a smile on your face.

I decided to follow up on the progress of a development on the island which I had my eye on a few months ago. I drove down there today, only to find it had been boarded up and works brought to a standstill. I called the developer to find out what had happened, and was told all works had ceased until further notice. This is an unfortunate common experience nowadays, with a number of previously buoyant developments, looking like ghost towns, because the developer does not have the finances to finish the works.

A client walked into our office today as he had seen our advertisement of a property he was interested in. He was ready to pay for the property there and then, but I insisted he viewed the property first, just to be certain. He went round to the property immediately and said he knew about estate and was prepared to go ahead with the purchase. I contacted the landlord as I smelt something odd going on. The landlord confirmed that three other agents had approached him on behalf of this same client for the same property, and all had fallen through!!

We do come across strange requests in the course of this job. When the client rang me again about wanting to seal the deal immediately, I mentioned to him that I understood he had approached other agents and had pulled out before sealing the transaction? He gave various reasons for this and promised that he was genuine and really wanted the property.

The desperate client from yesterday contacted us to ask if he could pay one year’s rent and pay the other with a post dated cheque to be cleared in 3 months. We do come across frequent requests for payment of rent for one year instead of the accepted norm for 2 or more years. This may be an area that landlords need to review and come up with stricter Agreement terms for one year rentals and ending the tenancies after that period. Whilst it is easier to manage shorter tenancy terms abroad due to strict regulations, the logistics of this here in Nigeria are more difficult, but need to be considered, especially if the rent is likely to double in one year

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