The housing problem in Lagos is more than just the cost of rent – Ella Temisan

The housing problem in Lagos is more than just the cost of rent – Ella Temisan



I think that we have a long way to go with the housing situation in Lagos.


It’s more than just having good houses available for people. By good houses, I mean the ones with spacious rooms, moderate headroom and wide windows; not those built for thin-as-a-needle midgets. And especially not the ones with leaky roofs and porous foundations built for aquatic mammals.


One day, we will talk about the horrible houses people build for rent. But that is not the issue today.


The issue is how every Bola, Joseph and Yusuf is expected to afford at least two years’ rent in Lagos; especially if they don’t want to sleep under Eko Bridge. I won’t even talk about how the cost of house rent is increasing with the steady fall of the Naira against the Dollar. You already know about that one. Also, I’m not saying house owners should not recoup their investments or make a profit.



The housing problem in Lagos is more than just the cost of rent - Ella Temisan


Instead, I’m asking, is there a better way to manage the rent problem? So that everybody can get a decent space to live in?


I have been searching for a new apartment for some time and I found somewhere nice. I think it’s better than where I currently live. At least, I hope so. After meeting with the agent and landlord, we agreed that I’d move in within three months. They had to do some repairs and finishing. I wasn’t in a hurry so I didn’t mind. We signed some papers and I had a new apartment. The only problem is the rent for my current place expires in a month.



My one-year rent is enough to settle me into my new place; at least, until I can raise more money to make it more comfortable. But if I pay it, it means it’ll take longer to settle in. So, what did I do? I decided to pay half: six months. I felt that was fair since I needed only a few months until I relocate to my new place.



It should have been as simple as that. But the house caretaker didn’t want to hear.



I spoke to him and explained my reasons for paying half rent. He refused and said it’s either I pay the full rent; or I pack my things and leave their house immediately. Leave to where? When we are not fighting? I don’t like stress so I asked him if he would refund me rent for all the months I won’t stay in the house when I eventually move out?

ALSO READ: Living in Lagos is awesome until you have to pay a fine – Ella Temisan


The man has not replied to my message since then.


Would it be too much to ask for a housing or rent plan that allows people to pay monthly in Lagos? This one is not for people renting duplexes o. Their money is long. I know plenty of young men and women who live on the mainland and would welcome the opportunity to pay monthly rent for apartments close to their office on the Island.


The housing problem in Lagos is more than just the cost of rent - Ella Temis


I’m sure I am not the first person to think about this. But if it’s not happening already, then there must be a serious reason why. If there is, please tell me so that I can learn. But before I learn, Lagos caretakers, agents and landlords should calm down, please.


If nobody is living in your house, it will be empty and you will lose. You may own a property or properties but you’re not God. Calm down and treat people with respect. I don’t blame most of them sha. A lot of Nigerians don’t like taking people to court. That’s why they get away with plenty of nonsense.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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