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Recession: What Landlords Should Know Before Renting!

Staying afloat or ahead of the pack in a hopelessly recessed economy can sometimes be likened to Daniel leaving the Lion’s den unscathed.

We are in a time where apartments can remain unoccupied for months; a period when landlords should be up on their toes concerning their investment. This article highlights what landlords should know before renting.

The times are hard; desperate times calling for desperate measures. In a time like this, a landlord can’t afford to leave his apartment unoccupied for long. Any added rental income will go a long way in bringing some sanity into his life in a recessed economy and ultimately there will be less landlords suffering from high blood pressure.

However, for the novice landlords, it is also easy not to get returns on investment. The rental nightmares that can arise during this period can send the recipient to the grave beyond if care is not taken. It’s better not to even think about the amount of blood, time and money that is being expended in this trying period in our history as a country. It is heartbreaking, and landlords are not left out

It is easy for landlords to get themselves in bad rental experiences with prospective tenants because of the ugly situation our government have thrown her masses into. And the newer and more naive you are at the game of survival, the more likely you are to become a victim, especially by those tenants who have made a career out of cheating landlords, including squatting for as long as the laws and courts allow.

Most often than not, the tenant that get admitted into an apartment is not the same tenant that eventually gets evicted. They are two different people. At the point of entry, a typical tenant who is in desperate need of accommodation becomes a wolf when he is involved in a tussle with the landlord over rent. In fact, if that tenant has a running battle with the landlord and he’s hell-bent on seeing it to completion, it may take that particular landlord years to successful evict the tenant from his property.

And in worse cases the facilities or appliances in the apartment are left in very deplorable state when he finally gets evicted. If you happen to get away with few holes on the walls and ceiling then you should count yourself among the few lucky ones.

Here are few useful tips for landlords in their dealings with tenant in a time when most Nigerians are desperate to make ends meet in a recessed economy. These tips have been put together to save landlords from the heartaches and headaches that could arise from a bad rental experience.

1. Background Checks Are Essential: Never de-emphasize the importance of a background check no matter how desperate you are to ensure that apartment does not remain unoccupied for too long. Before you rent your apartment out to a prospective tenant, be sure you have detailed knowledge of that tenant’s work history and employers. In fact, it won’t be a bad idea if you go ahead to speak with his employers. Knowing about family background should also come on the front burner while doing a background.

2. Know the Landlord-Tenant Laws of Your City: Ensure that you are fully acquainted with the tenancy laws and never neglect the aspect where the tenant has to sign a written agreement that is binding in the presence of a lawyer. The more knowledge you have in this regard, prior to renting, the more apt you are to make an informed and more advantageous decision when it comes to taking on the enormous responsibility of becoming a landlord. Knowledge is power and especially in landlord-tenant cases.

3. Serve the Quit Notice Early: Don’t let matters go out of hand before you attempt to evict an erring tenant as long as you are not going against the laws by so doing.

4. Never Take Laws Into Your Own Hands: Landlords are fond of making this mistake, and if the tenant is vast, he could use it against the erring landlord in the law court. Would it even be right to call it a mistake? I see it as pure intimidation. It has become a trend for landlords to do everything possible to evict a tenant they don’t like just because they want a new tenant that they will make more money from. On no account should a landlord be seen to fall foul of the law. It won’t be funny if the tenant involved keeps abreast with the tenancy law. It is therefore advisable to abide by the law and always inform your lawyer about any controversy with a tenant.

5. Save for rainy days: If you are lucky, the eviction process may only take 3 months or less, but if the tenant has the full backing of the Prince of darkness, then you should be expecting a marathon court case. In this period you are bound to expend more blood, time and money, and it is expedient that you prepare yourself for bad drills. There is a sudden halt in the inflow of cash from the apartment occupied by the tenant, and it most definitely will put a strain on your finances.

Renting out an apartment may take a lot from you, albeit it is a better fate than renting your property to a terrible tenant. It may take you years to recover from such bad experience, psychologically and financially.


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