“In life, two things are guaranteed to come your way: opportunities and challenges. How you choose to deal with these two things is what determines your outcome in life”, his MD had said this morning when he was exhorting them for the day after the morning prayers. The quote kept ringing in Martins’ head, as he mentally took note of how he dealt with the opportunities and challenges that have come his way in recent times. He concluded he hadn’t done badly but concerning the issue with his landlord, he was in a fix.
The man had been adamant about giving him the key to his room, insisting he would sack Martins before he corrupted the other tenants but he had finally conceded after Martins promised he would leave the house at the end of the month. Martins knew he wasn’t going anywhere. He couldn’t afford to. Getting a new place meant paying for two years rent with legal and agreement fees. He didn’t have that kind of money and even if he did, he would rather buy one of the landed properties they sold and complete the payment in instalments than give all that money to another landlord. He needed to come up with a way to make the landlord continue to let him live in the house until he was ready to leave.
He had thought of asking Deji to front for him since the landlord rarely came to the compound and didn’t go around checking who was lodging who as long as his money got paid but he had changed his mind knowing the caretaker would either figure his plan out and ruin it or one of the tenants would go and do amebo for the landlord as they did with the issue of his complementary card, which was what got him in this mess in the first place. He shook his head in self empathy as he realized he had more challenges than opportunities. He wished more opportunities would come his way and he could live the life he had always dreamt. If only wishes were truly horses and dreams could materialize with the wave of a wand.
He sighed as he focused on the work in front of him. He still had a pile of files to sort through and wasn’t looking forward to it. He realized paper work bore him and he preferred to go on the field. Although his experience on the field thus far had not been smooth, in retrospect, it had been exciting. A smile touched his lips as the memory of his first day and first task came to mind. He was still curious about what the story was between Aisha and Ada but dispensed with the thought as Johnson, a colleague of his walked in, his voice filled with anger. Everyone in the room turned their attention to him.
“What do you mean he threw your things out? He has no right to!” he paused briefly while Martins stared at him, wondering what was going on. “So what if it is his house? And legally, he’s supposed to give you six months notice. He can’t just wake up one day and throw your things out or tell you to move out, it’s not done! Where does he want you to go?”
Martins is paying rapt attention
“You know what, just go and stay at Moji’s place. I’m going to call Femi to take it up. We are suing the guy. It is rubbish! He can’t treat you like that.”
“What happened?” Tinu, another colleague asked as soon as Johnson got off the phone.
“Imagine! My sister has been living in a house for three years. No prior notice, nothing and you wake up one morning and tell her to move out the next day or you’ll throw her things out because you need the place urgently. Who does that?”
“My landlord!” Martins responded instantly. Everyone turned to look at him as if just realizing he was in the room. “He locked me out two nights ago and said he was going to refund the rest of my money to me because I gave my cards to other tenants and he saw sack your landlord on it”
“You’re kidding,” Johnson stated in disbelief
“These landlords are unbelievable! So he wants to throw you out because of that?” Tinu asked, her voice filled with incredulity
“I can’t say I blame him,” Lola supplied. “If you are the landlord and you saw something like that, won’t you feel threatened?”
“That doesn’t mean they have to treat people inhumanly,” Tinu argued
“Not all landlords are bad people.” They all turned up their noses in disagreement. “So basically you are saying when you become a landlord, you will treat people badly too!”
“No way!” Johnson protested “I’m not going to treat people like that. If you want to throw someone out of your house, the law offers guidelines.”
“Like…?” Martins queried, curious
“You should give six months’ notice to a yearly tenant. If the six months expire and the tenant doesn’t move out, you serve another seven days notice of owner’s intention to recover property. If the tenant still doesn’t move out after then, you go to court”
“As a tenant, is it not just better to move out than to go to court?” Martins asked
“What if you don’t have anywhere to go?” Johnson stated
“Or you don’t have the money to pay?” Martins rejoined, a plan beginning to form in his head
The BROUHAHA of Oga Martins continues next week…
This series is sponsored by REALTY POINT LIMITED, the Sack Your Landlord! people.