If you live in a rented apartment in Lagos, there are some unwritten laws and rules you should abide by if you want to live in peace.
Some landlords do not take it kindly with tenants who try to outshine them and can do everything to put such tenants in their places and let them know who owns the house.
So if you want to live in peace in a house that is not your own in Lagos, here are some seven things you should be very mindful of.
1. Don’t be in the opposition
Living in someone’s apartment and trying to be the rebel leader is a no-no as no landlord would condone you being an antagonist.
Forming a union of other tenants and being the leader to oppose everything the landlord says is often taken as an affront and they would think you are scheming to take the house from them.
They are quick to remind you that the house belongs to them even if they inherited the house from their great-grandfathers.
Lagos landlords like tenants who give them their due in terms of decision making and would not hesitate in handing you a quit notice whenever they notice that you are the opposition leader.
As soon as he notices that you always play the devil’s advocate during compound meetings, you have become a marked person and would be shown the way out as soon as possible.
2. Taking sides when the landlord has issues with another tenant
Another mortal sin Lagos landlords hate more than anything is always taking sides with other tenants whenever there is an issue.
They expect you to always support them even if they are in the wrong which, more often than not, is the issue.
Lagos landlords expect you to support them in any altercation with other tenants and you must show it in the open that you are on their side.
Issues like payment of bills should not make you support your co-tenant because when you do, the landlord will see you as the one instigating other tenants against him.
If you cannot support the landlord while he is having a confrontation with other tenants and agree with whatever he says, be ready to look for another apartment even when your rent is not due.
So whatever you think and whatever opinion you have, do not voice it out.
3. Your landlord must be right at all time
Every Lagos landlord has a right to be right at all times and even if you think he is wrong, just shut up and let him have the field.
No landlord in Lagos likes to keep a rebel leader in his house and that includes the tenant that believes he knows it all.
Know that he owns the house and can decide to run it like a Field Marshall and there is nothing you can do about it.
If you are a night crawler who comes home late, do not argue when he tells you that the gate to his compound closes at 8 pm. At such times, he is the gateman to the house and if you are a marked man, God saves you from your night crawling because he will make sure you are locked out even if you come back at two minutes past 8.
4. He is entitled not to pay utility bills
Your landlord owns the house and he has done you a favour by giving you a room to lay your head, even if you had to pay through your nose.
So all utility bills like that of the PHCN, water, sanitation, tenement and area security automatically becomes the responsibility of the tenants, even if the law states otherwise.
Your landlord believes he should not pay anything in his house, after all, he built it himself without your input, so why should he pay for the bills that he also uses?
He will go all tough on you if you are that fly-in-the-ointment tenant who would insist that he pays.
5. Do not sublet your apartment
In case you are a bachelor and live in a three-bedroom flat and think the place is too big for you, do not attempt to bring your friends to share the apartment with you.
This is a cardinal sin and no landlord allows that. His belief is that those squatting with you are paying you rent that should naturally go to him. So even before you contemplate getting someone to share your apartment, he must be in the know.
But be sure that at the expiration of your current rent, he would add ‘something’ to it, after all, those living with you should contribute the new rent and pay to him.
6. Do not bring in many lovers
Another thing that irks Lagos landlords is when his tenants tend to change lovers like clothes and every other weekend, a new face would appear.
If you are the type that has a lot of friends and different people come to pass the night in your place on different days, you’re likely going to be shown the gate.
They are mostly worried about their soak-aways, the amount of water used and if your friends do not greet him with courtesy, you will be the one to bear the brunt.
7. Never throw a party if you have not paid your rent
While owing the rent on your apartment is bad enough, showing your landlord disrespect by throwing a party in his house is an unpardonable sin. In fact, it is unthinkable and you should not even attempt such.
Even if your wife has a baby and you are owing the rent, do not even contemplate having the naming ceremony because your landlord will think you used the money you were supposed to pay him to hold the revelry.
He would be of the view that if you had so much money to throw a party, you should have had enough to pay up what you owe him
You would lose any grace he was giving you and be ready to get his knock on your door even at 3 am.
Close to this always cooking nice meals when you have not paid your landlord, especially if you are in a compound where the kitchen is shared.
His wife would always come around to inspect what you cook and if she finds big pieces of goat meat, turkey and chicken in your stew pot, you have committed one of the greatest sins known to Lagos landlords.