It is often the case that unsuspecting property buyers fall into some booby traps, only
discovered after closing the transactions. Buyers recount their ugly experience with dubious or inexperienced property agents/speculators, which usually leave them high and dry after fleeing them of their hard-earned funds. It is very advisable that in buying a property, prospective buyers must note the following mistakes and avoid them at all cost
Mistakes in Buying
Use of individual agents: To cut corners and avoid costs most buyers prefer
to use the individual property agent in their hood. The talk often is “it is cheaper purchased
to buy from that agent through which my neighbor Olamide purchase his, rather than incur extra cost on corporate agents.
After all Olamide is enjoying his property without problems”. Buyers as exemplified above are impressionable and highly
susceptible to fraud. It is better to spend a little more with assurances of impeccable deal than gamble with Olamide,
and perhaps, spend much more in litigation. But the reverse is often the case. With a professional organization, you are sure
of getting back your fund, for a transaction-gone-wrongly. You are double-sure that all searches and investigation (done diligence,
including the search and confirmation from the land authorities are completed. Expert organizations get you the best prices through
strategies negotiation in the long run, you spend less.
Assuming the All-fees-inclusive: Dubious property agents present unbelievably low prices with the mantra “All-fess-inclusive”. This supposes that once the buyer pays the listed price, no other fees are expected. Such buyers are made to pay the cumulative, only to be faced with demands from persons, communities, government agencies or groups that he/she never envisaged. clins chaplin noted that fees/price and extra costs are like cockroaches. If you see one, be sure there are probably twenty more lurking around the corner, yet unseen. We advise that in the cumulative cost of a property, buyers should consist on breakdown. Such breakdown must capture all the deliverables; all the other expenses supposedly covered by the total cost. Buyers must obtained individual receipt for each of the costs. Below are some of the extra costs (depending on location):
Community development levies
Site approval fees
Land/property registration fees
Lifting /delineation fee (not applicable in all)
Bush entry (Mostly applicable in Rivers State)
Inadequate knowledge of Restrictions: Most unorthodox land agents do not give full information about restrictions
to their clients. This leads to the mistake of buying a land that is unfit for the purposes of the buyer.
Those area have building/land-use restriction applicable to them. Some restrictions are state-imposed,
others are community-imposed. There are areas where high rise buildings are restricted. In such areas
only building below one-storey are allowed. In some, restrictions apply as to land use. Government may
designate the area as industrial layouts, and so residential buildings may not be allowed. Some communities
place such restriction as to the noise ambience level or movement time. Buyers are advised to make
further enquiries as to restrictions on their neighborhood before consummating land transactions.
Not embarking on physical inspections of property: Buyers, especially those living far off the location
of the property they wish to buy are often tempted to pay without first going to the site. The use of such
application as google earth is quite good and necessary. Real maps are also good and up-to-the-minute. But
they are often more fanciful as they are in reality. Buyer may use it to view the locality of a property and
its history, but the can never take the place of physical inspection. it’s advisable to take a walk around the
property to identify such matters that the computer aided applications may be unable to spot .where it is hard
for the prospective buyer to make a trip to the site, he/she may nominate a trusted person or organization like
Zaram Realty Services limited to do so on his/her behalf and take relative videos and pictures for the prospective
buyer. Nothing takes the place of physical inspection of properties.
MISTAKES IN RENTING/LEASING
Poor documentation: it is very important that in property renting both the landlord and potential
tenant define all agreements in black and white. There should be room for speculations. Phone
conversations do not take the place of a signed agreement. Tenancy is a contract defined by law.
The laws of tenancy must be followed strictly in drafting agreements. The agreements may state when
to raise rent; periodic rent increment is agreed. Restriction on renting of livestock etc.
Unverifiable Transaction: it is necessary that in making and receiving payment for rent-age,
there should be legally admissible evidence of transaction. Cahs-on-hand payment is a “no,no”,
bank transaction is the game. To avoid claims and counter claims, all payment should be done through the bank.
Landlord must insist that deposits are made into their account. This clears all doubt.
Underestimating Repair cost: Landlords often underestimate the cost of reports in renting out
a property. This manifest in low-cost renting and the subsequent reluctance to keep the property in
top form; thereby leading to bickering with the tenants. It is also the case where tenants undertake
to repair properties. The issue of underestimation of cost of repairs for a tenant, may lead to exorbitant
cumulative cost of rentage at the long term. Estimates for repair must be thoroughly considered in fixing rent
and in agreeing to a given sum for rentage. Where in doubt, concerned party may engage the services of a quantity
Illegal Eviction: Landlords run into problems by engaging in eviction of tenants with the use of
thugs or by other unorthodox means, such as deroofing of property. Illegal eviction can cost the undertaker
a fortune and grant the tenant the opportunity to overstay in the estate during the pendency of a case before
the courts. Landlords and tenants are to define their engagements properly and where there are issues, consult
their estate agency for alternative dispute resolution mechanism
Not considering neighborhood issues: Tenants run into problems by failing to
consider factors associated with their environment. It is often the case that tenants overlook
certain salient issues as soon as they find a property that has the amenities that suit their taste.
Failure to consider past and present securing situation of the area; wet/raining-season environmental
challenges, such as flooding and roofing, leakages, power supply and waste disposal may turn out to be the tenant’s
undoing. These factors would help tenant understand hidden costs of renting property such cost are security
and waste management fees. Tenants are advised to visit the property they wish to rent at different periods of
the day to evaluate the environmental situation of the area.
Renting without physically inspecting plenty of people rely on pictures to rent a property.
This may be tricky. Photos can be very deceptive. One needs to embark on such inspection so as to
know if the apartment smells, if there are structural defects such as dangerous cracks and leakages.
Physical inspection also helps one to avoid scammers who put up rental advertisements on the internet,
posing as the agent only to collect commitment fees and flee. Seeing the apartment and the neighborhood
grants the tenant the opportunity for interaction.
Not documenting the state of the property before renting: where security deposit applies,
it is necessary that both the landlord and tenant document the condition of the property pre-renting.
The failure to do this is a source of one of the most frequent crashes between tenants and landlords.
To avoid arguments over security deposits, both landlords and tenants are expected to document the status
or condition of every fitting and to take as much pictures of them as they can if a tenant observes that
any fitting is bad or not functioning optimally, it is incumbent on the tenant to draw the attention of
the landlord to it. Pictures/notes should actually dwell more on noticed imperfections/faults and where possible
such faults should be fired before the tenant takes over the property.
Not confirming compatibility of existing home properties with apartment: Tenants, in many
instances fail to give attention to Minute issues such as wether or not his/her properties can
fit into the new apartment. It is a difficult moment, when after consummating a rentage transaction;
one finds that the door is too small for his upholstery to pass in or that the room is too small for
the bed. This harrowing experience can be avoided with the tenant taking accurate measurement before