My Landlord Doubled My Rent. I Am An Old Tenant. What Should I Do?
I live in Lagos Nigeria. And the house I live in is somewhat peaceful. I have lived in this particular house for over 5 years.
Unfortunately, my landlord just doubled my rent for no reason. This is rather unfair considering that I am an old tenant and I have lived in this house for over 5 years.
What does he want me to do?
My rent will expire in five months. How do I raise twice the rent I use to pay when my salary has not doubled?
I need help please. What should I do?
Reply By Samson, Lagos Nigeria
Real Estate Advisor
The tough reality is that home owners expect a growth in their real estate investment year on year.
In fact, many landlords argue that they should at least get 15-20% growth in their property value year on year.
Think about it.
You have lived in this same house for 5 years without rent increase. If your landlord believes in 20% growth year on year, then in five years your rent should have grown by 107%.
No wonder your landlord is doubling your rent!
So, what can you do about it?
You can do one of three things:
1. Refuse to pay the new rent
2. Exit the house and get a new house
3. Beg the landlord to accept the old rent
Let me be upfront with you.
Option 1 will likely not work. The landlord will exercise his powers if you refuse to pay.
Option 2 is tough if you don't have funds. Remember that when you get a new house, you will be required to pay two years rent.
Are you financially ready for that?
Your best bet is to negotiate with the landlord.
Find trusted friends he's likely to listen to and request a rent increase that is not outrageous.
Here's the truth.
Often when Lagos landlords double a tenant's rent, it because they want the tenant to exit so that they can collect two years rent from the incoming new tenant.
Since you won't agree to pay two years rent, it pays your landlord for you to exit.
Get the point?
However, if you can get fellow landlords and some elderly people to reason with your landlord, he just may listen to you.
In the meantime, start preparing your plan B in case your landlord becomes adamant and insists on the new rent.
Remember that some landlords are hungry. They depend on the rent from their property for sustenance.
Therefore when they are pressed for cash, they tend to squeeze their tenants for money to get by.
So, approach your landlord with care and prayer.
I wish you success.