Tenant Tales: 3 Female Renters Share Their Crazy Stories House Hunting In Lagos

Welcome to Tenant Tales, a new sub-segment of our blog, where we bring you juicy, riveting, hilarious, and sometimes concerning gists about renters’ experiences navigating Lagos’ dynamic and chaotic real estate landscape. There’s no better time to launch this sub-segment than now, with March being Women’s History Month, and we couldn’t think of a more relevant topic than something that has discomforted women for a long time – house hunting in Lagos! As we celebrate Women’s Month and count down to March 8th, International Women’s Day, with the theme Inspire Inclusion, we hope this blog inspires you to embrace inclusion and equity. So, join us on this journey as we share three Lagos female renters’ stories. These female renters are BuyLetLive customers, and they share their unforgettable stories of house hunting in Lagos to create awareness that can lead to positive change. To protect their anonymity, we will use pseudonyms.

Ope, a 29-year-old HR Practitioner, Shared Her Experience with Gender-biased Landlords

According to Ope, her Lagos renter story still leaves a bad taste in her mouth to date. In her words: “I had read of how Lagos landlords discriminated against single women on social media, but I didn’t know how bad things were until I decided to leave my parents’ home and look for an apartment closer to my workplace last year. I would see a decent apartment that I could comfortably afford in my choice location on a listing platform, and when I would reach out, the agents would tell me the landlord had a strictly no-female-tenant mandate. From my recollection, this happened more than eight times, and I almost gave up on my house search. Eventually, I found a slightly open-minded landlord who rented the ideal apartment to me. I say “slightly open-minded” because I had to present evidence of being a responsible young woman with a stable romantic relationship and modest social life before he accepted me. I asked my male friends, and they told me they didn’t face this kind of discrimination when looking for apartments. It’s 2024, and I hope the government creates policies to stop common gender biases in the real estate sector”.

Tenant Tales: 3 Female Renters Share Their Crazy Stories House Hunting In Lagos

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Jessica, a 24-year-old Fashion Entrepreneur, Shared Her Experience with Flirtatious Agents & Landlords

Jessica was a vibrant young entrepreneur searching for her dream apartment near her fashion retail store in Lekki in 2022. Her excitement knew no bounds when she stumbled upon the seemingly perfect apartment with modern amenities. This excitement was immediately replaced by irritation when the agent called her at an odd hour, initiating an unprofessional conversation she did not care for. In her words: “My agent called me past midnight one day, and I immediately picked up because I thought he had urgent information about my property search. I was desperate to get a place at this point, so I didn’t mind that it was an odd time of the day. I picked up the call, and this agent proceeded (in the most casual tone) to tell me how he believed I was ordained by God to be his wife. I gave him a stern warning that must have scared him off because he never took my calls anymore, leading to my forfeiture of the apartment I really loved.” Just when Jessica thought her troubles were over after securing another apartment, she mentioned that her landlord makes passes at her. She says she has maintained her distance from the landlord and hopes it will pass soon.

Also read: Ever Had A Bad Experience Trying To Buy a House? Here is something for you!

Ada, a 28-year-old Front-end Engineer Had to Present her Parents and Fiance to a Landlord

Imagine being a grown woman, excelling at career and life generally, and still having to present your parents and fiance to a landlord before he allows you to rent his property. Sad, right? It was what Ada experienced. Ada had an impressive profile because of her travel history, well-paying job, and career track record, but that wasn’t good enough for this Lagos landlord. He insisted that she invite her fiance and parents to meet with him before he could rent out his apartment to her. She says: “I honestly thought it was a joke and brushed it off, waiting for him to send me his account number so I could pay the rent, then I got a phone call from my landlord-to-be asking in the sternest tone when I was going to bring my fiance and parents to see him. He told me he liked my profile and wanted to rent the place to me, but he wouldn’t if I didn’t comply. I was shocked, but since I had nothing to hide, I had to introduce him to my family to secure the apartment. It was a humbling experience, especially when I learned from my male neighbours that they didn’t have to present their family members. I later spoke with the landlord to enlighten him about the dangers of such bias against women. 

 Please take a moment to reflect on the resilience of these remarkable women and share their experiences of house hunting in Lagos. Each story is a testament to the change that needs to happen in the real estate sector to make it more inclusive. As we celebrate Women’s Month, let us continue to amplify women’s voices and advocate for a more equitable housing landscape.


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