An actress and producer, Teniola Aladese shared what she’s been going through to secure a house in Lagos state as a single woman and this led other women who have experienced the same or are still going through the same to share their experiences.
Even though they may not have come across the same landlords, they all say getting a house in Lagos as a single woman is hard!
House Hunting in Lagos.
Today, I succumbed to pretending to be engaged in order to get an apartment. I had gotten tired of not getting an apartment because some landlords have chosen to regard me as the ‘Irresponsible single woman.’ And I had lost out on good apartments in good locations owing to this reason.
Check this. You are a single independent woman. You have a job. You can pay your rent. But hey, they don’t want you because you are single and they think you may live irresponsibly and bring various men to their house… whose business is that anyway?
A few houses/landlords have have issues with me at first because they thought I was Igbo (A lot of people think I am Igbo). An agent even had me speak Yoruba to him and a little bit of Ondo to prove that I am Yoruba.
An agent also had me know that a landlord had set a certain rent fee for a Yoruba tenant and an entirely different fee (100, 000 higher!) for someone of another tribe. Who does that!?
And yes, I’m still on the quest to finding an apartment in Lagos.
Before I got married, there was a landlord who wouldn’t rent to my sis and I unless my father came to vouch for me. my father lived in Benin. I had to bring an uncle over. He ended up telling me not to take the place.
My landlord still thinks I’m married to my cousin because I had to present him as my husband…
One landlord said he doesn’t rent to Ibos, especially those from Anambra. Another said, I’m a single mom, so, when my children go to school, I can be doing anyhow. So many of them put the rule: tenant must be Yoruba. One landlord was willing to rent if I can speak Yoruba. Another landlord said he will rent to me but he will lock the access gate to my flat, so, I have access to mine by walking through his dining area and going through a linking door. That way, he can monitor who goes into my house!
Another agent said, if I’m a widow, I have to bring a death certificate when going to see the landlord. I’ve had to lie, hire a husband and still searched for months till I found one who is willing to let their house. and oh, all of them feel that ‘Writer’ is not a profession, so agents ask me to write Media and Entertainment as my profession.
Yet, another sad he needs proof of employment from my older brother to be sure he has a more stable job. One old and wrinkled landlord told me pointedly that, “This your breast wey stand like dis, as oga no dey, men go dey chase you na.” And the sad thing is that the houses are really good and in great locations.
Now check these out: