2022 has been quite the year. The recent wave of Nigerians migrating to better climes represents a movement that borders on the debilitating situation of things in the nation which is a huge cause for concern. The streets have not been smiling as people recount the struggles they’ve encountered such as; power issues when the national power grid fell, flooding events, hiking of cooking gas cost, fuel scarcity and transportation hurdles, not to mention the sky rocketing prices of food stuffs in the market, salaries maintaining a tangent while the crypto is dipping and exchange rate is becoming a nightmare.
In our varied conversations, one of the struggles that stood out, which is not a popular discuss, was people’s experience with living in the same house as their landlords. It seems to be an added challenge to the everyday survival package. Here’s what a few people had to say:
Pamela: After being bounced around from one agent to another, I finally got a place of my own but the landlord lived in the same compound as we did. Other than the set of rules regarding not coming home after 9pm or accepting visitors that will stay for more than a week because of fear of the sewage tank getting full, his children would pick my clothes from the line and not care. They were experts at making noises around my window and when I confront them, they’d say it’s their father’s house. I’d talk to the landlord about it and he would just laugh it off. Those moments were just painful.
Johnson: Back when I used to rent, my landlord was basically the talk of the town as the neighborhood drunk. He would come back at late hours, bang the gate for someone to come to his aid and still insult everyone for not knowing that he was outside. Most times when he was home, after immersing himself in alcohol, he would play loud music in the compound without care of how it affected other people. I could not wait to move out and live somewhere else.
Eke: I’m a guitarist and most times, I play for artists at shows or concerts that keep me out late into the night. When I’m home, mornings are the best time to sleep, ease of the stress and attend to my personal development courses. Since I only step out in the evenings, my landlord’s wife started spreading false information that I was into fraudulent activities, just because I don’t work a 9-5 job. It became an uncomfortable situation, as boys from the area started approaching me to “show them the way”. I had to find a way to leave that neighborhood even when my rent had not expired to avoid visitations from the police based on assumption.
Getting an accommodation that comes with peace of mind is a gift that should be a norm. You may probably have been in such situations or heard about the dilemma of others and would like to share. Please feel free to do so. In the scenarios above, how would you handle it? Your comments are welcome.