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How To Find Cheap Apartments In Lagos Top Tips and Tricks

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Cheaper apartment

Lagos, Nigeria, is renowned for its vibrant culture and economic opportunities, but it’s no secret that the cost of living, particularly when looking for suitable accommodation, can be pretty high. In this blog post, we provide valuable insights and strategies to help you discover more affordable apartments in Lagos without compromising on quality. We understand the significance of budget-friendly living in a city like Lagos, as it frees up resources to enjoy the city’s unique experiences. 

With a comprehensive guide to understanding the rental market, expert negotiation tips, and cost-cutting strategies, we aim to empower you to secure a comfortable yet affordable place to call home in this dynamic metropolis. Whether you’re a resident or a newcomer, these tips will help you save money and make the most of your Lagos experience, all while keeping your finances in check.

Understanding the Lagos Rental Market

Understanding the rental market in Lagos is a fundamental step in finding a cheaper apartment. Lagos is a city of contrasts, offering many housing options, from luxurious waterfront apartments to more affordable dwellings in its bustling neighborhoods. To make informed decisions and maximize your chances of securing a cost-effective rental, let’s delve deeper into the key factors influencing the Lagos rental market.

Demand and Supply Dynamics: 

Lagos is a populous city with a constant influx of people seeking opportunities and a better life. The demand for housing, especially in well-established areas, is high. The level of demand in a particular neighborhood or district can significantly impact rental prices. In areas with limited housing supply, you might encounter higher rent costs, whereas, in areas with more available housing, you could find better deals.

Location Matters: 

Lagos is a vast city with a diverse range of neighborhoods, each offering a unique living experience. Rental prices can vary widely from one area to another. Waterfront neighborhoods, commercial hubs, and upscale residential areas command higher rents. On the other hand, you can find more affordable options in less sought-after neighborhoods. Researching different neighborhoods and their rental price ranges can help you identify areas that align with your budget.

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Type of Accommodation: 

The type of accommodation you’re looking for will also play a significant role in determining your rental costs. Lagos offers various options, including standalone houses, apartments, flats, and shared accommodations. Typically, apartments and flats are more common and, in many cases, more affordable than standalone houses. Additionally, shared accommodations, where you rent a room in a house or apartment, can be a budget-friendly choice.

Economic Conditions: 

Lagos is a hub for business and commerce in Nigeria, and its economic health can impact rental prices. During periods of economic growth and stability, rental prices may increase. Conversely, during economic downturns, there might be more room for negotiation as landlords seek to attract tenants.

Seasonal Variations: 

The timing of your apartment search can influence the cost of your rent. Lagos experiences seasonal fluctuations in rental prices. For instance, rates may be higher during peak moving seasons, such as the back-to-school period, but could be more negotiable during off-peak times when demand is lower.

Government Policies: 

Government policies, regulations, and taxes can also affect the rental market. For example, specific incentives or tax breaks for landlords may impact rental prices, so it’s essential to stay informed about any relevant policies that could affect your rental costs.

Property Condition and Amenities: 

The condition of the property and the amenities it offers can affect the rent. A well-maintained apartment with desirable amenities like a swimming pool, gym, and security features may come at a premium compared to older, less-equipped properties.

Setting Your Budget

Setting a budget is a fundamental step in finding a more affordable apartment in Lagos. It’s the foundation upon which all your decisions in the apartment-hunting process will be built. Here’s an expanded look at how to effectively set your budget:

Assess Your Financial Situation:

Before you search for apartments, take a comprehensive look at your financial situation. This involves understanding your income, expenses, and overall financial health. List your sources of income, including your salary, side gigs, or investments. On the expense side, consider your monthly bills, groceries, transportation costs, debt payments, and discretionary spending. By gaining a clear picture of your finances, you’ll have a more accurate understanding of how much you can comfortably allocate to rent.

Determine Your Affordability Range:

With your financial assessment, it’s time to set an affordability range for your monthly rent. Ideally, your rent should not exceed 30% of your monthly income. This is a standard guideline used in personal finance to ensure you have enough left over for other essentials and savings. If your income fluctuates or you have variable expenses, it’s a good practice to calculate the highest rent you can comfortably afford during a low-income month.

Consider All Expenses:

Remember that rent is just one part of your monthly expenses. You’ll also need to budget for utilities (electricity, water, gas, internet), transportation (commuting to work or other places), groceries, insurance, and other necessities. By factoring in all your expenses, you’ll have a more realistic understanding of what’s affordable.

Emergency Fund and Savings:

It’s wise to set aside a portion of your income for an emergency fund and savings. An emergency fund can help you cover unexpected expenses without going into debt. Savings are essential for your financial future, whether for long-term goals like homeownership, education, or retirement. Ensure your budget allows you to continue building and maintaining these financial cushions.

Adjusting Your Lifestyle:

If your budget doesn’t align with the rental costs in Lagos, you might need to consider lifestyle adjustments. This could involve cutting back on discretionary spending, finding additional income streams, or even exploring neighborhoods with lower rental rates. Remember that sacrificing some luxuries in the short term can lead to a more secure financial future.

Account for Rent Increases:

Keep in mind that rental rates can increase over time. When setting your budget, consider the possibility of rent hikes in the future. It’s advisable to have some flexibility in your budget to accommodate such changes without causing financial strain.

Use Online Tools:

Several online budgeting tools and apps help you create and manage your budget. They can make the process easier by automatically categorizing your expenses and tracking your spending, giving you a real-time view of your financial health.

Top Tips for Finding Cheaper Apartments

Location Matters:

Researching affordable neighborhoods in Lagos is a crucial step in your apartment search. Some neighborhoods may have significantly lower rental prices than others, even within the same city. Here are some things to consider:

  • Proximity to public transportation: Neighborhoods with easy access to public transit can be more affordable as they allow for easier commuting.
  • Safety and security: While searching for affordable areas, it’s essential to prioritize your safety. Look for neighborhoods with a good reputation for security.
  • Amenities and services: Some neighborhoods offer more amenities like supermarkets, schools, and healthcare facilities, making them more attractive and potentially expensive. Weigh your priorities when selecting a location.

Timing Your Search:

Timing can play a significant role in finding a cheaper apartment in Lagos. Consider the following:

  • Off-Peak Seasons: Peak seasons for apartment hunting often coincide with the academic calendar, as many students search for housing during specific times. By looking for apartments during off-peak seasons, like mid-term or after the significant academic semesters, you may find landlords more willing to negotiate on rent.
  • Long-Term Planning: Start your apartment search before your intended move-in date. This allows you to explore a broader range of options and negotiate from a position of strength.

Utilizing Online Resources:

The internet is a valuable tool for apartment hunting. Online resources can help you find hidden gems and make the process more efficient:

  • Real Estate Websites: PropertyPro, jiji, and Private Property list a wide range of apartments, making it easier to compare prices and features.
  • Mobile Apps: Apps like Lamudi, ToLet, and RentSmallSmall offer a user-friendly experience for apartment hunters.
  • Social Media and Forums: Explore social media groups and forums where individuals post listings and share their experiences in the Lagos rental market.

Local Connections and Word of Mouth:

Don’t underestimate the power of personal connections and recommendations from people in Lagos:

  • Local Recommendations: Ask friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who live in Lagos for recommendations. They may know of apartments not listed online or have insights into local landlords.
  • Join Community Groups: Participate in local community groups and forums, both online and offline, to connect with people who can offer valuable insights and recommendations.

Negotiation Skills:

Effective negotiation can significantly impact the rent you pay for your apartment:

  • Prepare and Research: Research comparable apartments in the area and be ready to show your landlord that you’ve done your homework.
  • Politeness and Respect: Approach negotiations with respect and politeness. A respectful conversation is more likely to yield positive results.
  • Highlight Your Qualifications: Emphasize your reliability as a tenant, such as a stable income, good rental history, and references from previous landlords.
  • Be Patient: Negotiation may take time, so be patient and open to counteroffers.

Considering Different Types of Housing:

Be open to exploring various types of housing, as this can significantly impact your rental costs:

  • Flats: Flats, also known as apartments, are a popular choice and often come in different sizes and price ranges. Consider whether a smaller flat could meet your needs and budget.
  • Shared Accommodations: Sharing an apartment with roommates can substantially reduce your individual rent and utility costs. It’s a cost-effective option for those open to communal living.

Tricks for Negotiating Lower Rent

Research Comparable Rentals:

Before you start negotiating with your landlord, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the current rental market. Research other apartments in the same area with similar features and amenities. This information will help you determine the fair market value for the rental you’re interested in. When discussing rent with your landlord, present competitive rental listings to show that you’ve done your homework. Mentioning specific examples of similar apartments with lower rents can be a powerful negotiating tool.

Present Yourself as a Reliable Tenant:

Landlords are more likely to be open to lowering the rent for tenants who demonstrate their reliability. Emphasize your strong rental history and your ability to pay rent on time consistently. Highlight any positive rental references you have from previous landlords. If you have a stable income or job, mention it. Your goal is to convince the landlord that you are a trustworthy tenant who will take good care of the property.

Offer to Sign a Longer Lease:

Longer lease terms can be attractive to landlords because they provide stability and reduce the turnover of tenants. If you’re willing to commit to a longer lease, such as 18 months or two years, you can use this as a bargaining chip. Landlords may be willing to reduce the monthly rent or offer other concessions in exchange for a longer lease. Review the lease terms carefully to ensure they align with your needs and plans.

Mentioning Any Maintenance or Repairs Needed:

If the apartment you’re interested in requires maintenance or repairs, this can be a legitimate point for negotiation. During your viewing, take note of any issues like plumbing problems, peeling paint, or appliances that need fixing. Politely bring these issues to the landlord and ask if they would consider lowering the rent to account for the needed repairs or maintenance. You can also propose making some minor repairs in exchange for reduced rent.

Flexibility with Move-In Dates:

Landlords often prefer tenants who can be flexible with their move-in dates. If you’re able to adjust your move-in date to align with the landlord’s needs or vacant periods, it can be an appealing proposition. This flexibility can result in cost savings as landlords may offer a reduced rate to secure your commitment.

Additional Cost-Cutting Strategies

Sharing with Roommates:

Sharing an apartment with roommates can be one of the most effective ways to reduce your housing costs in Lagos. Here’s how to make it work:

  • Splitting Rent: When you share an apartment with roommates, you divide the rent, utility bills, and other housing expenses. This significantly lowers your financial burden, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
  • Shared Responsibilities: Roommates can help share the responsibilities of maintaining the apartment. You can divide cleaning tasks, grocery shopping, and even cooking duties, saving you time and money.
  • Choosing the Right Roommates: It’s essential to select roommates carefully. Consider compatibility in terms of lifestyle, habits, and financial responsibility. Open communication and an explicit agreement on shared expenses are crucial to ensure a harmonious living situation.

Furnishing Your Apartment on a Budget: 

Furnishing your apartment doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. There are various ways to make your space comfortable and aesthetically pleasing while staying within your budget:

  • Secondhand Furniture: Explore thrift stores, online marketplaces, and garage sales for affordable, gently used furniture. You can find items like sofas, tables, and chairs at a fraction of the cost of new furniture.
  • DIY Projects: Get creative and consider do-it-yourself projects to furnish your apartment. Repurposing old furniture, crafting your decorations, and painting walls can give your space a unique and personal touch without breaking the bank.
  • Rent or Lease Furniture: Some companies offer rental or lease options for furniture, allowing you to have high-quality items without a substantial upfront cost. This is a practical choice if you’re only staying in Lagos temporarily.
  • Borrow or Trade: Ask friends or family if they have spare furniture or decor items you can borrow or trade. This is an excellent way to reduce expenses while still achieving the look you desire.

Energy-Saving Tips:

Reducing your utility bills through energy-saving practices can significantly impact your monthly expenses. In Lagos, where energy costs can be substantial, implementing the following tips can make a big difference:

  • Energy-Efficient Appliances: Invest in energy-efficient appliances that consume less electricity. Look for appliances with high energy efficiency ratings, such as LED lighting and inverter air conditioners.
  • Seal Leaks and Insulate: Ensure your apartment is adequately sealed and insulated to prevent heat or cool air from escaping. This can save you money on both heating and cooling costs.
  • Use Natural Light: Make the most of natural light during the day to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Keep curtains and blinds open to let the sunlight in.
  • Unplug and Turn Off: When you’re not using electronic devices, unplug or turn them off completely. Many devices continue to draw power even when they’re not in use.
  • Set Thermostats Wisely: Adjust your thermostat settings to conserve energy. In Lagos’ tropical climate, you can often keep your air conditioner at a moderate temperature to save on cooling costs.

Transportation Options for Cost Savings:

Transportation expenses can add up quickly, but you can minimize them by choosing budget-friendly transportation options:

  • Public Transit: Lagos has a public transportation system that includes buses and water taxis. Opting for public transit can be more cost-effective than owning and maintaining a car.
  • Carpooling: Share rides with colleagues, friends, or fellow commuters. Carpooling not only saves money on fuel and maintenance but also reduces traffic congestion and lowers your environmental impact.
  • Biking and Walking: If your destination is nearby, consider biking or walking instead of using motorized transportation. It’s not only economical but also a healthy choice.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: When needed, use ride-sharing services like Uber or Bolt, but be mindful of your usage to control costs.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Falling for Rental Scams:

Rental scams are unfortunately common, and they can lead to significant financial loss and emotional distress. To protect yourself from falling victim to such scams, follow these precautions:

  • Verify the Authenticity: Before making any payment or providing personal information, verify the authenticity of the listing and the landlord. Scammers often create fake listings with attractive prices to lure unsuspecting renters. Use trusted platforms and websites to search for apartments and double-check the legitimacy of the landlord by asking for identification or references.
  • Avoid Wire Transfers: Be cautious if a landlord insists on wire transfers or immediate payments without formal documentation. Legitimate landlords typically use standard rental agreements and payment methods.
  • Visit the Property: Whenever possible, visit the apartment in person. Scammers may provide excuses for not allowing visits, but it’s essential to physically inspect the property and ensure it matches the description in the listing.

Ignoring Hidden Costs:

While you may have a clear budget for the monthly rent, it’s essential to consider additional expenses that can significantly impact your affordability. Hidden costs can include:

  • Maintenance: Be prepared for potential maintenance costs, especially in older buildings. Ask the landlord about their responsibility for maintenance and repairs.
  • Security: Some apartments or neighborhoods may require additional security measures, such as private guards or alarm systems. These costs should be factored into your budget.
  • Utilities: In Lagos, utility costs can vary widely. Ensure you understand which utilities you’ll be responsible for (e.g., water, electricity, gas) and estimate their monthly expenses.
  • Community Fees: In some residential complexes, you may need to pay community or association fees. Check if such fees apply and how they impact your budget.

Rushing into a Decision Without Proper Research:

The excitement of finding an appealing apartment can sometimes lead to hasty decisions, but taking the time to research, compare, and negotiate effectively is crucial:

  • Research: Start your apartment hunt well in advance to give yourself ample time for research. This includes exploring different neighborhoods, understanding the rental market, and reading reviews or seeking advice from current or former residents.
  • Compare Options: Don’t settle for the first apartment you see. Compare multiple listings to ensure you’re getting the best deal in terms of price, location, amenities, and terms.
  • Negotiate Thoughtfully: Negotiation can make a significant difference in the final rent you’ll pay. Engage in thoughtful negotiations with the landlord to secure a better deal, whether a lower monthly rent, longer lease terms, or other concessions that benefit you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Cheapest Place to Rent in Lagos?

The cheapest places to rent in Lagos, Nigeria, are typically found in the outlying suburbs like Ikorodu, Agege, Ikotun, Igando, and certain areas in Badagry. These areas offer more affordable rental options than the city center and upscale neighborhoods like Lekki or Victoria Island. However, renters should consider factors such as transportation, safety, and access to amenities when choosing a location, as prices vary, and a balance between cost and convenience is essential in the decision-making process.

Where does the Middle Class Live in Lagos?

The middle class in Lagos typically resides in neighborhoods such as Ikeja, Surulere, Gbagada, Ogudu, Ogba, and Lekki Phase 2, which offer a combination of reasonable living costs, decent infrastructure, and access to various amenities. These areas balance affordability and a comfortable lifestyle, making them popular choices for middle-class residents in the city.

How do You Live in an Apartment on a Budget?

Living in an apartment on a budget entails setting a realistic budget, searching in affordable areas, considering shared housing, practicing energy efficiency, and being cautious of hidden costs and scams. Negotiating with landlords can also help secure cost-effective living arrangements. By making wise financial decisions and planning carefully, you can maintain a comfortable and budget-friendly apartment lifestyle.

How Can I Make My Small Apartment Look Better?

To improve the look of a small apartment, declutter, maximize natural light, use mirrors for space illusion, opt for light colors, and invest in multifunctional furniture. Add plants, artwork, and proper lighting for warmth and personality, and utilize open shelving and wall-mounted storage for organization and a clean appearance.

Where is the Best Area to Live in Lagos?

The best area to live in Lagos depends on your preferences and needs. Popular options include Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki for their amenities and modern housing. Areas like Ikeja and Gbagada offer a more serene environment. Your choice should consider factors like budget, lifestyle, and proximity to work or amenities, so it’s recommended to explore different neighborhoods to find the best fit.


In conclusion, finding more affordable apartments in Lagos is an achievable goal when armed with the proper knowledge and strategies. Understand the dynamic rental market, including its trends and influencing factors. Setting a realistic budget is crucial, as it is your financial compass throughout the apartment-hunting process.

Utilize various tips and tricks, including choosing the right location, timing your search effectively, and mastering negotiation skills to secure a better deal with landlords. Exploring different housing options, cost-cutting measures, and avoiding common pitfalls are essential to ensure success. By implementing these strategies, you can find a cost-effective and comfortable apartment without compromising quality. So, with patience, diligence, and informed decisions, you can enjoy significant cost savings while securing a place to call home in Lagos. Happy apartment hunting!

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