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Finding the Perfect Apartment in Lagos, Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Are you ready to start the exciting journey of looking for your new home in Lagos? Whether you’re searching for a spacious penthouse, a cozy self-contain, or anything in between, this guide will help you easily navigate the apartment-hunting process.

In this detailed guide, you’ll learn step-by-step how to find the perfect apartment in Lagos, no matter how much money you have. Say goodbye to the stress of searching for a place to call home, and let us help you find your dream home in Nigeria’s bustling metropolis. 

Get ready to discover all the best tips and tricks for renting an apartment in Lagos and securing your own little slice of paradise.

Want to Find the Ideal Apartment in Lagos? Here’s What to Do And Things to Look Out For

Plan to Rent 3 to 6 Months Ahead

a picture with plan ahead and bulb in it

When making decisions about where to live in Lagos, you need to plan ahead for at least three to six months. By doing so, you can take into consideration factors such as the ideal location, average cost, and price range all at once.

While it’s possible to find a great apartment to rent in a shorter timeframe, taking the time to thoroughly plan how to get your ideal living space is crucial. Think about things like the size of the apartment, how private it is, and whether or not parking or laundry facilities are included in the rent.

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Additionally, assess the neighbourhood you’ll be moving into by evaluating its safety record, electricity and water supply, commute times, and general atmosphere. For example, the water quality in apartments in Lekki and Ajah is known to be bad, so it’s best to spend more time planning on how to get apartments with good water filtration systems.

It’s important to note that competition for housing in Lagos can be intense, so plan ahead and make available the necessary documents and funds for when you find the right place. There are many real estate agents on available apartments, so be ready to pay a deposit or confirm an offer quickly when the time comes.

Set Your Rent Budget and What You Can Afford

a tenant paying for a perfect apartment she just rented.

As part of planning ahead, it’s a good idea to set a realistic budget for what you can afford. Lagos is known for its high cost of living, and the rent for apartments in different neighbourhoods can vary greatly. To ensure that you find an apartment that fits both your budget and lifestyle, it is important to determine a price range that works for you.

Victoria Island and Lagos Island are upscale neighbourhoods with premium locations, and the average rent prices for apartments can range from 800k to 5 million Naira, depending on the number of bedrooms, location, and amenities offered.

 However, more affordable housing options can be found in other areas, such as Ikeja, Ogba, Oshodi, Agege, and Ilupeju.

When fixing your budget, it’s important to factor in additional costs, such as agents’ commissions (10%), agreement fees (10%), legal fees (5%), and caution fees (5%). 

Some apartments, especially on the Island, may also require you to pay service charges, which can quickly increase your total rent. You may also need to make repairs and renovations, such as repainting, electrical work, plumbing, and furnishing the apartment before moving in.

So, it is a good idea to factor the cost of all the expenses you can predict into setting your budget.

When making a budget, remember that a 1-bedroom apartment is typically less expensive than a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment, and a self-contained unit is usually more affordable than a flat or mini flat. It’s also important to consider whether the apartment has amenities like 24/7 electricity and access to public transportation.

Check out Various Locations to Find the Most Suitable Apartment for Your Budget.

an agent inviting a people into a perfect apartment in Lagos

Setting specific and realistic budgets is only the first step to getting the perfect rental apartment in Lagos State. You also need to explore more areas and compare different locations to find the right place for you.

Renting apartments that will drain your budget or cause financial struggle year after year is not ideal. Even if you have found a suitable choice of apartment, it’s worth extending your search and making comparisons. 

This will help you find the most suitable places that not only fit into your budget but also suit your lifestyle.

While comparing locations, it’s important to look outside of highly competitive areas like Yaba, Surulere, Ilupeju, and their environs, especially if you are on a tight budget. 

These areas often have housing shortages, which can drive up rental costs. However, many great places to live in Lagos remain, such as affordable homes and whole houses in Agbara, Badagry, Apapa, Ogba, Oshodi, and other areas.

Patronise Trusted Agents, Avoid Lousy and Fraudulent Landlords

an adult man showing his parent the documents he signed for a perfect apartment he rented in Lagos

When you are satisfied that you’ve found the best environment to live in, the next task is to find a trusted agent or ensure the landlord you are dealing with is trustworthy.  

This can be done by making sure all of the paperwork and agreements are in order and accessible to you before you pay the agent or landlord. You can also make sure that the tenancy agreement is solid. You should also carefully review all payment terms.

This will ensure that shady landlords or fraudulent housing agents don’t take advantage of you. If you feel you need help finding the right agent, you can consult a registered estate agent. 

Also, it’s important to note that rent in Lagos is typically paid yearly, not monthly, except for short lets, which are usually more expensive. Be wary of any agent who offers to take your monthly rent because they might not be real agents.

They might just be one of those people put in charge of houses to clean and care for them until the owner returns from a trip looking to make quick money.

Similarly, when talking to real estate agents, stay away from those who find it difficult to arrange meetings with the property owners directly. This is usually a sign of shady transactions. Be detailed in your observations and demands.

Also, it’s important to know that a landlord or housing agent can’t ask a potential tenant to pay more than one year’s rent upfront. The Lagos Tenancy Law says it is against the law to collect rent for longer than the law allows.

If they demand more, it’s usually a sign that they’re opportunists, frivolous landlords, or estate agents trying to scam you.

Another important thing to look out for is the tenancy agreement. ensure that you have the right to fix and maintain the property while living in it. You should know that things like water, electricity, protection from the weather, repair of damages to the external structures, and related repairs are reserved for the landlord. 

While fixing things like damages to the door and kitchen cabinets, internal repainting, and repairs of fixtures inside the apartment are usually carried out by the tenant,

Suppose you are looking for a place to find trusted agents or reliable properties for rent. In that case, you should check out websites like PropertyPro and the Nigerian Property Centre, which provide tailored catalogs for renters, buyers, and estate agents looking to rent or buy homes and properties. You can also opt for trusted agents in your vicinity.

Avoid Apartments Close to Religious Areas, Industrial Areas and Market Places.

a busy area where you shouldn't rent an apartment.

Budget and style are not the only things to look out for when renting an apartment. Comfort is important too. And when talking about comfort, there are plenty of other considerations to make beyond just the apartment’s features and interior. You need to consider if the location fits your lifestyle and budget.

Apartments near places of worship, factories, and markets should be avoided because they tend to be louder, have more pollution, and have more people living in them. If you don’t like the busyness of Lagos, you should stay away from these places.

You might also want to avoid high-traffic areas. This is because renting an apartment in high-traffic areas or business centres in Lagos State will increase your risk of having to weather the day-to-day traffic issues in Lagos. 

Instead, commercial properties in residential areas or estates tend to be much quieter, have more space, and have a better rental value than those in busy commercial or industrial areas. 

You can also opt for residential estates or government-reserved areas. These locations are much more serene and provide for quiet and easy living. While rent in these areas might be a bit steeper than in other commercial areas, 

Even in places like Ikorodu, Oshodi Agege, Mile 2, Ogba, and other not-too-tush parts of the city, you can find apartments with cozy features like balconies, backyards, or swimming pools so that you can live comfortably on a budget.

Schedule a Time to View The Apartment and Meet with The Landlord

a couple in Lagos inspecting the perfect apartment in Lagos

To make your renting exercise much easier and stress-free,  it is important to be well-informed about the location, agency fees, shared areas, and apartment complex’s features. 

A great way to learn more about the apartment complex is by scheduling a time to talk with the property’s landlord and tour the area. 

During this meeting, it’s important to talk about things like the number of bedrooms in the apartment, the types of accessible parking that are available, 24hrs electricity supply, and the chances of making money by investing in real estate. 

During this viewing session, you should also get answers to any questions you have about rent agreement fees or your real estate market in general.

You should make sure to inspect the apartment. This is to ensure that the landlord fixes everything in the apartment to make it ready for you to move in. avoid making full payment without first inspecting the property.  

A physical conversation with the landlord or property caretaker should give you enough information to make a well-informed decision about whether or not to consider the property. 

Meeting a landlord in person instead of only talking online is also better because it builds trust between you and the landlord and lets you figure out if there will be any long-term financial commitments before you sign any rental agreements.

Ask The Necessary Questions in Line with Your Needs

the perfect questions you ask when you are looking for an apartment in Lagos

While inspecting the apartment, it is important to ask questions about the details of the apartment. Accommodation options like shared lounges and air conditioning, security deposits, private parking fees, access to clean water, and charges for utilities like water should all be taken into consideration.

 Most apartments in nice parts of Lagos, like Victoria Island, Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Banana Island, and others, should have a fully equipped kitchen.

Before you sign a lease, ask what kind of appliances or fixtures are included. Remember to ask if the complex has safe parking; that can be a big plus! Lastly, don’t forget to check the assessments and maintenance fees. 

Some dishonest apartment agents like to take advantage of people who want to buy or rent by charging them too much for security deposits and maintenance fees. Ensure you know everything you need about maintenance and agency fees in that area.

Asking the right questions will help you make informed decisions when looking for accommodations that suit your needs.

Negotiate The Rent Price If Possible

As mentioned earlier, if you are on a budget, be sure to attempt to negotiate the rent. This is one of the keys to getting really nice places at reasonably affordable prices. 

Also, to minimize additional costs, it’s a good idea to negotiate with the landlord and have them make the necessary repairs before you move in. You can also try negotiating the charges and fees to around 20% of the monthly rent to ease the financial burden.

Depending on where you’re looking and what amenities you require, rent prices can range from around 200k to millions of naira per year. Fortunately, negotiating the rental cost is possible in some cases.

According to Nigerian real estate experts, negotiation is possible if both parties are willing to compromise. Before getting started, it’s important to determine your price range and what exactly you need from your flat or house.

Additionally, understand that in addition to the housing rent, there may still be a 300k service charge and a caution fee (which may range from 150 Thousand Naira to 300 Thousand Naira) that apply regardless of whether or not you negotiate the price. 

Once both sides have agreed on all the details, they should reach a mutual agreement to ensure everyone is happy with the outcome. Putting together the terms of the agreement is a great way to protect your rights and the landlord’s rights.


Finding the ideal apartment to rent in Lagos makes it necessary to plan ahead of time and stay informed about housing in Lagos in general. The first steps to finding a good apartment are planning, figuring out your budget, and determining how much rent you can afford.

You should also research the area where the apartment is located to ensure it is safe and has everything you need. You do not want to rent an apartment without proper amenities.

While researching, it is advisable to ask around about the real owner of the property you are about to rent. This will protect you from being taken advantage of by dishonest landlords and caretakers. 

Also, schedule a time to view the apartment and meet with the landlord. Avoid engaging an agent who only wants to negotiate with you on the phone. Meet with the landlord or property caretaker personally and ask the necessary questions.

If you can, try to come to an agreement with the landlord about extra fees and other costs. Most importantly, ensure you have all the necessary paperwork before paying anything. 

Also, look out for arrangements for repairs and maintenance of the property. Ensure that what each party will do is clearly spelled out in the agreement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment section.

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