Like FinTech, Property Tech (PropTech) has come to stay in Nigeria, as customers are becoming more sophisticated and their needs are growing beyond the standard brick and mortar services.
Several start-ups are currently battling for the attention of existing and potential tenants, offering them alluring products and flexible solutions. Among other offerings, a group of them focus on Flexible Living. This is when platforms carry out functions that enable a more convenient way of living in their apartments through flexible solutions such as rent splitting, and home-sharing.
The solution, which uses technology to match people with flexible and affordable rental options, allows tenants to pay monthly, quarterly or half-yearly instead of paying a year’s rent upfront. In most cases, the houses are furnished and have all the utilities paid for.
Their target locations are within Abuja and Lagos (Lekki and environs, Yaba, and Magodo, among others).
Let’s take a look at some of the firms and their offerings.
Spleet is a property technology startup that helps people in Nigeria rent houses without needing to pay costly upfront fees. Its solution uses technology to match people with flexible and affordable rental options.
Instead of paying a year’s rent upfront, you can pay monthly, quarterly, or for six months. The houses you’re matched with are furnished and have all the utilities paid for.
Chief Executive Officer, Spleet, Akintola Adesanmi, in a recent interview explained that his firm assures clients (homeowners) that they will get the best rental prices for their homes.
He added that collecting rent monthly spares them the troubles that come with yearly renters.
He said, “The Initiative curbs legal issues that spring up when tenants are unable to renew their rents. Under Nigeria’s rental law, homeowners need to provide six-month notices before ejecting yearly tenants. Ejecting renters who owe rent can get wrapped up in legal complications. It is common to find a lot of rent-related cases in Nigeria’s magistrate court.”
Founded in 2019, the PropTech firm offers a digital service for financing payment of annual rent in advance while the occupant pays monthly with its Rent-Now-Pay Later product. According to the firm, for a 6 per cent monthly interest rate, the rent repayment is spread between 6-12 months.
Kwaba’s facilities are available to residents in Lagos and Abuja.
Alpha Mead’s Rent4Less initiative is a rental scheme designed to provide a flexible and convenient option for middle-income Nigerians to rent homes and offices.
With this scheme, you can spread out the payment for apartments and offices in choice locations, by paying specified rates, on a monthly basis.
Some of the apartments and offices are in Lekki Pearl Estate, and Southern View Estate, among others.
* 3 Bedroom (Shared Apartment) Southern View Estate- N78,000 per month
* 3 Bedroom (Shared Apartment) Lekki Pearl Estate – N55,000 per month
* Private Office Space from ₦220,000
* Dedicated Desk from ₦80,000
* Hot Desk from ₦10,000
* Meeting Room Booking from ₦60,000
The goal of this PropTech platform is to provide a unique rental solution to Nigerians, in order to improve home-seekers’ rental experience and increase homeowners’ occupancy rate.
A check on its site revealed that the firm was born out of the need to provide a solution, birthed out of compassion for the plight of tenants and an answer to the urgent call to restructure the rental market.
It stated, “Our business model is unique as it allows verified tenants to find property on-the-go, stay within budget, and pay rent flexibly. We provide first of its kind rent insurance for property owners against rent default, and unlike traditional agents, we don’t charge agency and legal fees.”
Founded in 2016, its goal is to eliminate the barriers that make it difficult for young professionals and families to find homes and live in major cities in Nigeria.
Whether you are starting your career, starting a family, or buying your first home, a check on its website reveals that its mission is to bring home closer to you, wherever you are.
It offers flexible payment plans, lease terms, and housing options that are designed around clients’ needs.
No doubt, this is new and some property owners may not be comfortable with such flexible solutions, but the advantages appear to be more than the disadvantages.
Most homeowners run into legal problems when tenants are unable to renew their rents. Under Nigeria’s rental law, homeowners need to provide six-month notices before ejecting yearly tenants.
A few cases in any of the nation’s magistrate courts will convince you.