The City Where You Pay A Year's Rent Up Front

Where workers sleep at the office to afford their rent.

It took fashion designer Folayemi Alade four months to find an apartment to rent in Nigeria’s huge commercial capital, Lagos. The flat, reasonably spacious, is in the in-demand Mainland District. It’s close to the 30-year-old’s work and has good transport links via a major highway.

But Alade had to pay a steep price to secure her home: she paid a full year’s rent up front before moving in. “I was told to pay the full year’s rent and two years’ [contract] agreement and commission fees. I paid approximately $2,000 [including] security [and] water treatment,” she says.

She’s not alone. Lagos is currently home to 22 million people, most of whom are renters who have travelled from different parts of Nigeria to find jobs. Many work in the financial services, technology and fashion sectors, and all face similar struggles – the high cost of living and a pricey rental market.

Once people have paid a year’s rent and fees up front, some have no money left. “Everyone becomes broke after paying for the first year's rent,” says Alade, who earns $2,700 a year.

- Read More: bbc.com


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