It is that time of the year again when students across various institutions in Nigeria hunt for hostel.
Getting it right at the beginning of renting your hostel is very important. This is because you don’t want to be stuck in crazy terms and fees that comes with renting the wrong hostel from the wrong hostel manager/agents.
Here are some questions you need to ask before you pay the rent for that new hostel.
1. What is the state of electricity? You have to know what type of electricity is being used in the hostel. Some hostels don’t have prepaid meter. So their connection is direct and the occupants might be paying extra fee on a monthly basis. Other hostels, most especially the news ones usually have a prepaid meter that allow occupants to recharge the meter based on the amount of electricity they use every month. In all cases, ask if the electricity bill is already included in your annual rent before making payment. If the bill has not been included, ask what the monthly fee is and the proper channel for making payment. Also note that some hostels might have outstanding bills and you don’t want to be the one paying for what the previous occupants have used.
2. What is the security situation of the area? If you are the type that work/walk late at night, it is advisable to ask people what the security situation in the street is like before making payment. This is important, especially if you are new to the environment. Some areas are prone to attacks or natural hazards. So make sure you ask people around for any possible threats. Some streets also have specific security rules of what time you are allowed to move or not move.
3. How much will you pay subsequently? It is likely that your annual rent for the second year will reduce, usually by 10%. Ask the estate agent/owner so that you won’t be paying any extra fee.
4. What does the Water situation look like? Lots of hostels have borehole that are either not working or stolen. Make sure you ask existing occupants of the situation of water and how good the water system is before making payment.
5. What’s the condition of available facilities? Test if all facilities are working properly. That you have a water closet doesn’t mean it work. So test the water closet system and make sure it work properly if not ask for a repair to be done. Check the door knob to be sure if your selected room is secured. Also check if the electricity is working, check wall sockets and lamp holders. Check if the place have a burglary on its window or at least have a safe material to save you and your property from theft.
6. How good is the foot Traffic? if you are looking to start a side business in your hostel as a student, you will definitely want a place that have a high traffic of student passing by the hostel on a daily basis. So that your business can get a lot of attention.
7. Is the place calm? If you are an introvert or someone who love silent environment, you should observe the area if it is good for you.
8. What are the rules and regulation? If you are renting a private hostel, ask for the existing rules and regulations. Most hostels have a documented rules and regulation that guide the behavior of occupants. There are certain rules that govern the use of the hostel facilities, some rules govern allowed visiting hours and some rules for contributions for example fuel, electricity and cleaning services.
9. Ask for the direct person in charge: some hostels have 2 to 3 hostel managers at a time. Make sure you ask to be introduced to the person in charge of the hostel and get their contact. This is in case you have any complain.
10. Finally, ask for a receipt: The receipt is the evidence that you’ve make payment for the hostel you are about to get. If you don’t have a receipt, your occupancy might be questionable.