If you live in a place like Lagos, it is very easy to become a chief tenant. A chief tenant is somebody who has stayed in a house long enough to attain the position of an unpaid caretaker. He knows how to collect cleaning money, electrician money and dues for the landlord from all the other tenants. Yet, he still pays rent. He is the one they call upon in the house when there is an emergency. Everybody on the street knows him. He represents the landlord at functions and he is not the landlord. Most times, people attain the position of chief tenants unconsciously. It starts with helping Baba Landlord collect money for LAWMA. Then it graduates to other phases. Some things are common about chief tenants. Below are the top 5 traits:
You are In Charge of Paying NEPA bills for the House
Most chief tenants do not have jobs. While some of them are craftsmen, others are totally jobless. Thus, it is easy to see that they are usually at the helm of affairs in the house. They collect NEPA bills from all the tenants and go to the bank to deposit it.
They can decide to spend the money at times. In fact, most times. Especially when the landlord does not stay in the house. The secret only gets revealed when NEPA cuts the light. Also, one of the secrets of chief tenants is that they unplug the light from the centre switch at times to collect money from other tenants to fix it back. After collecting the money, they fix the light back and spend the money. So if you are in this category, then, you are a chief tenant.
The Landlord is Your Best Friend
Most chief tenants have the landlords support. They are the reporters, that gossip everyone’s matter with the landlord. They are always the first to hear gist of people’s challenges. Their ears are always on the wall. They try to build a bond with the landlord so that he won’t collect rent from them, but he still does that. Baba landlord will collect his money complete. If you are also in this category, you are a chief tenant.
Other Tenants Insult You
Because of the depth of the relationship that chief tenant has with baba landlord, he comes in constant conflict with the other tenants. They don’t like him and he doesn’t care. He’s always fighting everyone, and in the course of the fighting, they refer to him as a chief tenant, who will never build his own house.
You Are the Oldest Person in the House
Maybe this point should be the first. This is Nigeria, where a lot of people stay as long as 40 years in a rented apartment. They know the history of Segun, they were present at his naming ceremony and his wedding. If you have stayed over ten years in an apartment, please leave. Move forward, don’t be a chief tenant.
You Even Collect Rent on Behalf of the Landlord
This is the worse part of it. When the landlord sends you to collect rent on his behalf from defaulting tenants. And you are neither a lawyer nor a caretaker. You do everything possible to collect the money. Then Baba landlord come, he collects his money and washes your hand with water. And you are surprised, “but he is my friend nao” are the words you try to mutter. No. You are his errand boy. You have also become the chief tenant. Please pack your things and leave the house at once.
There are so many chief tenants in Nigeria if you have read this article and any of these traits apply to you. Please relocate. Move forward.