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Shared Accommodation: The Pros and Cons

Shared accommodation is no longer something only students have endure during the few years at school. As the cost of renting houses continues to soar across the country, it is now a popular choice of living for all ages, particularly those in large cities like Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and even Kaduna where the cost of living is generally high.

We all know that women, to some extent, may share a whole lot of space with anybody but they find it difficult to share their kitchen. However, the high cost of rent across cities in the country has made most women succumb to the pressure in so as to cope with economic situation.

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The average millennial spends about 40 percent of their salaries on rent.

Living with people who have different lifestyles can take some getting used to, so it’s important to take the advice and help available to make the experience as stress-free as possible.

Whether you are living with the best of friends or complete strangers, there are plenty of hurdles to face in a house-share. So, Homefront heard from some residents who are in the practice to enable them to save for the rainy day and meet up with other needs.

Ometere, who moved to Abuja after graduating from school to observe her national service, said she started sharing apartments in 2015 during her service year.

“I shared the apartment with some corps member-friends. After camp, we decided to rent a two bedroom apartment – five of us. Two people shared one room each and the last person took the parlour. We have been living there since 2015 and it has been fun ever since” she said.

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Ometere said at first she was concerned because she would be living with strangers she met in camp, but her mother encouraged her to pray about it since it was her first time of living in Abuja.

“I took the plunge and moved in with them and although there have been fights here and there we have now grown to learn how to live with our differences and avoid hurting other roomies,” she said.

Ubaida Musa said she moved in with some of her university friends in Kaduna when she got a new job with Kaduna State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Ubaida said before her appointment, she was preparing for her wedding and her husband to be gave her the condition of only moving in with others if she must take the job.

“He said if I must pick the job, I must not stay alone. And because I didn’t have any relative in Kaduna, I moved in with some of my friends that we graduated with. It was a two bedroom apartment and they were gracious to allow me have one room to myself while they shared the other room,” she said.

Ubaida noted that there are up and downsides to having roommates because the bills will not be the responsibility of just one person. We shared electricity bills and we contribute to stock foodstuff.

But Faith Ajala did not have a pleasant experience. She explained that moving in with random people is very risky, adding that “they may seem lovely when you meet them for the first time, but that is usually when everyone would put on their best behavior.”

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Faith said she put up the advert on twitter requesting for roommates, specifically females who would probably want to share an apartment with her in Apo, Abuja.

“The landlord was willing to allow us pay N150,000 each for the three room apartment and I felt it was a good deal since others were going for N700,000 around the area,” she said.

“So I got a couple of ladies and the landlord explained to us that we can’t have male visitors coming to pass the night. It was a rule I expect we must not break and although we all agreed, three months into the agreement, one of the roommates’ proved very difficult to live with. She was drinking, smoking, coming in at odd hours and was inviting strange men in and out of the house at odd hours.

“So we ejected her from the house, it proved difficult because at first she didn’t want to leave and was threatening us but at last she left, and we have since found another person.

But Jatau Moses who lives in Kuje said he is not sharing an apartment but observing communal living.

“I live in a compound that has nine rooms, one toilet, one bathroom and one kitchen. It works for me since I live alone, and because I rarely stay at home even at weekends I don’t find it uncomfortable.”

Jatau, who noted that some of his neighbours complained of some challenges including queuing up to use the bathroom or that some neighbours mess up the compound or the bathrooms or kitchen, said he does not worry about that because he had made up his mind to expect things like that.

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“I like such arrangement because the rent is not as high as conventional apartments and payment is very flexible – I can pay at the end of every month and move out when the month is due,” he said.

Jatau noted that with such living arrangements, roommates must be respectful of one another irrespective of age because it goes a long way towards preventing disagreements.

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