Deciding to change apartments can be challenging
Few renters are lucky enough to be completely (or even 80%) satisfied with their living arrangements. From noisy neighbours to difficult landlords, there are many factors that can negatively affect your experience living somewhere. As a result, there comes a point where you may have a strong urge to find a new apartment.
However, finding a new apartment or house to rent can be a long and stressful process, especially in concentrated urban cities like Dar es Salaam where both demand and rent prices are high. Therefore, before you make a decision you have to carefully consider whether your current living conditions justify you moving.
So, how exactly can you tell?
Here are 10 signs that confirm its time for you to move.
1. You don’t get along with your landlord
Ok, so hating your landlord is a ‘rite of passage’ for most renters, however, disliking your landlord’s personality may not be a good enough reason to move out (unless you see them every day and they completely ruin your mood).
However, if your landlord does the following things (and more), then you can start to seriously consider moving out:
· Enforce unreasonable regulations (e.g: gives you a curfew and limits the number of visitors you can have)
· Doesn’t fix maintenance problems on time
· Gossips and spreads rumours about you with neighbours
At the end of the day, who wants to pay to live in a toxic environment?!
2. You don’t feel safe in the neighbourhood
Unless you live in a busy area, it’s not safe to walk alone at night in many Tanzanian neighbourhoods. However, if crimes are committed frequently and you are afraid to walk outside in the late evenings, then maybe you shouldn’t be living there anymore. This is especially true if you don’t have a car and have to walk to the bus station or to take a bajaji or boda boda on a regular basis.
3. Your neighbours’ lifestyle is incompatible with yours
If you live in an apartment building or a house with several units, then you need to have an amiable relationship with your neighbours. This doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends, but you should have mutual respect for each other as you never know when you may need their help.
However, one of the most common causes of tension amongst neighbours is conflicting lifestyles. For instance, if you appreciate a quiet environment, and your neighbours are always throwing loud parties. Over time, this will affect the living experience of both parties, as you will always be complaining about the noise, and your neighbours will always be annoyed about you intruding in their social life.
4. Something always needs to be fixed
If you have your landlord’s number on speed dial because there is always a problem (that you didn’t cause) that needs to be fixed, then it’s time to go. Your apartment should be a space of comfort for you, rather than a consistent cause of stress.
5. Your family is growing
If you moved to a one-bedroom apartment with your partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife) and now you are having a baby, then you clearly will need more space to accommodate the new person who will be joining you (even if they are a tiny human).
6. You spend a lot of time commuting to work
While rent is cheaper the further away you live from the city center, if it takes you hours to commute to and from home and work, then you may actually be spending more money on transport and taking time away from doing things like growing your career and building your social networks.
7. You hate coming home
If every time you get home there’s a sinking feeling in your stomach and you are automatically sad and in a bad mood, then please move!
8. There’s an infestation
Living in Tanzania, we are all used to interacting with an assortment of insects. However, there’s nothing more embarrassing than having people over your place, and there are cockroaches running around. So, if your apartment has an infestation of mosquitoes, bed bugs, cockroaches, or any other insect, and you can’t seem to get it under control through fumigation, then you need to move.
You don’t want your friends to start declining to come over because they don’t want to leave with malaria or have a bug living in their hair.
9. You live far from family and friends
If every time a friend invites you to go out, you have to really think about it because it will take you hours to get into town, then you may have a problem. Especially if socialising is a significant part of your life, and you live far from most of your family and friends. Not only are you spending a lot of money on fuel and transport, but you are also endangering yourself by traveling long distances at night where there are more drunk drivers and criminals on the road.
10. You need a fresh start
Sometimes our apartments can remind us of a difficult period in our lives or people we’d rather forget. In this case, moving can help you live the past behind you and a start over in a new place filled with possibilities.
Start the search
If you are struggling to decide whether you should break or not renew your current lease, and several of these signs apply to you, it’s clearly time you start searching for a new apartment that you can call home! Remember, you shouldn’t pay to live somewhere that makes you utterly miserable.
Bajaji*: 3 wheel motorcycle
Boda boda*: Motorcycle