A certain man once owned lots of properties in the city of Port Harcourt. Over time some relatives came to him to be assisted with their accommodation challenges. He dedicated a particular property of his at Aggrey Road to that purpose; he allotted rooms and apartments to them according to the size of their families. And he charged them ten times lesser than the prevailing house rent rates.

In the same property at Aggrey Road, he had tenants who were not relatives and so paid the full rent. For example, a non-relative could be paying 150k while a relative was paying just 15k per annum for same apartment size and facilities.

For most part of the years that they lived in the man’s property, the relatives kept defaulting in paying their rent. So the man gave out the property to a neutral person to manage, and trouble began. They spread news all over the place that their own relative (Oga Landlord) was bullying them, that was the picture they painted.

The matter got to the compound Chiefs back in their village, so they summoned everyone to hear from them. Oga Landlord opted to speak last; when he started, he narrated the actual story and then presented his own copies of receipts issued in the past as proof of the paltry sum he was charging them. He said he wasn’t even charging them for profit since it was ‘help’ he was offering, but because he had several wives and children, and he is aged, he knew the relatives might want to cause trouble in the future. So he decided to issue receipts regardless of the amount involved, as a reminder that they are tenants.

The need for keeping records and documents in business cannot be overemphasized. You’ve got to keep proof of transactions, purchases, compliance with the laws of the land and even the existence of your business.

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