If you made it to this post there is a high chance you are looking for convenient living spaces. I’d love to know your reason for this switch; did you recently move into a new city, get a new job, move out of your parent’s home, or are just tired of squatting?
Whatever the reason may be it is such a relief to realize that you can move into a new home from a few clicks on your smartphone, you do not need to be under the abuse of estate agents and endless marathon visits, you also don’t need to pay 12 months upfront. Take a moment to write down what the most important reason for making this switch is. It will be easy to make a decision on what platform you will want to be on.
There are three major service providers of millennial living spaces. In no particular order; they are Spleet, Fibre, and Muster. There are others on Instagram though but these are the guys calling the shots. Full disclosure, I am affiliated with one of the three I mentioned earlier (stick with me to the end of this post to find out which one). Now let’s get right into it.
Spleet has charged itself with the vision of providing easy living solutions for Nigerians. Their focus is on the customer experience and eliminating the stress of rigid, cumbersome living spaces. Fibre is looking at creating a better way to rent in Lagos, i.e eliminating the estate agent shenanigans and making the renting process as easy and swift as possible. Muster’s focus is on turning empty buildings into cash flow and creating flexible payment options for its members.
Now go back to what you wrote down initially. Which platform aligns with your goal?
Products: Spleet Vs Fibre Vs Muster
Spleet has daily, monthly, quarterly and annual plans. Spleet is the only platform of the three mentioned that offers short-let services(for daycations, staycations, etc). Spleet offers the option of a shared space with other flatmates and entire apartments. At the moment the Spleet platform does not allow you list space for lease via the platform as a homeowner.
Fibre has monthly, bi-annual and annual plans. Fiber allows landlords list living spaces on the platform.
Muster has monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual plans. Muster also allows hosts to list properties on the platform. You may also book a shared (with flatmates) or an entire apartment.
Muster and Fibre make you sign an agreement for a minimum subscription period. What this means is you may be paying monthly but you have signed an agreement tying you to that property for a minimum period of time. With Spleet your rolling living subscription automatically renews, while your daily subscription is for a fixed duration.
Here, we will break down what you pay for in a subscription.
Spleet has a “pay once,pay all” policy. What this means is you do not need to make any further payments for that month as regards running your home except feeding. Your initial cost consists of subscription, service charge, one-time booking fee, refundable security deposit, and VAT. Subsequently, you’ll only pay for subscription, service charge and VAT. With Spleet, your subscription automatically renews for a specific number of days depending on the plan you are on.
On Fibre, your initial payment covers your rent, service charges, Fibre Fee, and a refundable deposit. Subsequent payments cover your rent and service charges. However, where your subscription tenure e.g 3 months expires, you will need to pay a “closing fee” for per renewal. This means consider signing longer subscription tenures from the onset. Additionally, Fibre charges a late payment fee- 10% of your due amount 5 days after the due date.
On Muster, your initial payment covers your subscription, security deposit, and in some cases an insurance premium. Subsequent payment covers your subscription. Where you wish to renew your subscription you will need to give a 1-month prior notice to the team and its approval is dependent on the host.
On the surface, Muster seems like the most affordable because you basically only pay for a subscription, unlike Spleet and Fibre that have a robust service charge. But, in the long run the “little” running costs may cost more than subscribing for a Fibre or Spleet subscription depending on your lifestyle.
An interview with a Fibre user revealed that Fibre allows you to make payment in batches. What this means is you do not need to pay the full amount due at once, unlike Spleet and Muster. This gives you room to space your expenses but also puts the burden on you to remember to pay the balance.
“Fully serviced apartments” has become more like an addendum than an experience in Lagos,Nigeria today. Let’s see what this covers.
At Spleet, your service charge covers power capped at an amount ( houses comes with a minimum of 18 hours supply), labor for maintenance, weekly cleaning, cooking gas refill, water supply, permits, licenses, estate levies, waste disposals, security services. ROBUST right! Tbh when I think about dragging a gas cylinder or jerrican to buy fuel for a generator, I honestly get stressed. I don’t want to think about such things. This makes Spleet the most convenient community to be a part of.
At Fibre, your service charge covers waste disposal, water bill, VAT, access to the amenities. Fibre makes it expressly clear that your service charge does not cover gas refills, key replacements, estate fees, estate dues, monthly internet charges, monthly electricity charges, home cleaning (unless otherwise stated), repairs.
Muster does not expressly charge a service fee. This means you will handle all extra payments for running a home by yourself. Incidentally, this also means they are on the surface, the cheapest platform.
Maintenance: Spleet Vs Fibre Vs Muster
At Spleet, your service charge covers labor for maintenance, hence you do not need to make additional payments for maintenance. Additionally, once in 6 months, a designated engineer visits every SPLEET space for routine maintenance.
At Fibre, all homes are vetted before you move in. You have two weeks to make all complaints about repairs. After the first two weeks, all costs for repairs will be borne by you.
Muster has a similar structure to Fibre. Homes are vetted before you move in. In the first two weeks, all maintenance costs are borne by Muster. Subsequent non-structural maintenance costs are borne by you. Muster also charges a call-out fee where a facility manager comes to fix a defect.
All platforms provide a facility manager for each apartment, either through the homeowner/landlord or directly by the platform.
All apartments listed on Spleet are furnished. This means all you have to bring in are your clothes and toiletries. This is great for people who are just starting out, thinking of relocating soon, and do not want to make the capital investment in furnishing a home property.
Fibre homes may be furnished, semi-furnished, non -furnished. This is important for people transitioning from houses where they own all the furniture.
At the time of writing this article, all homes listed on Muster are furnished. There is no filter for furnishing options and this is not covered in their FAQ’s.
Spleet currently has a partnership with Eden to cover feeding and laundry services at discounted prices. (the only running costs your subscription does not cover). Eden is a tech platform that handles your chores for you.
Muster has a partnership with Fitness Central to create a custom plan “Muster Plan” which grants unlimited access to fitness central locations at ₦6000 per month. Fitness Central is a gym with various branches leveraging on tech to give its users a complete experience.
Exit/ Security Deposit
At Spleet, a member will give a 14-day written notice of cancellation of the booking/ termination in order to receive the security deposit after all deductions are made. The subscription amount will be refunded within 30 days from the receipt of the notice. Where notice is less than 14 days the member may receive days in the future that are equivalent to the subscription amount. Every member has a 7 days grace period after the due date to make a payment or will be peacefully removed from the property.
I am still investigating Fibre’s exit policy and refund of security deposit.
At Muster, the subscription expires at the end of the subscription term unless the subscriber gives a 1-month notice of intention to renew the subscription. Where the subscriber willingly leaves before the end of the subscription term, the security deposit is deemed forfeited. 3 days after payment is due, Muster may revoke access to the property. 5 days after payment is due the arrangement is automatically terminated.
This article is limited to feature/service offering distinctions between the platforms and does not speak to the customer experience as this differs from one customer to another.
My advice is to speak to a member who currently uses any platform you choose and speak to potential flatmates where you choose a shared apartment.
Lastly, remember to choose the platform that aligns with your goals.
I hope I did an objective analysis to guide your decision. I am affiliated with Spleet (if you didn’t guess it already😂).
What platform will you love to join and why?
Looking forward to reading your comments