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A large number of home hunters, especially millennials’ don’t want an apartment where the Landlord also resides. This mindset had been driving into minds of many, from hearing stories from friends, colleagues of how horrible and strict certain landlords tend to be.

This uncommon incident often boils down to lack of communication from both parties, not being well informed about their according to the laws.

The Nigerian law is all-encompassing and people-welfare oriented that the law went on to provide an avalanche of rights, duties, and privileges for both parties.  The law defines the rights, duties, privileges, powers, and remedies open to both tenants and landlords.

Here are some of the rights open to Tenants as covered by the Tenancy Law in Nigeria, today.

RIGHT TO A WRITTEN AGREEMENT

Every tenant no matter his status or location in Nigeria has the right to an agreement. Agreements, on the other hand, can be oral or written. However, it is advised that agreements between both parties should be written, hence, any altercations would be easily dealt with, and it comes in handy as references.

The tenant is expected to go through the agreements thoroughly before signing.

Tenancy agreements are to contain in details the names of a landlord and his tenant; as parties to the Tenancy Agreement.

The land or house to be rented out ought to be described in details; showing its location and basic features. The duration of the tenancy, the rent payable and the date at which such rent would become payable should be stated.

The modalities for reviewing rent price (increment in price) should be included. Before signing any agreement, a prospective tenant is advised to seek the service of a solicitor to break down any unclear terms in the Tenancy Agreement.

RIGHT TO ISSUANCE OF RECEIPT OF PAYMENT

 The receipt of payment is an acknowledgment from a Landlord or an Agent that a rent payment has been made by a tenant. It must contain the name of the Landlord and the Tenant. The amount paid and the date of such payment. The property for which such payment is made, the duration that such payment will cover and the signature of the receiver must also be on the receipt.

It is an actionable offense to refuse to issue a receipt for rent paid and received. It is your right as a tenant to be issued a receipt upon payment of rent. Where the payment is only a part of a whole, it should also be receipted and stated.

Remember a written agreement endorsed by the landlord before a witness that he has received a rent from his tenant will suffice. No matter how familiar, friendly, corporate and caring your landlord is, please always demand receipts of your paid rents to safeguard your tomorrow.

RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ENJOYMENT OF PROPERTY

When a tenant pays his rent and is issued a receipt, it is the landlord granting him the right to peaceful enjoyment of the property. Once this is done, he determines the entrance, usage, safety and can even sue for trespass against any trespasser; strangers, landlord and his agents. The landlord, however, can supervise and maintain the property generally, but with the knowledge of the tenant and within reasonable hours of the day.

Section 7 of the law states that tenants are to comply with the tenancy agreement which includes paying their rent on time to avoid problems, they are also expected to behave in the right manner, they are to take consent from the landlord before fixing up any structural damage on any part of the building, subletting and alterations.

RIGHT TO A VALID QUIT NOTICE

A tenant cannot be thrown out of his apartment unless there is a strict compliance by the landlord with relevant Recovery of Premises Law.

Recovery of Premises Law provides that a valid “quit notice” of a landlord’s intention to terminate/quit the tenancy of the tenant must be written and served to the tenant. The amount of time given to the tenant, whether weekly, monthly, yearly, depends on his rent. Thus it is advised that a tenant thoroughly read through the Tenancy Agreement before signing as some might even sign away their rights for a ‘quit notice’. Remember, ignorance is not an excuse in law.

A valid “Quit Notice” must contain the name of the landlord, the name of the tenant, the address of the property occupied by the tenant, the duration given to the tenant included.

RIGHT TO A COMPULSORY (7) SEVEN DAYS NOTICE TO RECOVER PREMISES

The protection given to a tenant by the Nigerian Tenancy Law, prevents Landlords to evict an occupant without issuing a “Seven Days’ Notice to Recover”.

The “Seven (7) Days’ Notice of Owner’s Intention to Recover Premises” is a notice from a landlord’s lawyer notifying a tenant upon whom a “Quit Notice” had been served and same had expired; that the lawyer will after seven (7) days from the date of the service of the Notice proceed to court to recover the over- held premises on behalf of the landlord.

Discussed above are some of the rights of a tenant covered by the Nigerian law. And as there are laws protecting the tenant, the landlord has laws protecting his rights under the Nigerian law too. Below are some of the Rights of a Landlord in Nigeria.

Discussed above are some of the rights of a tenant covered by the Nigerian law. And as there are laws protecting the tenant, the landlord has laws protecting his rights under the Nigerian law too. Below are some of the RIGHTS OF A LANDLORD

RIGHT NOT TO ISSUE A QUIT NOTICE 

Evictions in Nigeria mostly tend to be worrisome, as many Landlords have experienced Tenants flouting court orders after the exhaustion of “Quit Notice” and it seems the only language most complies with is force. An action every civil society should frown upon.

According to laws, a Landlord has the right to issue a “Quit Notice” and also a right not issue one. For Instance, when a tenant has waived his right to a quit notice while signing the tenancy agreement. Or when the tenant has breached a written in the agreement.

Such as, using a property rented for residential purpose for commercial purpose or a situation whereby a tenant doesn’t pay three (3) months’ rent in a row. Whichever the case is, the landlord is still required by law to issue a Seven Day to Recover Premises.

RIGHT TO RENEW TENANCY

This right gives the landlord authority over is property, though it must be clearly stated from the onset.

A right to ‘Tenancy Renewal Clause’ should be included in the tenancy agreement before both parties put pen to paper. Once the tenant agrees and the terms are agreed – time to apply for tenancy renewal and mode of application, the landlord is not mandated to renew a tenant’s rent. This is a good way for landlords to do away with a non-conformist.

RIGHT TO REVIEW RENT

Every landlord is in business and the aim is definitely to make profits. A landlord can decide to increase is Tenancy rate if he wishes. Though it must be in line with the ‘Rent Review Clause’.

However, the new increment does not affect a tenant during an existing tenancy.

RIGHT NOT TO REIMBURSE A TENANT

Most times, the tenant feels the landlord owes him after making repairs in the house and this often leads to disagreements. According to the law, the landlord has the right not to reimburse a tenant.

They are only required to reimburse a tenant when the repair is covered in their initial agreement. This is why before signing the Tenancy Agreement both parties should decide who repairs what and what.

With some of the rights listed above, either as a tenant or a landlord, you should be able to identify your rights when next you get involve or witness a ‘Tenant-landlord’ fight.

Posted By

Olaitan Olatoye Olalekan is a Nigerian businessman, philanthropist, real estate enterpreneur and owner/founder of Olla Realtor LTD, a real estate brokerage & development firm located in Gerogia. He is committed to educating, mentoring, and supporting other entrepreneurs and regularly speaks on his entrepreneurial experiences. As a Realtor based in Georgia, Olaitan also known as OllaWealth provides Strategic Marketing and Transaction Management services to his clients across many markets. His business is built on: Dedication, Communication, Determination, & Trust while embodying the ability to cater and adapt to all of his client’s Real Estate needs.
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