WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION OF QUIT NOTICE?

A quit notice is a legal document drafted by a landlord and issued on the tenant conveying the landlord’s intention to take back possession of his/her property.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/15/2022 3 min read

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WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION OF QUIT NOTICE?

A quit notice is a legal document drafted by a landlord and issued on the tenant conveying the landlord’s intention to take back possession of his/her property. It is a letter issued to a tenant by the landlord stating the specific date the tenant is expected to evict the premises and give up possession of the property. The notice informs the tenant of the landlord’s intention to evict him/her from the premises.

It is important to note that tenancy law regulating tenancy matters are specific to each and every States of the Federation of Nigeria. The laws applicable to tenancy in each state differ and there is no general law governing tenancy in Nigeria as a whole. Each state have its own enacted legislation regulating tenancy in its State.

A quit notice is given for different reasons such as arrears in payment, use of the property by the landlord. There is a time frame within which a quit notice served on a tenant must be adhered to and this is going to be issued based on the tenancy of the tenant. Tenancy of the tenant implies whether the tenant is a yearly, monthly or weekly tenant.

The specification with regards to the service of notice on tenants is determined by the tenancy of the tenant. For instance, a yearly tenant under law should be served a notice to quit with six (6) months of the notice. A monthly tenant on the other hand is entitled to a month’s notice while a weekly tenant seven (7) days.

There are however instances that would strip a tenant of the six (6) months, wherein he/she will not be entitled to a 6 months’ notice. Instances such as mismanagement of the property, constitution of nuisance, fraudulent practices perpetrated within the premises, renovation of the property by the landlord and many more. Once there is any reason to believe that the tenant is exhibiting any of these characters or the landlord intends to carry out some renovation work on the property then the landlord may issue a quit notice.

The issuance of quit notice may become unnecessary in the following circumstances;

Lapse of Fixed Tenancy:

For a situation where the tenancy is a fixed-term tenancy and it terminates, there is a compelling reason to serve a notice to quit. One can, nonetheless, serve the tenant with a notice of your intention to apply to a court to recuperate ownership of your property instead. ·

At the point of being in arrears of 6 Months of Rent:

If your occupant, under a monthly tenancy, fails to pay in due time for his/her rent, a notice to quit is unnecessary. Instead, serve a notice of your intention to apply to a court to recuperate ownership of your property. ·

At the point of being in arrears of One Year of Rent:

If you have a tenant, who is under a quarterly or half-yearly tenancy and is falling in arrears of lease for one year, you don't have to put yourself through the trouble of giving a notice to quit. A notice of your aim to apply to a court to take back possession will suffice.

It is worthy of note that under the Tenancy Law in Lagos, immediately the quit notice lapses and the tenant still remains in the property, the landlord is to serve the occupant with the '7 Days Notice to Recover Premises.' This notice is to be served on the tenant by the landlord or his representative. The notice will contain the expectation of the landlord to recover the property at least 7 days after the notice is served.

Note also that the 7 Days Notice to Recover Premises can also be served when the tenant is on a fixed-term tenancy, which has lapsed. The rationale behind this is so that the tenant is given adequate opportunity to quit the property. The determination of the 7 days period begins from the day after the notice is served on the tenant and not from the day when it was served. Where the notice is served before a 'Quit Notice' or during the pendency of a 'Quit Notice,' it becomes invalid.

CONCLUSION

The implication of a quit notice served on a tenant is that the tenant is expected to vacate the property in which he/she is on. However, there are times where the tenant is unable to meet up with the time frame given to vacate, the landlord under no circumstance have the right to forcefully eject the tenant. Where the landlord engages in any form of force in recovering possession from the tenant illegally, he would be liable to imprisonment for three years or pay heavy damages to the tenant. It is important that every tenant knows his and her rights.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080