WHAT IS THE LEGAL RIGHT OF A TENANT AS REGARDS THE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS LANDLORD UNDER THE NIGERIA LEGAL SYSTEM

The legal right that a tenant has towards his landlord that you should know.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

2/15/2022 2 min read

WHAT IS THE LEGAL RIGHT OF A TENANT AS REGARDS THE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS LANDLORD UNDER THE NIGERIA LEGAL SYSTEM

A landlord is a person who owns and rents or lease land such as a house, apartment or real estate to an individual or corporate organization. Tenant is a person who pays a fee to the owner of a property for the use or possession of the property for a certain period. A tenant may also be called “lessee”. A tenant can also be described as a person who holds or possesses lands or tenements by any kind of title, either in fee, for life, for years or at will. The agreement between a landlord and a tenant is called a lease or tenancy agreement.

A landlord is the legitimate owner of a landed property, real estate or an apartment which is leased or rented out to an individual or corporate organization.

In Lagos State, the landlord and tenant relationship is regulated by the Tenancy Law which came into force on 24th day of August 2011. Recovery of Premises Act (RPA) is applicable in Abuja

TYPES OF TENANCIES

  1. Periodic tenancy

  2. Tenancy at fixed terms

  3. Lease of reversion

  4. Statutory tenancy

  5. Licensee

  6. Service tenancy

  7. Tenancy at will

  8. Tenancy at sufferance

 

OBLIGATIONS OF LANDLORD

There are certain obligations placed on the landlord by law. Some of these obligations are implied or written as landlord covenants in the Tenancy agreement. Some of these obligations include the followings:

.The landlord shall pay charges and rates as stipulated by the law;

.The landlord is to keep the premises insured against any loss;

.The landlord shall not restrict the tenant’s use of common facilities or services;

.He shall not deprive a tenant of the use of his personal property;

.He shall repair and maintain the external parts of the property;

OBLIGATIONS OF TENANT

As with the Landlord the tenant also has some obligations that are implied or written. These include:

. He shall pay rents when due;

.He shall pay all rates and charges not payable by the landlord according to the law;

.He shall keep the premises in good and tenantable repair, reasonable wear and tear expected;

.He shall allow the landlord/ agents access into the property to assess the condition of the property upon reasonable notice;

.He shall not redesign or redecorate or make any alterations to the property without the written consent of the landlord;

PROCEDURE FOR RECOVERY OF PREMISES

A landlord cannot evict his tenant without the statutory provision. The procedure for recovery of possession of premises as earlier stated is strict and technical and a breach of it may deny the landlord of possession. The following process must be observed to evict a tenant successfully:

  1. Letter of authority

  2. Notice to quit

  3. Notice of owner’s intention to recover owner’s possession

  4. Action in Court (writ/ plaint)

ESSENTIALS OF NOTICE TO QUIT

A notice to quit must contain the name of the landlord or his authorized agent. In Bashua v Odunsi & Anor (1940) 15 NLR 107, the Court held that the tenancy has not been properly determined as the letter did not refer to the 2nd Defendant neither was the 1st Defendant the owner. Both the Lessor (2nd Defendant) and his son were liable to the Plaintiff (Tenant) in trespass.

It must contain the name of the tenant. Even when the premises are occupied by a sub-tenant.

The nature of the tenancy must be clearly stated.

Date of expiration of tenancy

Location of the premises

It must state that the tenant holds over the premise.

WRITTEN BY: CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

E-MAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com / info.chamanlawfirm.com

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