In Nigeria, the struggle between the Landlord and Tenant is a common occurrence. This is mainly because they do not know their rights and those of the other. If their rights are known to them things will be a lot easier.

The rights of a Tenant are:

Right to a Property: It is seemingly impossible for Landlords and Tenant to cohabit in peace in Nigeria. The ignorance of the parties involved is to blame for this. Not many Landlord’s and Tenants know their rights and that of the other. The Tenant has the right to rent any property anywhere in the country notwithstanding his state of origin or nationality.

Right to a Well Written Tenancy Agreement: It is the right of every Tenant to have a well written tenancy agreement, not just a verbal one that might result in dispute. The agreement should contain – The full name of the Landlord, The full name of the Tenant, The full description of the property, The payment information (amount, account to make payments, expiration date of the tenancy, duration of the rent, next renewal of payment). The Tenant also has the right to read before signing and seek the advice of a lawyer with regards to the terms of the contract.

Right to Receipt of Payment: The Tenant has right to be issued a receipt of payment by the Landlord after he has made payment for the rent. The receipt should contain – The full name of the Landlord, The full name of the Tenant, The amount paid, The date of the payment, The property for the payment, The duration the payment covers, The signature of the receiver.

Right to valid Quit Notice: Where a Landlord wishes to evict a tenant he must follow due process by issuing a valid Quit notice to the Tenant which will contain – The full name of the Landlord, The name of the Tenant, The address of the property occupied, The duration.

The Right to Harmonious Relationships: The Tenant has the right to enjoy the property in harmony especially where he has fulfilled his own part of the bargain. Therefore, the Tenant can choose his preferred usage of the property and can sue for trespass against anyone including the Landlord. However, the Landlord still has the right to supervise and maintain the property with the knowledge and permission of the Tenant.

Right to a Compulsory 7-Day Notice to Recover Possessions: All Tenants have the right to a 7-Day Notice to recover their possessions after the valid quit notice expires.

The Rights of a Landlord are:

Right to Property: The Landlord has the right to own pro in any part of Nigeria. Section 43 of the 1999 Constitution provides for the ‘Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria’. So every Nigerian, no matter the ethnicity of the person can own, buy, sell, acquire any property in any part of Nigeria.

Right to Renew Tenancy: They have the discretion to renew Tenant’s agreement or not. He has the right to refuse to renew the agreement especially where he was not comfortable with having the Tenant occupy his property.

Right to not issue Quit Notice: He has a right to issue or not issue Quit notice especially where he waived his right to quit notice in the agreement.

Right to Review Rent: They have the right to review the rent in line with the Rent Review Clause and not during an existing tenancy.

Right Against Compulsory Acquisition of Property: Section 44 of the Constitution provides for the right against compulsory acquisition of property. Section 28 of Land Use Act provided that the Government can only compulsorily acquire a land for overriding public interest.

Right to Compensation from Compulsory Acquisition: The government can compulsory acquire property for public purposes. The Landlord has the right to be compensated.

Right not to reimburse a Tenant: Where a Tenant carries out repairs in the property, the Landlord has the right not to reimburse the Tenant. They are mandated to reimburse the Tenant only where the repair is covered in their agreement.

From the aforementioned, it is evident that both the Landlord and the Tenant have their rights. So if they are aware of these rights, there is no doubt that they will coexist peacefully.


POST SOURCE: Chairman law firm “Landlord and tenant rights in Nigeria”