The laws that guide recovery of residential properties from tenants vary from state to state in Nigeria. Today, we will be taking a peep into the main statutes governing that of Lagos state as seen in the Rent Control and Recovery of residential premises law Vol. 7, Laws of Lagos state and the Lagos Tenancy Law, 2011.
As a properties’ management company, South and Sttes Properties Limited observes that the Lagos tenancy law was created to regulate and safeguard the activities of both landlords and tenants. The law frowns upon what it perceives to be unjust actions by a landlord who takes steps to evict his/her tenant without following the required legal procedures. It is advisable for Lagos state landlords to secure the services of South and Sttes Properties Limited (a professional real estate company with experienced lawyers) that can get their worker to explain the position of the law to them; particularly the procedures that pertain to the eviction of the tenant within the confines of the law.
You should know that there are different types of tenancy and as such there are different ways of terminating each type of tenancy.
Section 8 of the recovery of premises act. cap 544 of the laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990 provides that notice is given in this manner:
- For a weekly tenancy, the landlord must give a week’s notice.
- For a monthly tenancy, a month’s notice is adequate.
- For a quarterly tenancy, a quarter’s notice is given and
- For a yearly tenancy, half a year’s notice (six months’ notice) must be given.
Let’s look at recovering of premises that have to do with marriage dissolution. For example, a married couple having a right as part-owners of residential premises and the marriage heads for the rock. So, who owns the property here and how can it be recovered? This can be quite tricky. This type of situation falls under the Tenancy at will. Tenancy at will is very much different from regular tenancy. A tenancy at will was built into the mutual understanding in the rental agreement that both the tenant and the landlord can terminate the tenancy when any of them likes or at any time convenient to any of them.
In this scenario, if after issuing an adequate notice to quit and the tenant fails to hand over possession upon expiration of this notice, the landlord or a properties’ management company like South and Sttes Properties Limited can then issue a 7-day notice of the owner’s intention to recover possession.
Provisions of the Rent Control and Recovery of Premises Law of Lagos state provide that the required length of notice necessary to determine a tenancy at will is seven days. The most important aspect of this notice is the number of days. As stipulated, seven days: nothing short of seven days will suffice. It does not matter which form or format the notice takes. It is, however, important that the tenant knows that the landlord wants to repossess his premises after 7 days. This 7-day notice to quit is enough for any peace-loving human being. However, when the tenant fails to quit, the landlord will thereafter apply to the court of his intention to repossess his/her house.