The process of evicting a tenant is most times a daunting undertaking for many landlords and agents. One of the reasons behind that is because of the complexities of the situation. However, a lot of these property owners frequently resort to self-help ways to evict renters from their properties. This article will be very informative on this as it outlines how to evict a tenant from a house. Hopefully, both landlords and tenants would benefit from this since they will understand the procedures and situations that can lead to eviction under the Nigerian law.
According to the Nigerian law, a tenant cannot be ousted from the house without compliance with the set law. The renters are fully protected by a variety of tenancy and rent control regulations. In Lagos, for example, the Lagos state tenancy legislation is employed, therefore an experienced lawyer should be included in the preparation of the tenancy agreement, while caution must be exercised.
As a landlord, you should be aware that a tenant who pays his or her rent is entitled to the following:
- Before quitting him, he is given a month’s notice.
- Every three months: before quitting, he is given three months’ notice.
- Every six months, he is given three months’ notice before being fired.
- Every year, he is given six months’ notice before evicting the house.
The provisions of the preceding law are subject to the terms of the tenancy agreement.
HOW TO LEGALLY EVICT A TENANT IN LAGOS
Let’s take a look at how a landlord can legally evict his or her tenant from the house in Lagos.
The first thing to remember is that in Lagos, a landlord cannot remove a tenant at will. The landlord must first serve a written eviction notice on the tenant. Even if the tenant ignores the notifications and remains on the premises after the eviction notices have expired, the landlord must proceed with a formal eviction by order of a competent court.
Extrajudicial acts or efforts to evict a renter from a property are illegal in Lagos, Nigeria. In fact, if a tenant uses self-help measures, he or she may be able to sue the landlord for damages based on wrongful eviction or trespass.
STEP 1: ISSUE AN EVICTION NOTICE TO THE TENANT
If the tenant is already six months behind on his rent, the landlord should have his or her lawyer serve with a notice to quit, as per the agreement. For the termination of all types of periodic tenancies, a notice to vacate is a legal necessity. It’s merely a letter, not a legal document.
STEP 2: GIVE NOTICE OF OWNERS INTENTION
If the tenant continues to refuse to leave, serve him or her with a notice of the owner’s intent to seek possession. This notice advises the renter that the landlord intends to file a court case to reclaim the premises from the tenant. It is valid for seven days, after which the tenant must quit or face legal action.
The following should be included in the Notice’s contents:
- The tenancy’s kind
- The description of the house
- The claim’s foundations and specifics
- You have seven clear days to vacate.
- The unpaid rent.
- The legal capacity in which the lawyer is writing
At this stage, the renter may elect to vacate the premises. Continue to the next stage if he or she persists. There you will be able to carry out the legal processes to evict the tenant.
STEP 3: GO TO A MAGISTRATE COURT AND FILE A CLAIM
If you next step is to file a claim for premises recovery with a magistrate court within the property’s jurisdiction. The landlord will have to show that the renter is behind on their rent. Although, if the relevant notices were duly issued and meet the statutory requirements, this will not be a problem.
Do ensure to follow up the court processes very well and hope to get your obstinate tenant evicted.
MAJOR REASONS TO EVICT A TENANT IN NIGERIA
Aside from the aforementioned ones, the following are other grounds for removing a tenant:
- The landlord can begin the eviction procedure if a tenant is in arrears of rent and fails to pay the rent even after being alerted in writing by a late rent notice.
- A landlord can evict a tenant from a property if the renter engages in criminal acts such as robbery, prostitution, or other illegal activity on the owner’s property.
- The landlord has the power to evict a tenant in Nigeria if the tenant has broken a term or condition in the lease agreement, as this represents a breach of contract.
- If the landlord want to use the premises, he or she has the right to remove a tenant who wishes to use the rental property.
- If the lease is for a certain period of time, the landlord must wait for the term to expire before notifying the tenant of the impending eviction.
- If the renter abandons the rental property, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant.
At last, if any of the aforementioned reasons for eviction in Nigeria is violated, the court will hear the case and issue an eviction order if the case is substantiated. The landlord will also be awarded damages and profits by the court. Nevertheless, you must abide by the law in order to avoid paying hefty damages, as the law affords tenants considerable advantages over their landlords.
Tenants, on the other hand, should follow the regulations so that they are not the guilty party and can assert their rights if necessary, avoiding future litigation.
When you have an obstinate tenant who refuses to pay his or her rent and refuses to leave your property, it’s a simple way to get him or her evicted. Although, it might not be easy being a landlord in the country, however, you should be head of your property. This article was very informative on how to legally evict an obstinate tenant from your home if you have one.