Home Facts Information How to Lawfully Eject Tenant from your House in Nigeria (2019)

How to Lawfully Eject Tenant from your House in Nigeria (2019)

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Its never easy as a landlord in Nigeria when you have a stubborn tenant who refuses to pay his or her rent and who does not want to leave your house. If you have such a tenant, this article will show you how to lawfully eject a stubborn tenant from your house. You would have to follow the stipulated law so as not to pay heavily in damages as the law gives tenants some advantages over their landlords.

eject tenant lawfully in nigeria

Tenants are dully protected by various tenancy and rent control laws in Nigeria. In Lagos for instance, the tenancy law of Lagos state is used and that is why when drafting the tenancy agreement, an experienced lawyer should be involved while due caution must be applied. As a Landlord, you should note the following as the laws on tenancy provide that a tenant who pays his or her rent:

Every 1 month: is given 1 month notice before quitting him
Every 3 months: is given 3 months notice before quitting him
Every 6 months: is given 3 months notice before quitting him
Every 1 year: is given 6 months notice before quitting him.

The above law is subject to tenancy Agreement.

Steps on How To Evict Your Tenant Lawfully

Step 1: If he is already 6 months in arrears of rent, have your lawyer serve him with a notice to quit, according to your agreement with him. The notice to quit is a statutory requirement for the termination of all forms of periodic tenancies. It is a letter and not necessarily a court document.

Contents of Notice to Quit (Notice)

The date to give up possession
The type of tenancy (yearly or monthly etc)
The description of the property with address stipulated clearly
The capacity in which the lawyer is writing

Step 2: if the tenant still refuses to vacate your building, serve him with a notice of owners intention to apply to recover possession.This notice informs the tenant of the intention of the landlord to apply to court and recover the premises from the tenant. It is given for 7 days, within which the tenant must vacate or prepare to go to court.

Contents of Notice should show

The type of tenancy
The description of the property
Grounds and particulars of the claim
7 clear days within which to vacate
The capacity in which the lawyer is writing
The outstanding rent to be paid.

It is at this point that the tenant may decide to move. But if he or she persists, move to the next step.

Step 3: File a claim to a magistrate court within the jurisdiction of the property for recovery of premises. The landlord will need to prove that the tenant is in arrears of rent. Although this will not be important if the relevant notices were properly issued and are in line with the laid down statutory requirements.

Other grounds for Evicting Tenant

  • Breach of any covenant in the tenancy agreement.
  • Use of premises for immoral or illegal purposes.
  • Abandonment of the property.
  • Lack of maintenance on the property
  • Allowing the premises to become a death trap to visitors and neighbors.
  • Tenant constitutes nuisance to the environment or his immediate environment. constantly fighting, constituting nuisance generally.

Finally, If any of the above grounds of eviction in Nigeria is breached, the court will hear the matter, make an order for evicting the tenant as long as it is proven. The court will also award damages and profits to the landlord. It is advisable for tenants on the other hand to abide by the rules so that you won’t be the guilty party so that you can enforce your rights when necessary and avoid future litigation.

Reference: Infoguidenigeria

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