Eazy Tips: Your Rights As A Tenant In Nigeria
- August 11, 2021
Searching for a house to rent in Nigeria can be just as effortless as it can be overwhelming. The road to renting an apartment is often paved with stress, miscommunication, incompatibility, budget issues and so much more before finally achieving victory via renting and moving into your new apartment.
A lot of tenants have gone through that yet remain oblivious to the fact that their rights are being infringed upon, mostly because they don’t know their rights as a tenant in the first place. Nevertheless, they’re forgiven and we hope from hereon they not only learn about their tenancy rights but also defend them whenever the need arises.
Below is a list of vital tenant rights every Nigerian should know.
1. Right to live in a property that’s safe and habitable: The property which you are renting has to be fit for the purpose of which you are renting it whether it is for living or office work. All latent repairs in the house have to be fixed by the landlord.
2. Right to know the identity of your landlord.
3. Right to the issuance of receipt of payment: After paying your rent, you should request a receipt of payment signed by either the landlord, his lawyer, or any authorized agent acting on his behalf. The receipt should show the amount paid and also the location of the property.
4. Right to live in the property undisturbed.
5. Right to a notice to quit before eviction
This is one right that is the most abused by Landlords in Nigeria, hence tenants must henceforth be aware of it. This right states that before a tenant is evicted from the property they have rented, they must be given a quit notice, and the number of days is subject to the period of their tenancy:
- A one-year (or above) tenancy will require at least a notice of 6 months
- A one-month tenancy will require a minimum notice of one month
- A one-week tenancy will require a minimum notice of one week
After this, tenants are also entitled to a 7-day notice to recover their possessions. If all of these steps aren’t carried out, the landlord will not have the right to an action for eviction in court.
6. Right to a written agreement
A written and signed tenancy agreement is very important because it is evidence that your tenancy is legal. We also advise that a tenant should have their lawyers review the agreement before they sign it, in other to be careful, however; ensure the agreement is fit for the purpose of the contract and there are no hidden/misunderstood clauses.
7. Right to privacy & exclusive possession
The minute a tenant enters into a contract with the landlord, they have exclusive rights to the property pending the period of their tenancy. Therefore, a landlord has no right to enter into a tenant’s property without their permission. Hence, maintenance of the property has to be done with the tenant’s approval.