Whereas it is the dream of Nigerians to become a house owner, especially in cities where landed properties becomes lucrative, becoming a landlord comes with its own risks and challenges, especially in Nigeria. As a landlord, the most difficult experience you are likely to have at some point will be when you are unlucky to have a tenant who would do everything to frustrate your life. And if you are not careful with your approach for evicting such a tenant, you will land yourself in more troubles that you didn’t bargain for, even landing yourself in a situation where getting such a tenant out of your house will become a very difficult.
To avoid all the risks that comes with evicting a stubborn and troublesome tenant, there are stipulated legal procedures that you must follow as a landlord to evict a tenant from your house, as every tenant in Nigeria is protected by different Tenancy and Rent Control laws in Nigeria.
These tenancy laws are applied based on individual states, as the laws are not uniform. For instance, the Lagos tenancy law can’t be invoked in Abuja, as that of Abuja is different and can only be invoked in Abuja.
Laws of quit notice to tenants
If you are a landlord, you must note the following laws:
• Tenant that pay Monthly should be given one month eviction notice.
• 3 months – 3 months eviction notice.
• 6 months – 3 months eviction notice.
• 1 year – 6 months eviction notice.
Steps to follow to legally evict your tenant
If you are being owned 6 months arrears of rent, inform your lawyer to serve the tenant an eviction notice in line with your agreement with the tenant. Quit notice is a statutory criterion for termination of all kinds of periodic tenancies.
Upon tenant’s refusal to quit the apartment at the expiration of the first eviction notice, serve such tenant with a notice of owner’s intention to apply to take possession of his property. This puts the tenant on notice of the landlord to apply to court to recover his property within 7 days of court’s approval.
Write to a magistrate court within the jurisdiction of the property for the takeover of the premises. Although the tenant will have to prove that the tenant is owing arrears of rent. However, this will not be relevant as long as notices have been properly issued in line with the statutory requirements of the Nigerian laws.
Upon non-adherence to any of the above procedures for eviction, the court will hear the matter and grant an order of eviction of the tenant once all the allegations are proven.