If you are residing in Lagos or hope to reside in the city then it’s important for you to know the Lagos Tenancy Law. It is important for you to have first-hand information of the law so that your rights are not infringed upon and you wouldn’t be extorted in your search for an apartment in the city of Lagos.
In this article, we are going to provide all the information you need to know about the Lagos Tenancy Law.
Lagos Tenancy Law: What Exactly Is It?
The Lagos Tenancy Law is the law regulating the obligations and rights under tenancy agreements and the relationship between the landlord the Tenant. It also lists the procedures to be taken for the recovery of premises and for connected purposes.
Whom Does the Lagos Tenancy Law Apply To?
The law normally applies to all premises within Lagos, including business and residential premises, however, there are some exceptions. The law does not apply to –
- Residential premises owned by an educational institution for its staff or students
- Residential premises provided for emergency shelter or in a hospital facility, whether public or private.
- Residential premises within Apapa, Ikeja GRA, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi
The Lagos Tenancy Law is as follows
- A tenancy agreement can only exist where premises are granted by the landlord to a person. It is only by this means the Lagos Tenancy Law can be implemented.
- It is unlawful and considered illegal for a landlord or his agent to demand or collect rent in excess of 6 months from a monthly tenant and 1 year from a yearly tenant. It is also unlawful for a sitting tenant to pay or offer rent in excess of 6 months for a monthly tenant and 1 year for a yearly tenant.
- A landlord or his agent cannot demand or receive rent in excess of 1 year from a new or would be tenant.
- A new or would be tenant cannot offer or pay rent in excess of 1 year.
- Individuals (landlord, his agent or the tenant) who receive or pay in excess of what is prescribed in the section is considered guilty and answerable to a court of law. If convicted, the person will be fined N100,000 or sentenced to 3 months in prison.
- The Landlord must issue rent payment receipt to their tenants upon payment of rent by a tenant. The receipt shall contain the following details
- Date on which the rent was collected
- Name and address of the landlord and the tenant involved
- Amount of rent paid
- Period being paid for
- Location of premises which the tenant paid for.
- Landlords who fail to issue a rent payment receipt to their tenant will be considered guilty of an offense and liable to a fine of N100,000.
- The tenant is entitled to several privileges within the premises which include the right to privacy, freedom from unnecessary disturbance, and the quiet and peace enjoyment of the premises.
- The tenant is required to
- Pay rent at the stipulated time
- Pay all additional charges not included in the rent
- Permit the landlord and/or his agents to make necessary repairs on the building and also allow for an inspection of the building at reasonable hours in the daytime.
- Not alter the premises without the written consent of the landlord
- Not rent out the premises or any part of the premises without the written consent of the landlord.
- The landlord is required to
- Not be an obstruction to the peace and enjoyment of the tenant in the premises
- Ensure that the premises is insured against damage or loss
- Not seize any personal property of the tenant or restrict the access of the tenant to his personal property.
- Make repairs and keep the premises in a livable condition
- In respect to business premises, the landlord shall not take any action that may inhibit the flow of customers to the tenant’s business premises or disrupt the business operations within the premises.
- The tenant might be required to pay additional fees apart from the rent, these fees might include a security deposit to cover damage and repairs. The landlord shall provide a separate receipt for these payments and the tenant is entitled to request for a written account of the disbursement process of the money in 6 months.
- In the case of quit notice, the tenant should provide the landlord a notice one week prior to the execution date. The landlord can provide a quit notice to the tenant as listed below
- 1 month’s notice for a monthly tenant
- 3 month’s notice for a quarterly tenant
- 3 month’s notice for a half-yearly tenant
- 6 month’s notice for a yearly tenant
- The rent of the tenant must lapse before the landlord can go ahead with his eviction order.
- The premises can only be considered abandoned if the rent of the tenant has expired or the tenant has not occupied the building since the expiration of the rent.
The Lagos Tenancy Law is only recognized in the state of Lagos and defaulters can be charged to any court within the state. The law ensures that rights of the landlords and tenants are protected during a tenancy agreement.
It is important to have the law stored somewhere if you live in the state of Lagos as it would come in handy. The state of Lagos is known to have one of the highest costs of living in the country. Over the years, landlords have continuous sort for ways to extort from tenant through additional fees and charges. This is why the law came into force in 2011.
Before the law can be applied, it is important you have substantial evidence that can back any case you have against your tenant or landlord, you will also require the services of a lawyer to present your case in the court of law. This law has helped to prevent the unlawful acquisition of properties by landlords and the unreasonable eviction done by some landlords in various parts of Lagos.