In Lagos State, the law that applies to tenancy matters is the Tenancy Law of Lagos State 2011 though it doesn’t apply to every part of Lagos, areas such as Apapa; Ikeja G.R.A; Ikoyi; and Victoria Island are exempted from the law. Also, residential premises operated by educational institutes for their staff and students; residential premises provided for emergency shelters and residential premises providing rehabilitative or therapeutic treatment are exempted from the Law as well.
The introduction of the Law by Governor Fashola won the heart of Lagosians because it prohibited property owners from collecting more than a year’s rent from tenants, it also prohibits the tenant from offering and if either party are found culpable of such act they shall be liable to 3 months imprisonment or a fine of N100,000. 00.
Under the Tenancy Law, tenants are entitled to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises, this includes; privacy, freedom from unreasonable disturbance, exclusive possession of the premises and the use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes. But, tenants also have certain duties and obligations under the tenancy agreement, which include:
– duty to pay rent at the times and in the manner stated
– duty to pay all existing and future rates and charges not payable by the landlord by law.
– to keep the premises in good and tenantable condition.
– permit the landlord’s agents to effect repairs.
– not to make alterations on the building without express consent from the landlord.
– not to assign or sub let the property without the consent of the landlord, and
– inform the landlord when repairs are to be made.
The Law allows landlords to collect service charges but states that a seperate receipt must be issued for such payments. The tenants are however entitled to a written account of how such funds are used. Where the tenant fails to adhere to the conditions of rent, the tenancy agreement may be terminated by the Landlord taking possession of the property.
Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.