For many Nigerians, the next best thing to owning a home is renting a good one. One where the landowner preferably doesn’t live in the same property, with neighbors who won’t steal your clothes when you hang them outside and will be willing to share their Christmas rice with you. A place, no matter how big or small, where basic house amenities have been provided and most importantly, where your rights as a tenant are sufficiently acknowledged and protected.
But how much of these rights do we ourselves even know we have? Well, we took the liberty to share four tenancy laws you should be aware of before getting a place and that you can begin to exercise if you already live in a rented space.
- You Have The Right To A Peaceful Enjoyment Of and Exclusive Access To The Property You Have Rented.
Yes, you read that correctly. So long as you have completed your legal obligations in securing your place, the law now sees it as completely yours for the duration of your tenancy. This means that you can in fact invite your friends over whenever you want and most importantly, nobody, not even your landowner has the right to enter your apartment without your express permission. You alone can authorize entry into your space and the law sees it as trespassing if anyone does so without your authorization.
- You Have The Right To A Habitable Premises.
If for example, you live in areas – *coughs*
Lekki – where rainy seasons are known to be unkind, you have the right to ask your landowner to restore the place to its originally habitable condition if it becomes unconducive for living. You can do this long as the damage made is no fault of yours. And if the landowner refuses, you also have the right to end the tenancy and request a refund. And we are sure you can figure out what happens next if they still refuse to return your money.
- Right To Receipt Of Payment.
Shey you see that landowner that tells you not to worry about a receipt after you’ve paid rent? Tell them they did not write mumu across your face and please demand for one. Your receipt must include the amount paid, the location of the property, as well as the duration of the tenancy. And in cases where they refuse to provide it? Feel free to report them to the authorities. Different states have different prescriptions for landowners who flout this law. In Lagos for example, the Lagos Tenancy Law prescribes a penalty of ₦100,000 to any landowner who tries to bobo you in this way.
- Your Landowner Has No Right To Increase Your Rent Unreasonably.
First of all, no landowner has the right to wake up on a bad day and decide to increase your rent because you just bought a new car or got new furniture or for any insubstantial reason. If the landowner insists on doing this, then be sure that the increased rent price is the same or close to those obtainable in similar rented spaces around the locale. And if there is any other reason they have, there must be evidence showing the peculiar situation that led to the increase in rent, and it gats make sense. Make God no shame us.
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