As a Nigerian, you quickly learn that there are many weapons fashioned against you, one of which is a landlord

The endless struggle between landlords and tenants often exists because tenants are unaware of the rights accorded to them. Therefore, in this article, we will walk you through tenancy rights in Nigeria. 

Right to property: 

As a tenant, you can rent any property anywhere in the country, regardless of sex, state of origin, or nationality. 

Right to a Tenancy Agreement:

It’s in your rights that when renting a new property, a well-written tenancy agreement be presented and signed on your lawyer’s advice. The tenancy agreement should contain the following:

  • The full name of the tenant
  • The full name of the landlord
  • The description of the property
  • The total amount paid for the property
  • The duration of rent, i.e. the expiration and renewal dates of the tenancy

And although the law makes room for an oral tenancy agreement, it’s advisable and safer to have a written agreement, as it makes it easier to make a case in court if needed. 

Rights to receipt of payment:

You’re entitled to a receipt of payment from your landlord to avoid stories that touch later on. This receipt should include:

  • The amount paid
  • Location of the property
  • Duration of the tenancy

Another thing to know about this is that landlords who fail to issue a receipt are liable to a fine of ₦100,000. 

Right to exclusive possession:

According to the Law, once you’ve made payment and entered into a contract with the landlord, you have exclusive rights to the property. 

This means that no one, including the landlord, can enter your apartment, room, or property without your permission. This also involves instances where maintenance is to be done by the landlord; you must first approve, or it’d be regarded as trespassing. 

Right to habitable premises:

This means that, as a tenant, the landlord has to ensure that the rented property is fit enough for any purpose for which it’s being rented, i.e., for domestic or corporate reasons. 

Therefore, if there are any issues like wear and tear, flooding, or damage to certain utilities, the landlord’s expected to fix them, and if they refuse to, you can demand a refund of your rent or end the tenancy. 

Right to an eviction notice:

As a tenant, you must get a notice before being evicted from the rented property. The notice must contain the following:

  • The name of the landlord
  • The name of the tenant
  • The address of the rental property
  • The duration of the tenancy
  • The reason behind the eviction

Typically, the eviction notice varies depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have with the landlord:

  • A one-week notice period for a weekly tenancy
  • A minimum of one month’s notice for a monthly tenancy
  • A minimum of three months’ notice for a quarterly tenancy
  • A minimum of six months’ notice for a yearly tenancy

Also, tenants are entitled to a 7-day notice to recover their possessions after the eviction notice expires. 

Also read: What Are the Rights of a Nigerian Citizen?



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