"My Landlord Brought Boys to Throw My Things out after a Month's Notice," Lawyer Offers Advice

"My Landlord Brought Boys to Throw My Things out after a Month's Notice," Lawyer Offers Advice

  • A Lagos tenant has cried out for help on how to right an injustice after he was forcefully evicted by his landlord
  • Narrating his situation to Legit.ng in a message, the shattered tenant said he had pleaded for a few months' grace to get another place but his landlord used boys to throw his things out
  • The founder of Pure Legal Solicitors, Barrister Ebimnamaonye Chidera Divine, has shared his thoughts on the man's predicament and offered a way out

A forcefully evicted Lagos tenant anonymously cried out:

"This past weekend, I got the biggest shock of my life. In a commando-like fashion, my landlord marched into the compound with some boys and forcefully evicted me.
Lawyer shares what tenants should do when their landlords forcefully evicts
He said a landlord can't take laws into his hands because a quit notice has been served. The images used here are for illustration purposes and are unrelated to the story. Photo Credit: Amazing Mikael
Source: Getty Images
"Acting under his watchful eyes, the boys entered my room and threw out all my properties without respect.

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"I had told the landlord to give me a few months before now and thought he would change his mind on the one-month notice but he clearly had an agenda against me. Please what legal options are available for me to follow up the matter?"

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Barrister Ebimnamaonye Chidera Divine is the founder of Pure Legal Solicitors. The legal luminary is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The landlord-tenant relationship

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is merely contractual, this implies that both the landlord and tenant (s)are allowed by law to decide what binds them insofar as it doesn’t amount to the commission of a crime.

In Nigeria, the specific law that guides Tenancy is the Tenancy Act or Law as the case may be.

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What the Nigerian tenancy law says

According to the laws regulating tenancy in Nigeria, the length of a quit notice can solely be agreed upon by the landlord and tenant.

That’s to say, a tenant can agree with the landlord in their tenancy agreement to be served one month, four months, six months or even seven months notice before he can be asked to pack out or quit from living in the house as a tenant.

The law is that where parties fail to agree on the length of a quit notice, the quit notice shall be served on the tenants in a space of time before there can be lawful ejection: For a yearly tenant: six months, for quarterly tenant: three months, for half yearly tenant: three months and monthly tenant: one month.

Why tenants fall victim of landlord's rascality?

Ninety per cent of tenants in Nigeria are yearly tenants. Most times, these tenants do not consult a legal practitioner before signing a tenancy agreement.

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The truth is that many a time, the landlords limit the length of a quit notice and tenants sign the agreement without understanding the implications of what they signed.

Where a yearly tenant signs a tenancy agreement that says quit notice should be served 14 days before there can be lawful ejection, it binds them.

The summary of what I am saying in essence is that a yearly tenant must be served six months quit notice except if it’s agreed by the landlord and tenant or both parties were silent on the length of time, so the law implies six months.

On a landlord forcefully ejecting a tenant

The law is very clear. You cannot take laws into your hands because you have served a tenant quit notice and he or she has not packed out of your property.

The proper thing to do is to issue a notice of seven days owner’s intention to recover possession.

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After the expiration of the seven days, the landlord can initiate a legal process in court by way of a writ of summons against the tenant.

In the end, if the tenant is in default, the court will hold him liable and order that he pay arrears of rent and or Mesne profit as the case may be vis a vis that he seizes to live in your property.

Where a landlord does not follow this procedure, a tenant can sue him for many things and it’s imperative to consult a lawyer to help enforce your rights upon consultation of a lawyer.

Barrister Chidera's advice to Nigerian tenants

Nigerians should learn to always consult legal practitioners before signing any agreement.

They should not risk signing anything and being bound by what they don’t understand.

Consultation with legal practitioners is sacrosanct in cases like this.

Legit.ng had reported some laws on quit notice every tenant must know.

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Lady evicted from shop she recently redesigned

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a lady was heartbroken as her landlady evicted her from a rented shop she redesigned.

The Nigerian lady identified as @smallmadam18 on TikTok, rented the shop and renovated it with thousands of naira for her business.

However, it was very painful when the landlady asked her to leave after all her investment in the building. In the video, she showed the view of the shop when she rented the place and the transformation after she renovated it.

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decision.

Have a story to tell? Need an expert's advice? Feel free to reach out to us at ask.an.expert@corp.legit.ng with "Ask An Expert" in the subject line.

Source: Legit.ng

Victor Duru avatar

Victor Duru (Editor) Victor Duru is a Reuters-trained award-winning journalist with over 4 years of working experience in the media industry. He holds a B.Sc in Management Studies from Imo State University, where he was a Students' Union Government Director of Information. Victor is a human interest editor, strategic content creator, freelancer and a Google-certified digital marketer. His work has been featured on US news media Faith It. He can be reached via victor.duru@corp.legit.ng

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