Dealing with landlord affairs and house renting issues are problems everyone wouldn’t want to face. Renting a property in Nigeria can be a draining, daunting and frustrating task, especially if you are not familiar with the laws and regulations governing the process. The laws governing this process are known as the “Tenancy Agreement”.
What is a tenancy agreement?
It is a legal requirement that sets out the contractual obligations of both the landlord and tenant, thereby reducing the risk of any future misunderstandings. Its purpose is to provide both the landlord and the tenant adequate future security and protection. In the event of a dispute, the tenancy agreement will serve as a reference.
The terms and conditions in the tenancy agreement need to be within the law. If a term in the tenancy agreement is against the statutory rights of either the landlord or tenant, that term can’t be enforced. The agreement should be in writing and signed by both the landlord and the tenant.
Contents of a Tenancy Agreement:
As a landlord or a tenant, you need to ensure that your Tenancy Agreement includes the following terms and information at a minimum:
- The names and addresses of the Landlord and the Tenant.
- The address of the property.
- The start date and end date of the tenancy.
- How much the rent will be.
- Other applicable amounts including – legal fees, agency fees, security deposits, service charges/fees e.t.c as applicable.
- The obligations of both the Landlord and the Tenant.
- An outline of bills the tenant is responsible for.
What are the Rights of Tenants in Nigeria?
Tenants in Nigeria have a number of rights, including the right to:
- Quietly enjoy the property: The tenant is liable to enjoy the property he/she paid for quietly without troubles of the landlord or other tenants.
- A safe and habitable property: The tenant is eligible to a safe and habitable environment, one that he doesn’t have to worry about his security day and night.
- Adequate notice of rent increases or termination of the tenancy: The tenant should be duly noted prior to any increment or termination of the tenancy.
- Access to essential services such as water and electricity: Essentials such as electricity and water should be made available to the tenants if payments have been made for it.
- The right to make minor repairs to the property: Everyone seeks comfort and should be allowed to carry out minor renovations on the property and subsequently repairs.
What are the responsibilities of tenants in Nigeria?
Tenants in Nigeria also have a number of responsibilities, including the following:
- Pay rent on time
- Keep the property in good condition
- Not sublet the property without the landlord’s permission
- Not cause any damage to the property
- Notify the landlord of any repairs that need to be made
- Respect the other tenants
How to protect your rights as a tenant:
There are a number of things you can do to protect your rights as a tenant, including the following:
- Read the tenancy agreement carefully before signing it.
- Make sure that you understand all of the terms of the agreement.
- Keep a copy of the agreement for your records.
- Pay rent on time.
- Keep the property in good condition.
- Notify the landlord of any repairs that need to be made.
- If you have any problems with the property, try to resolve them with the landlord first. If you are unable to resolve the problem with the landlord, you can contact the Rent Control Board in your state for assistance.
Renting a property in Nigeria can be a great way to find affordable housing. However, it is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. By following the tips in this blog post, you can protect yourself and ensure that you have a positive renting experience.
If you are a landlord or the agent of a landlord interested in renting your property in Nigeria, then it is important that you create a Tenancy Agreement before renting out the property. Also, if you are a tenant and your prospective landlord has given you a Tenancy Agreement to sign. You should consider consulting with a lawyer who will give you a quick review of the Tenancy Agreement and advise you on how it affects your rights.