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Know your right as a tenant

As a Nigerian, the first thing you need to know is that Nigeria is not devoid of flaws. We hear people say constantly ...

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Know your right as a tenant

As a Nigerian, the first thing you need to know is that Nigeria is not devoid of flaws. We hear people say constantly how Nigeria is a lawless country but the truth is, how many of us actually know the laws that govern us as a nation. There are traffic laws, marriage laws, land use laws, and even laws governing how a tenant should be treated by a landlord and you have a right to set your landlord straight if you believe you’re not being treated appropriately as a tenant. What are these rights that every tenant should know?

  • Right to a receipt

Whenever you purchase any item, it is very normal to have a receipt showing the date and the cost of the particular item you purchased. The same thing applies to renting a house. The minute you pay for rent, it is very important that you ask for a receipt. It is your right as a tenant. A receipt is proof that your payment is current. If your landlord ever claims that you have an outstanding rent, the receipt acts as your proof. A typical receipt should contain; Landlord or agent’s name, address and phone number, date of the receipt. Landlord’s acknowledgment that he received the rent payment, the amount of the rent payment, and the landlord’s signature

  • Privacy

As a tenant, you have a right to privacy. A landlord is not entitled to go through your properties or your space at will. The minute you pay rent on an apartment, the apartment automatically belongs to you for that period of time. The only time a landlord has the right to walk into his rented property is to make repairs on the property, in cases of emergency or to show the property to prospective new tenants.

  • Right to notice to quit before eviction

It is against the law for a landlord to evict a tenant out of the blues. As a tenant, you have the right to receive a quit notice before you’re finally evicted from a property. According to the laws on tenancy, a tenant who pays rent 

  • Every 1 month should be given 1-month notice before eviction.
  • Every 3 months, should be given 3 months before eviction.
  • Every 6 months, should be given 3 months before eviction. 
  • Every 1 year, should be given 6 months before eviction

  • Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement contains rules, roles, and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. You have the right to a tenancy agreement before you move into a rented space. There might be points in the tenancy agreement that you might find unacceptable, you have the right to change it to suit your preferences, to make your stay in any rented property as comfortable as possible. The ideal reason for a tenancy agreement is that it prevents potential disputes that might arise. A tenancy agreement typically consists of, the address of the landlord, tenant’s identity, property address, commencement and termination of the lease on the property, rent amount, landlord and tenant’s obligations, and additional charges that should be taken care of by a tenant. 

Renting a space doesn’t mean selling your freedom to your landlord. You have the freedom to do whatever you like as a tenant, provided you’re not breaking any laws and you have the permission to exercise your rights as a tenant whenever you feel mistreated by your landlord.

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