One of the reasons we post articles on our blog is to help educate people on land-related matters. This article is as important as the others but what makes it special is the fact that many people still do not know their rights concerning rented properties and this would be addressed here perfectly.
First What Is A Notice To Quit?
A Notice to Quit is a formal legal document a landlord sends a tenant in an attempt to fix a lease violation. In most cases, before a landlord can formally file to evict a tenant, the landlord must first serve the tenant with a ‘Notice To Quit’. This Notice gives the tenant a chance to fix the issue.
The origin of statutory notice to quit was date back to 1945 in Nigeria when the Recovery of Premises Act, No. 45 of 1945 was enacted. It provided for the length of notices required for the various periods of tenancies fixed by the parties. For a weekly tenancy, the notice of one week is required, monthly tenancy requires a months’ notice while yearly tenancy requires six months’ notice. The requirement of notice contained in the 1945 Rent Control Act was adopted by the defunct Eastern, Northern and Western Regions of Nigeria and later adopted by states carved out from the regions. Adjudicatory power under the Rent Control and Recovery of Premises Law Is vested in the rent tribunals established in each magisterial district by a different law to complement the rent control and recovery of premises law. Failure to prove that proper notice has been given to the other party may be fatal to the relief sought by the aggrieved party.
A diligent tenant before agreeing and signing to a tenancy agreement should carefully read and understand in details the provisions of his agreement documents. Better still, the service of a lawyer can be sought to help in perusing and interpreting the contents of the agreement. Remember the law does not and will not care to know that a tenant did not understand or never knew the law before signing his agreement; “ignorantio legis non excuse” (ignorance of the law is no excuse). When a tenant signs a lawful agreement that limits his rights he will be bound by such same agreement; “violentia non fit injuria”. And such party cannot be allowed to plead that he never signed such agreement (non est factum).
READ ALSO: RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS IN TENANCY.
Please, do note that when a tenant owes his landlord for (3) three consecutive months, the landlord can dispense with the issuance of a “Notice to Quit” on such tenant. Where tenancy has expired by time and there is no new and subsisting tenancy, the landlord can also recover his property without issuing a “Notice to Quit”, although he is expected to adhere to other conditions.
A valid “Notice to Quit” must contain the name of the landlord, the name of the tenant, the address of the property occupied by the tenant, date the notice will commence and the date it will end. It must not end when a tenancy is still running and valid. Such notice must be calculated in a way that it ends on the eve of the anniversary of a subsisting tenancy, for yearly tenancies. Where it is a monthly tenancy it must expire on day of the anniversary of a subsisting tenancy. A “Notice to Quit” that those not contain all the above necessary information, can be vitiated by a court of competent jurisdiction. A tenant who is not clear on the contents of any Notice served him should see his/her lawyer.
What happens after a notice to quit?
Following receipt of a termination notice, if you haven’t moved out or fixed the lease or rental agreement violation, the landlord must properly serve you with a summons and complaint for eviction in order to proceed with the eviction. The court will set a date and time for a hearing or trial before a judge.
What is the difference between a notice to quit and an eviction notice?
A notice to quit is the notice often referred to as “eviction”, given by a landlord to a tenant to leave the premises either by a certain date (usually 30 days) or to pay overdue rent or correct some other default ( pets, damage to premises, too many roommates, using the property for illegal purposes, etc.)
What makes a notice to quit valid?
A Notice to Quit served by email or text should be valid providing the Notice contains all the required information and has been received by the intended recipient. Many tenancy agreements specify how a Notice to Quit should be served so if in doubt, check your agreement.
In the case Sule v Nigerian of cotton board, the appellant was an employee of the respondent who was transferred from Lagos. He was compulsorily retired. He challenged his compulsory retirement in court and refused to give up possession of the flat allocated to him as a statutory tenant. The respondent counter-claimed for possession of the official quarters provided for him while on the job. The court held that the appellant was a statutory tenant within the provision of the Rent Control and Recovery of Premises law, which require a statutory notice as a condition precedent to a claim for possession of a demised property.
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Disclaimer: The above is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Ibejulekkilawyer.com (blog) shall not be liable to any person(s) for any damage or liability arising whatsoever following the reliance of the information contained herein. Consult us or your legal practitioner for legal advice.