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Handling a tenancy brief opens our eye to so many things which ought to have been avoided when renting an apartment. In this instance case, which has also inspired me to write on the Key Things to Know before renting your apartment.

The Claimant was a yearly tenant occupying a four {4} Bedroom Duplex Building situate, being and lying somewhere in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos; same having been let out by the 1st and 2nd Defendants, the 2nd Defendant acting under the authority, instruction and orders of the 1st Defendant, the Landlord.

Upon moving into the premises within the first two months, the building facilities were already in bad state. The POP’s were falling off, the walls were all cracked, the doors dilapidated, water leakages from bathtub, the kitchen fixtures were all dilapidated, spoilt water taps, damaged electricity appliances. All this put together did not only disturb their enjoyment to the apartment but also pose great threat to the claimant and his family.

The Tenancy commenced on the 15th day of December 2015 to expire on the 14th of December 2016. The Solicitor to the Landlord had issued a 6 months Quit Notice to the Claimant to vacate the said premises within the first year of the tenancy same dated the 3rd day of May 2016; but to the uttermost shock and surprise of the Claimant, the 1st Defendant, before the expiry date of the quit notice and the tenancy, had resorted to all forms of dehumanizing character by harassing and intimidating the Claimant and depriving his privacy from the quiet enjoyment of his possessory rights over the rented apartment occasioning a gross and flagrant breach of the right of a tenant and amounting to breach of contract.


  • An Order rescinding the contract between the 2nd Defendant and the Claimant
  • The sum of N100, 000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only as legal fee
  • The sum of N200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only as Refundable Caution Deposit Fee
  • The sum of N N268,900.00k as the compensation for the effected improvements on the property listed as follows:-

length of conish, bag of pop cement, fibre, scarfolding, transportation, workmanship, paint, top gum, titap, ball fab, el fab, mixer tap, cable, venuse tab, bottle tivap, door, shower hulk, water heater


Total           N268,900.00k


  • The sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only for cost of litigation.
  • The sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira only) as General Damages.

Further to this , The Claimant brought an interlocutory Application seeking for

AN ORDER of the Honourable Court, restraining the Respondents, their thugs, agents, servants, privies and /or ANYBODY WHATSOEVER from forcefully ejecting or interfering with or disturbing the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the tenancy of the Applicant or in any other manner harassing, molesting, intimidating and/or embarrassing the Applicant with the intention of evicting, ejecting or forcefully ejecting the applicant from his lawful accommodation which he legally occupies at Ibeju Lekki, consisting of a duplex apartment SAVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RELEVANT TENANCY LAWS.

  And for further Order(s) as this Honourable Court will deem fit in the circumstances.

TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that the grounds upon which this application was brought are as follows:

         A. That the Respondents are threatening to employ self-help to forcefully recover possession.

         B. That the Applicant was not served with a valid notice to quit according to the tenancy laws.

         C. That the Applicant is entitled to the sum of N 268,900.00k compensation for the effected improvement on the premises.

         D. The sum of N100, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only the legal fee.

         E. The sum of N200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only the Refundable Caution Deposit Fee.

It is the duty of the court to determine the above application.

An apartment search can be really challenging and can even escalate into something disastrous if one does not move with caution. For those that stay in Lagos Nigeria, it is a well-known fact that real estate agents, omo-oniles and even landlords defraud people of their money. This should not come as a surprise because with the high demand of accommodation rising far more that supply, people searching for accommodation are now easy target because of desperation and anxiety. Some fraudulent agents even go as far as renting already occupied apartment to innocent prospective tenants.

An apartment search can be easy and at the same time can be real handwork but most importantly there are some things that individuals fail to confirm, check and consider before they finally sign an agreement to rent a house. Here are some few things to put in mind before renting that house or apartment.


Before you go for any house search, you should have a specific location in mind. You should ask yourself, what kind of place am I looking for? How accessible is your place by transport system? If you have a car, is the road car friendly? How far is it to civilization? If you work, you should consider how far it is to your working place, transportation, what is the traffic condition like etc.

You need to consider how far or close the house is to the market, malls, grocery stores, pharmacy, hospital etc. These basic amenities are necessary because I am sure no one would want to go miles and miles just get what to eat.

You also need to consider your neighbors, neighboring houses and building. It would not be nice to rent a place next to a poultry, bar or club house.


After considering the location, the next major step to take is getting the right agent to help you get a place in your preferred location. I advise you to be very careful in this stage. Most agents especially in Lagos are not to be trusted. A friend shared his experience with me when he was looking for a place. According to him, the agent took him to an occupied apartment but he was smart enough to ask from tenants the situation of the house and that was when he found out that it was already occupied.


It is also important for you to demand to see the owner of the house before closing any transaction with an agent to confirm the authenticity of the house you want to rent. Please when an agent starts giving you silly excuses on why you cannot see the landlord, please be suspicious of such agent as that agent might be fraudulent. Agents play essential role in the search for a house but you need to be smart and be one step ahead of them so as not to get duped.


I am sure none of us would not want to wake up one morning and see our bed floating in a pool of water or not being able to go out of your house all because your street is flooded. These things happens especially areas near the coast. Before you rent an apartment, make sure you know what the situation of the place is like during raining season. Lagos is a city surrounded with water and for this reason, some areas in Lagos can be horrible and offensive during raining season. Personally, I think it is better to check for an apartment during the raining season to be able to determine if your area or the house does not have the tendency of being flooded but of cause this depends on the urgency of getting an apartment. Some people might not be able to wait because of the urgency of the situation. In this case you can still ask neighbors around, someone might be nice and sincere enough to tell you the truth.


The next step is to check for shortcomings in the property. This part is very important and crucial to having a happy and comfortable stay in the apartment. From personal experience, a client of mine rented a place for more than 2million naira only to discover that the place has so many faults and not conducive for habitation.

Before renting a place, check if the house is properly covered and roofed to avoid water or other things creeping into the house. If you see any leaks, water stains or suspicious covering anywhere, there is every possibility that such house will give you problem when it is raining season. Ensure that there is enough ventilation process and sufficient natural light in the house. Make sure that the noise control around the house is adequate because you wouldn’t want to buy a house next to a very noisy neighborhood. It can be annoying when your house have plumbing problems. To avoid this, make sure the house does not have plumbing problems. Check by turning on all the taps and showers at once in the house. Check critically if all the windows and window frames, door and doorframes in the house are in good condition. For me this is very vital. Make sure all the toilets and bathrooms are in good condition. Ensure that there are no signs of dampness or cracks on walls or the floor. This could be caused by leakage somewhere in the house. Ensure that the electrical system in the house is in good condition. Please do not just look at a house on the surface and assume everything is fine with the house all because it looks beautiful. Looks can be deceiving most times. For you to derive full enjoyment and satisfaction from a property, you must critically and meticulously inspect every nooks and crony of the house before paying.


I have heard of situations where people pay for the house before some fixings are made in the house. I have witnessed several cases where the prospective tenant would have paid for the apartment expecting it to be fixed so as to move in but this never happens because most times the landlord or agent might delay the process or not even keep to the agreement. Be careful if the landlord promises to fix things before you move in or that he will get to it sometime after you move. Agreements like this most times never turn out well but if this is the case, make sure this agreement between you and the landlord is in writing, the specific date the fixing is to start and a signature by both parties


After you are comfortable with your apartment, and payment has been made, the next step is the tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. It records all the key things that a landlord and a tenant have agreed to about the tenancy. It is important that a tenant read the tenancy agreement very well and understand all the clauses in the agreement. This is important just to ensure that all the clauses in the agreement is favorable to you before putting your signature. If you find a clause that you think might be detrimental to you, you can alert you landlord or his representative about this to reach an agreement to review.

After payment for the apartment, all tenants are entitled to rent payment receipt. It is a settled law under section (5) of the Lagos State of Nigeria Tenancy Law 2011 which states as follows:

5 (1) As from the commencement of this Law, all landlords shall upon payment of rent by the tenants, be obliged to issue a rent payment receipt to their tenants in respect of such payments

(2)  The receipt shall state the

     (a) Date on which rent was received;

     (b) Names and addresses of the landlord and the tenant;

     (c) Description and location of premises in respect of which the rent       is paid;

     (d) Amount of rent paid; and

     (e) Period to which the payment relates.

(3)  Any landlord who fails to issue a rent payment receipt to his tenant as prescribed under this Section shall be liable on conviction to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N 100, 000. 00).

If you have any challenge relating to the above subject or any questions about this article, ibejulekkilawyer is here to assist. Do not hesitate to call 08034869295 or email us (



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