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In my last post, I talked about the rights of tenancy given by law to tenants. These rights given to tenants by the law has however made it an avenue for tenant who know their rights and are defaulting in their tenancy agreement to intentionally delay, frustrate and unnecessarily prolong a case by proceeding on appeal on the ground that the statutory notices served on the tenant are invalid which in many cases, tenants succeed on appeal. This, however, does not mean that landlords are not protected by the law. What are the rights of landlords in these situations?

In a situation where a notice to quit has been served and the tenant still refuses to leave the property after the notice has elapsed, the law expects another seven (7) days Notice of Intention to recover property to be served. The notice is served by the landlord’s lawyer or agent with a written authorization from the landlord to the tenant, informing the tenant of his intention of proceeding to court to recover the property on behalf of the landlord. A Notice of Intention that has been served before the expiration date of a Notice to Quit will be ineffective. This means that a Notice of Intention must be served after the expiration date of the Notice to Quit, and the seven days count of this Notice of Intention starts on the day such notice was served.

However, where the tenant is still in possession of the house after the seven(7) days Notice of Intention has been served, the tenant is then referred to as a “STATUTORY TENANT” in other words “TENANT OF THE LAW”. It is important to note at this point that the law does not permit the landlord to take matters into his hand by forcefully evicting the tenant. This is an offence under the Tenancy law of Lagos state. A tenant that has refused to leave property premises after the seven (7) days Notice of Intention is called a “STATUTORY TENANT” because the law is allowing the tenant to stay on the property without paying any rent to the landlord till after the case has been heard and a decision has been reached by the court.

After the court hearing, depending on the decision reached by the court, the court can now order the tenant to pay a Mesne Profit to the landlord. This means that the defaulting tenant will pay for all the rent that has accumulated for the duration of time the property was held by such tenant after notice has been served.

For more information and legal advice on this subject do not hesitate to Email: or call 08034869295.

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