What are the rights and obligations as a tenant in Nigeria?

What are the rights and obligations as a tenant in Nigeria?

As a tenant, do you know your rights and obligations in Nigeria?

People migrate from place to place in search of better living conditions. Because of this reason, accommodation for residence or business is widely available in Nigeria. So, therefore, it has become imperative for there to be regulations in place for relationship between landlords and tenants, so as to avoid arbitrary increment in rent and wrongful eviction.

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant entails that of owner and occupier. The landlord is the owner of the house, while the tenant has rights to use and occupy the house, subject to payment of rents and good behaviour.

The relationship of landlord and tenant is contractual, so none of the two parties has sole authority to alter the agreement without the other. The parties are bound by the terms of the agreement.

In Nigeria, the numbers of rights that a tenant enjoys are listed below:

1. A tenant has the right to question his landlord’s authority to increase rent unreasonably and arbitrarily.

2. A tenant can maintain an action in trespass against his landlord; a tenant can also obtain an injunction to restrain his landlord from ejecting him in an unlawful manner.

3. Tenants are entitled to statutorily stipulated periods of notice to quit.

4. A tenant has the right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

5. The tenant’s entitlement includes the right to privacy; freedom from unreasonable disturbance, exclusive possession of the premises subject to the landlord’s restricted right of inspection and the use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes.

6. Where a tenant with the previous consent in writing of the landlord, effects improvements on the premises, he/she shall be entitled to claim compensation for the affected improvements on quitting the premises.

In Nigeria, tenants also have several obligations like:

1. Paying the rent at the times and in the manner agreed.

2. Paying all existing and future rates and charges not payable by the landlord by law.

3. Keeping the premises in good and tenantable condition, reasonable wear and tear exempted.

4. Permitting the landlord and his agents to view the condition of the premises and effect repairs in necessary parts of the building during reasonable hours.

5. Not making any alterations or additions to the premises without the written consent of the landlord.


6. Not assigning or sub-letting any part of the premises without the written consent of the landlord, and notifying the landlord.  

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