Nov 25, 2014

HOW TO SERVE A NOTICE TO QUIT IN LAGOS


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A number of landlords and estate agents have always wondered how to best rid themselves of very stubborn tenants without erring in law, apparently some of these tenants unscrupulously seek to exploit the lacuna in the law just so they can live in a property for years without paying rent, I have heard of such tenants and the landlords are usually always bitter about such situations. Some landlords have always resulted to self-help by forcefully evicting the said tenants but a recent decision of the court where such a landlord was directed to pay damages and compensation to the forcefully evicted tenant will seek to discourage many others. 


The Lagos State Tenancy Law 2011 provides that parties can provide for how a notice to quit can be given in the tenancy agreement, however, when there is no such provision, Section 13 of the law provides that:- 

Where there is no stipulation as to the notice by either party to determine the tenancy, the following shall apply –
  • a week’s notice for a tenant at will
  • one (1) month’s notice for a monthly tenant
  • three (3) month’s notice for a quarterly tenant
  • six (6) month’s notice for a yearly tenant.
It’s important to note that when the tenancy is for a fixed period (e.g. one year) and such period has expired but the tenant refuses to give up possession, if the  landlord intends to recover possession, he shall serve a seven (7) days written notice of his intention to apply to recover possession. Such notice will be classified as properly served when handed to the tenant in person; to an adult residing on the premises; by courier to the address or posting same on a prominent part of the premises.
Upon expiration of the 7 day ultimatum, if the tenant still refuses to give up possession, the landlord may file a claim for recovery of possession against the tenant in the magistrate court or high court where the premises is located.
A court can also order possession if the tenant is in arrears of rent; has breached any covenant in the agreement; where the premises is required for personal use by the landlord and where the premises requires substantial repair. A court shall also have power to make an order for possession upon proof of facts that; the premises is used for immoral or illegal purposes; has been abandoned; is unsafe and constitutes a danger to the public or the tenant simply constitutes a nuisance.  
Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq
@adedunmade

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47 comments:

  1. hope to do a write up on the Tenancy law soonest.

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  2. My landlord just served me a quit notice last week, stating that I should vacate his house by March , whereas my annual rent will expire by May. Please advise me on what to do. KINGSLEY.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your message Kingsley, please note that since you are on a yearly tenancy, a quit notice issued must terminate on or about the last day thus the notice served on you is not valid.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I am quit aware this subject is past judging by the date of this post however, I just want to briefly chip in one or two contributions. Counsel has spoken well however, I wish to say that Kingsley's landlord may be right. The date of this post is November and if a notice of yearly tenancy is to be determined by a 6months notice to quit, then the tenancy obviously will terminate by May. The notice to quit will only be invalid in law if the tenancy actually expires in March as Kingsley have pointed out. Thanks guys and I think I love this forums, big ups!!!

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    4. Hi, thanks for your comment, hope you are doing great. It also doesnt matter when you comment, learning is a continous process for everyone.

      Why do you say the Landlord is right sir, i calculated five months from Nov to March, depending on the exact date he was served. Did you arrive at a different calculation, pls let us know.

      Thanks again.

      Delete
  3. Can my landlord serve a notice to quit if am owing him for like 6 months and when will the notice to quit be valid? Will it be as the time my rent expires I.e backdated to the time my rent expires or the notice to quit will start counting the day l was served bearing in mind that l am owing 6 months.

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  4. Hello sir.
    I am a landlord. I have given all tenants 6 months notice but am being informed that Lagos state law requires me extra 6 month notice AGAIN. Another agent says it's just 3 months. I've read elsewhere where it says just 7 days notice of intent to possess is sufficient.
    Kindly advise. They all got 6 months notice on time to end on the date of their tenancy so it's not like they aren't away.
    I need the property vacated asap as I need it for personal use. How do I go about this please?

    Thank you

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  5. i need you help, my house rent end on 17 dec. 2015 and my landlord call's me on 8 dec. to quit the houes in a weeks times wiht out a quit notic is it right. to tahe the 18 jan. 2016 he sent me a text(you rent has sine expired and you don't want to honourably pack your things our, you will soon be disgraced.) that the txet he send me.i need you advise. mail at brush2foto@gmail.com

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  6. pls i have this property my dad left for me and my tenants over there are not paying up there rents,i went as soft as allowing them pay the way they want and know some are owing for 6months some two months.
    what type of quit notice can i issue to them
    better still how do i go by it

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    Replies
    1. Hello. The length of notice depends on their individual tenancy agreements. Do they pay yearly,monthly,weekely etc. Also the notice should expire on the eve of when their rent expired. You should get a lawyer to issue the notices on your behalf. If you have further questions pls write to dunmadeo@yahoo.com

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  7. Pls my house rent expired by ending of April and my landlord serve me a notice on 16th of April asking me to quit the house by 31st of may . pls I need or reply 08039423001

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  8. Morning sir,i need your help on this issue.my rent expired febuary 2016,and before then have told my landlord in dec 2015 that I can't renew the rent and want to move out of the apartment but I requested for 2months to sort myself.it is 2months now,tried packing out yesterday aprol 29th 2016,he used his car to block the gate through out yesterday even til now.cant even drive out to go and work not to say packing. Pls wat step should itake

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    Replies
    1. Hello sir,

      Is there any reason why your Landlord will want to prevent you from leaving. Are you owing him rent? Other monies or obligations etc ?

      It is wrong to unlawfully restrict a person's movt. You will have to provide all details to your lawyer in order to get advice.

      Delete
  9. Hello Lawyer. Well done.

    Please, my landlord served me quite notice on 30th Dec 2015, after we had an altercation same day, eventhough my rent expires mid August 2016. He refused to fix a number of things and as I tried to fix them on my own, he would still try to humiliate me.

    Now, I plan to be the first to sue him. The quite notice gives the reason that he wants to renovate, which was the reason for our misunderstanding in the first instance. I intend to move out but I want him to refund part of my money for denying me value for my money and for deceiving me with everything we agreed on. Please, does he really have a case against me or do I have against him?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your message Bola, the Quit Notice given by your Landlord is not valid. You can also sue him if you choose, i recommend you inform a lawyer who will advice you based on the terms of your tenancy agreement.

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  10. Dear Sir,
    I need your advice on a landlord given quit notice to tenant in between the period of agreement. I pay my rent on yearly basis but due to disagreement that the landlady want to impose some repairs wetin the facility to tenants, she decided to give two of us quit notice when with six (6) months notice when we are just six months into our yearly payment. She wants us to leave at exact date that our money expires.
    Sir, I want to know if her action is legal and if not what can I do?
    I am of the opinion that a quit notice should only be served as at the end of expiration of our agreement and not at the middle of the agreement. In her agreement she promised to repair all structural problems in the house but now want tenant to repair septic chambers that is blocked.
    Sir, kindly advice.
    Thanks.

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  11. Briefly let me enlighten you on this. If mid way of your yearly tenancy, your landlord serves you a 6months quit notice, then her actions in law are very correct. It is called 6month notice to quit because landlords are legally bound in law to notify their tenants at least 6months before the expiration of their tenancy. For more info, kindly consult a lawyer!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. But the Notice served on Kingsley is a 5 Month's Notice not Six, which is my point.

      I am a lawyer lool

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    2. Does that mean he will move out after the rent expire , Or 6 month after his rent expires ?

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. how do you give a tenant a quit notice knowing fully well that there was no tenancy agreement in the beginning.

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  14. My landlord served me a 6months quick notice in person which he claimed it was from a lawyer. .there was no acknowledgement or sort which I sees as an empty threat.forgetting the part that he didnt fix some facilities in the house...whenthe six months expires he came with a police, he insisted I leave his house..then I told him to serve me a proper notice from a lawyer Which would carry an acknowledgement..an advice pls.

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  15. AS a landlord, is it netter to have written tenancy agreement. If so, can such agreement without lawyer enforceable in court?


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  16. As Landlord, can you present a tenancy agreement entered into without a lawyer in court? can the court accept it as valid?

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  17. Dear all,my landlord gave me a 6month quit notice to expire on the last day of my tenancy. However upon expiration of the tenancy and quit notice, an appeal was made by third parties which led to an extension of my tenancy by 4months and for which I paid the Lanlord. My question is this: can I still demand for another 1month quit notice according to the Lagos Tenancy law or does the initial 6months notice still apply? Ineed to know if events have overtaken the 6months Quit notice please.

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  18. Hi, my tenant's rent expired on 31/05/16 and is yet to pay rent till today 04/09/16.
    In fact I have decided to use the premises personally and wondering what I d of notice I can give within the ambits of the tenancy laws of Lagos state. I wish to eject him as soon as possible... please help.
    Tks/ Andy

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  19. Sir .pls can an agent who is not a legal practitioner draft and issue a quit notice to a tenant without a lawyer drafting and signing it . tanx samson

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  20. Hello Barrister . I intend to repossess an apartment within my property. The rent expires by end of February 2017. Is it in order for me to give him notice of termination of tenancy agreement now to fulfill the 6 months notice provision of the Law. On the tenancy agreement it was provided that each party should give a month notice.Can I rely on this and wait till Jan 2017 to issue the notice?.Do i need to register the notice at Court registry and get a bailiff to deliver the notice?

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    Replies
    1. I suggest you just serve a 6 months notice to be safe and avoid complications, though th provision in your tenancy is valid. you do not need to register it and have a court bailiff deliver it.

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  21. i have a tenant that lock his room and palour for the pass one and half year now and owing rent till now and gave one room to illegal tenant and i issued quit notice which ended for the pass two months pls what can i do again.

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  22. i have a tenant that lock his room and palour for the pass one and half year now and owing rent till now and gave one room to illegal tenant and i issued quit notice from a lawyer which ended for the pass two months pls what can i do again.

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    Replies
    1. Apply to court to recover possession of your premises.

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  23. My laldlady just gave a quit notice to vacate my apartment by dec,the quit notice is dated back to june 30 2016, meanwhile it was served on oct 11,2016. In actual sense my rent will only be due by dec 31,2016 which am expected to be giving till june 2017 as a notice, pls what do i do?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Olaide, though your Notice to Quit may be dated June 30, it begins to count from October 11, the day it was served on you. I recommend you write to your landlady confirming the date it was served. You can produce such letter as evidence in court if your landlady should institute proceedings against you.

      Also, the law does not say you should be served a Notice to Quit after the expiration of your tenancy, it says the Notice can expire on the eve of the date the tenancy is due or anytime after it. e.g. From Dec 31 and above.

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  24. My tenant rent expired last month 8th September. He has not been able to pay till now. Though he promised to pay but I need to use the apartment because of my own needs too. What is the required no. Of dayz I should issue to him to quit.

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  25. Hello, My rent expired July 31st,2016 and my landlord served me quit notice, 1st September, 2016 with expiration date as 28th February, 2017. Yesterday, he brought a letter seeking I pay him for the six month in advance. Is he right by law? Please advise.

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  26. to start with, i paid my landlord( developer) in november 2014 2 years rent before packed to the house cos his still building the house, and enter the apartment in may 2015, but the house is notting to but rubbish which cos i have paid i have no choice than to pack in, he gave me an agreement i delibrately didnt sign it, dis week he gave me a quit notice for me to pack at the experiation of my rent which is six month. please advice

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  27. I think this is really a very nice post. Thanks for the great content!prenup lawyer

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  28. Am princewill, please my landlord issued me an eviction letter on the 26/10/2016,but was backdated 20/03/2016,which is the day she claims to have verbally told me. Yet, my rent is yet to expire on Dec, 2016.my questions then are;first, is the quit notice valid? Secondly, when is my six months notice duration supposed to elapse? Does it start as at when the eviction letter was issued or after the expiration of my rent in December? Please I need advice.

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  29. hi was served a notice ,my rent will expire next year june

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  30. Hi,

    My landlady has asked for me to plan to move out of my shop.
    I renewed my annual rent September 20,2016 upon a written demand letter to do so.
    She verbally informed me of the intention to use the shop September 8,2016 but I told her the following day to do a written letter. She eventually served me a letter today November 16, 2016 by a lawyer.
    I would like a full refund of the annual rent and observe the required 6months notice period or she waits till September 2017 when my rent expires.
    She also refused to give me an agreement after paying N50,000 for same.
    She also asked that I pay N50,000 for the front of the shop which is from the PHCN pole to the drainage which I refused to pay as it was an afterthought. And said it would be nice if I don't so that another occupant can come in.
    Please advice

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  31. Good day barrister
    I inherited a property of 4 nos of 3bedroom in a prime area in lagos my issue is that a I have tenamt who is owing rent for a year and 8months till date.i wrote to him in august soliciting for the rent and as well gave till the end of September to respond accordingly with regards to payment. He responded verbally and pleaded to pay up in 3 installments which he promisec to start by October. I have so far been very patient with him due to his plea and current financial sitiation but as I write to you I haven't seen or heard from him please advise.

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  32. barrister gud day
    My tenant has being owning me since 15 March 2016,till date he has not pay is rent... When ever I called him, he kept on promising and he never fulfil.. What can I do pls
    Advice me please advise
    (Mr fole)
    Reply

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