Finding an apartment in Lagos can be stressful and frankly time-consuming. With the exorbitant agent fees and commission, you are sure to feel the financial strain when it’s time to pay your rent unless you rent now – pay later. Now, you’ve finally found the perfect house and you’re finally ready to move in but do you know your rights as a renter living in Lagos? Your rights as a tenant are usually stated in the tenancy agreement, but sometimes a cunning landlord would deliberately leave it out or in some cases, there might not even be a written agreement. Below are 5 things you should know while living as a renter in Lagos:
1. The Lagos Tenancy Law 2011 does not apply to residential premises owned or operated by an educational institution for its staff and students. This would include boarding houses, hostels, university staff quarters, etc.
2. It is unlawful for a landlord or his agent to demand or receive from a new or prospective tenant, rent over 1 year in respect of any premises; it is also unlawful for the new or prospective tenant to offer or pay rent over 1 year. The penalty for both landlord and tenant involved in such an arrangement is a fine of N100,000 or to 3 months imprisonment.
3. Your landlord cannot under any circumstances seize any item or property of yours as a tenant or interfere with your access to your personal property.
4. If you live in a property that includes payments for a service charge, as a tenant, the landlord or his agent is to issue you with a separate receipt; and you are entitled to a written account at least every 6 months from the Landlord of how monies that you paid were disbursed.
5. If your landlord, in trying to eject you as a tenant from the property, demolishes or alters the building without court approval; or threatens or molests you, or attempts to remove you by force from the property, the landlord is committing an offense and is guilty if convicted to a fine of N250,000 or a maximum of 6 months imprisonment.
A tenancy agreement is a very important document that every renter should duly read before renting a house. Every renter has the right to request for a tenancy agreement before making any payment to the landlord. Find out what to look out for in a tenancy agreement by clicking here
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