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De Law, I know my rights! Baba Landlord wants to cheat me, he wants to infringe on my ‘fundamental human rights’. I will not take it, I will give him fire for fire…. Mr. Saliu Erastus (not real names) fumed in anger.


Mr. Saliu Erastus is a tenant on one of Chief Lambe Owonikoko’s properties, where he and his family occupies a three (3) bedrooms flat. He came into the property as an annual tenant three years ago, with the agreement that his rent would be paid every twelve months. Along the line, Mr. Erastus began to pay rent in piecemeal, to the indignation of Chief Lambe who is well known for not joking with rent collection. Mr Erastus’ last rent has lapsed and he is in arrears of rent for three (3) months.

Chief Lambe instructed his Solicitor to issue and serve a Notice to Quit on Mr. Erastus, and he was given Seven (7) days to vacate the property. Mr. Erastus is much chagrined at the perceived ‘infringement of his fundamental human rights’, as he is certain he should be given not less than Six (6) months’ Notice and same without him paying a dime to Chief Lambe.

When Mr. Erastus had calmed down sufficiently to listen to the legal advice, he realized, to his dismay that ‘his rights are not actually what he interpreted them to be’. The above is a scenario that occurs on a regular basis. Incidents of both landlords and tenants claiming some rights and demanding fulfilment of certain obligations from one another abound. Well, here’s some news for us all:

  1. Non-payment of rent as and when due actually changes the nature of the tenancy and the rights under same. Furthermore, the length of the Notice a tenant is ordinarily entitled to changes if he owes rent or fails to pay in the way and manner agreed upon;
  2. Once a landlord institutes a legal action to regain possession of the property from the tenant, it is deemed that the action is sufficient notice to the tenant to give up the property; and
  3. In all cases/situations and irrespective of who is right or who is at fault, the law places certain obligations on both parties and clearly sets out the process to follow in resolving tenancy matters. Taking the law into one’s hands or acting outside the ambits of laid down laws may change the narrative.

Our firm, Blanchart Legal Practice, thrives on providing competent, productive and proficient services and solutions to our clients, in a timeous manner. You can set up an appointment for either virtual or physical session with us.

The characters in the above scenario are imaginary.  Any similarity to actual persons is purely coincidental.

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