Getting a quit notice from a landlord is as old as Nigerian constitution itself. It is a part of the journey people must embark on in life as long as they remain tenants rented apartments.
There are several reasons house owners issue a quit notice to tenants. While some reasons could be based on disagreement on issues between both parties or violation of standing rules in the premises, others could be based on renovation or reconstruction of the house.
However, when your landlord issues you a quit notice, there are certain items you must look out for in the contents before accepting it from him. If it does not contain those three items, the notice should be considered ultra-vire and contact your lawyer to step in.
1. The first thing you need to look out for is the source of the quit notice. Ordinarily, a notice is expected to originate from the lawyer who prepared and signed the agreement document issued to you when you newly paid and moved into the house.
There are some landlords who try to play smart by circumventing the tenancy law by trying to help themselves achieve their mission. This is because some of them don't have justifiable reasons to evict their tenants other than a flimsy excuse.
Before the lawyer who prepared an agreement can issue a quit notice to a tenant, he or she must have seen a good reason the tenant deserve the notice. In a situation where the tenant wants to prove stubborn, such a lawyer can have a good reason to defend the landlord. But if on the other hand, the lawyer will advise the landlord against the action.
Hence, if it doesn't originate from the lawyer who issued an agreement letter, do not accept it. It is not acceptable under the tenancy law.
2. Another thing you should watch out for is the time frame given to quit. If you are on an annual rent, you are expected to be given a six months notice, which must be clearly stated in the letter.
After the six months, you are still entitled to another three months before a legal action can be taken against you. So anything that is less than six months in your letter is legally unacceptable.
3. Another things you should take note of is the reason your landlord is giving for evicting you from his house. In a situation where you have not spent up to three years in that premises, your landlord must give you good and convincing reasons you leave the apartment.
Among the reasons must be a situation where the house is no longer habitable and has become a threat to life. It could also be as a result of your actions or inactions that are constituting a big threat to other co-tenant and the community at large.
Anything outside this is unacceptable under the tenancy law. Before a landlord can either increase his rent or evict a tenant, the tenant must have spent nothing less than three years in the house.
If you get a quit notice from your landlord without the above reasons, you need to contact your lawyer and thrash it out in the court of law.
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