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How To Quit A Tenant In Nigeria

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How to Quit a Tenant in Nigeria

As a landlord or property owner, the decision to terminate a tenancy can be a difficult one. However, there are times when it becomes necessary to evict a tenant from your property. Eviction is a legal process, and it is important to follow the proper procedures to avoid legal issues. In this article, we will discuss how to quit a tenant in Nigeria.

Understanding the Legal Process

Before you begin the eviction process, it is important to understand the legal process involved. The first step is to provide written notice to the tenant. The notice should state the reasons for the eviction and the date by which the tenant must vacate the property. The notice period varies depending on the reason for eviction and the tenancy agreement.

If the tenant refuses to vacate the property after the notice period has expired, you can then proceed to file a case in court. The court will then issue a writ of possession, which gives you the legal right to take possession of the property.

Reasons for Eviction

There are several reasons why a landlord may want to evict a tenant. Some of these reasons include:

  1. Non-payment of rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent as agreed, the landlord may choose to terminate the tenancy.

  2. Breach of tenancy agreement: If the tenant violates the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as subletting the property or causing damage to the property, the landlord may choose to evict them.

  3. Nuisance: If the tenant's behavior is causing a disturbance to other tenants or neighbors, the landlord may choose to evict them.

  4. Illegal activities: If the tenant is involved in illegal activities such as drug trafficking or prostitution, the landlord may choose to terminate the tenancy.

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Serving Notice to Quit

Once you have decided to terminate the tenancy, the next step is to serve the tenant with a notice to quit. The notice should be in writing and should include the following information:

  1. The reason for the notice
  2. The date by which the tenant must vacate the property
  3. A statement that legal action will be taken if the tenant fails to vacate the property by the specified date
  4. Your contact information as the landlord

The notice should be served to the tenant in person, or by registered mail. It is important to keep a record of the date and method of service, as this may be required in court.

Filing a Case in Court

If the tenant fails to vacate the property after the notice period has expired, you can then proceed to file a case in court. The court will require the following documents:

  1. The tenancy agreement
  2. The notice to quit
  3. Evidence of service of the notice to quit
  4. Any other relevant documents, such as receipts for rent payments, photographs of the property, and witness statements

Once the court receives the documents, a hearing will be scheduled. The tenant will be notified of the hearing date and time, and will have the opportunity to defend themselves.

Conclusion

Evicting a tenant can be a difficult and stressful process. It is important to follow the legal procedures to avoid any legal issues. Remember to provide proper notice to the tenant, keep records of all communications, and seek legal advice if necessary.

FAQ

  1. How long does the notice period have to be?
    The notice period varies depending on the reason for eviction and the tenancy agreement. It can be anywhere from 7 to 30 days.

  2. Can I evict a tenant without a reason?
    No, you must have a valid reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or breach of the tenancy agreement.

  3. Can I change the locks to prevent the tenant from entering the property?
    No, changing the locks without the tenant's consent is illegal and can lead to legal issues.

  4. Can I collect rent while the eviction process is ongoing?
    Yes, you can continue to collect rent until the tenant vacates the property or the court orders them to do so.

  5. How long does the eviction process take?
    The eviction process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the case and the court's schedule.

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