Here in this post, we are going to bring you detailed information on landlord and tenant agreement in Nigeria. We hope you find this informative.
You and I want to own a house in our names one day, lay down the rules and get paid for providing shelter for an individual or a family, whether or not they like it.
That’s a good dream. Well, now that you are still an obsequious tenant who pays rent so as not to be kicked out of the premises, it’s high time you learnt certain things such as an agreement and it contents, to avoid being cheated on before you become a Landlord.
Who Is A Tenant?
A Tenant is a person who is granted a right to exclusive possession of a property by another, for a period less than that which the landlord has in the property.
The document which contains the granting of a right by a landlord to a tenant is called a lease. A Tenancy Agreement is drafted when a tenant requires a lease below three years which is a short term lease. A long term lease is above three years and a Lease must be drafted in that respect to be executed as a Deed.
Who Is A Landlord?
While you are paying rents, some people are already at the receiving end as Landlords. A Landlord also has rights in an agreement between him and his tenants.
A Landlord is a person who grants another person a right to exclusive possession of a property for a period less than that of his own.
What Is An Agreement?
Legally, an agreement is a written or oral contract between two or more people, having an intention for such contract to be legally binding.
Such agreement contains the desires of both parties, binding the parties by the contents of the agreement. In practice, it is the landlord who drafts the lease that will contain the agreements and other things between the parties.
The Landlord’s Lawyer gives it to the Tenant’s Lawyer for a review and if the tenant’s Lawyer is of the opinion that his client is at a disadvantage, he can point out the part he feels dissatisfied for immediate amendments.
For an agreement to create the relationship between a landlord and tenant, it must contain the following:
1. A grant of exclusive possession
The agreement must have in it stated, that the landlord is granting the tenant exclusive possession of the property. This means total ownership and control of the property, where the tenant can exclude everyone from his property including his landlord for an agreed period of time.
2. A grant for a fixed or periodic term
In the agreement, the duration of the tenancy must be certain and definite. It must have a commencement and an end date to avoid conflict in the future and to calculate the period for which the term is granted.
3. A stated rent
The amount payable must be stated in the agreement to prevent gazumping by the landlord or the tenant. The parties are bound by the price agreed on in the agreement which shouldn’t vary arbitrarily.
4. Identification of Parties
This may sound frivolous but the importance of stating who is who in an agreement is as important as air is to man. When an issue arises, it becomes easy for the presiding Judge or Mediator to know who the landlord and tenant are so as to know what each person is entitled to.
5. The property to be leased
The property to be leased must be stated in the agreement for certainty and to avoid confusion. This way, it is clear to everyone what property is being rented out and that which isn’t.
Other Contents Of A Lease
Apart from the aforementioned, every lease should contain covenants, conditions, provisos and options.
These are the obligations or duties of a landlord and a tenant in a lease. It is necessary for them to be contained in the agreement for each party to know their rights and limitations throughout the duration of the tenancy.
For example, the document must contain some statements from the landlord covenanting or promising the tenant quiet enjoyment of the property, a house fit for habitation, covenant to insure etc.
In that same document must contain statements from the tenant, promising or covenanting to pay rents, to keep the property in a tenantable (good enough for another tenant) condition, covenant not to sublet the property of the landlord without his permission, covenant to pay tax, rates, covenant to repair, etc.
It must contain their desires, issues that might be a problem later must be ironed out to avoid conflict.
b. Conditions or Proviso
Are statements in a lease, stating that a lease may be determined before the actual date of expiration if certain things take place.
It’s like a covenant. It contains what the tenant and the landlord are obligated to do. For example, a Lease should contain an option to renew clause, option to purchase reversion, rent review clause etc.
As simple as this may be, do not to be deceived. You are advised to get a competent Lawyer to help in drafting professionally, an agreement like this.
All that has been stated in this article is only a summary of what should be in a Landlord and Tenant Agreement. It is just a portion of it so as not to bore you with legal jargons.
For example, some other clauses which must be contained in a lease agreement are recitals, testatum, consideration, parcel, habendum, reddendum, testimonium, execution, attestation, etc. They are all pivotal in the drafting of a lease such that a mistake or an error could cost one of the parties or both a lot.
Read Also: 13 Most Popular Business Laws in Nigeria
Tenancy has to do with Conveyancing and the Laws governing it are a lot, containing multifarious rules and regulations.
A Lease should be drafted by a conveyance connoisseur due to the technicality involved in this kind of deed. There are certain provisions which should be found in a Lease such that its absence can be detrimental to one or both parties. It pertinent to state here that anything that has to do with conveyancing must be in writing.
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