1.1 Background of the study
With daily explosion of the Nigerian population, there is a corresponding need for houses to accommodate this growing population. Therefore, it has always been the need for individuals, businesses and governments to build and rent or rent houses to fill that void. These houses could be used for residential or commercial purposes. This made it imperative for regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants to avoid arbitrary increments in rents, illegal expulsion and illegal detention on the premises. The local recovery procedure is largely governed by laws
In the lease, Landlord hands on exclusive possession of the property to the lessee for an agreed period of time, in exchange for payment of rent; on expiry of the lease period, the exclusive possession of the property back to the owner.
On the other hand, it should be noted that to the extent that the property back to the owner, there is still a procedure for the recovery of this property of the tenant. The landlord can not without using the means provided by law and evicts the tenant from the property. Without a doubt, it has been charged by a few quarters that the laws for the recovery of premises tend to be more protective of the tenant, the landlord; However it is important to note that the expulsion is in accordance with the means legally employed will not prevent an employer to repossess his property.
Therefore, an owner who wishes to recover its premises from a tenant must comply strictly with the provisions of these laws.
In the lease, the hands of owner exclusive possession of the property to the lessee for an agreed period of time, in exchange for payment of rent; on expiry of the lease period, the exclusive possession of the property back to the owner. It should be noted that, insofar as property Returns to owner; there is still a procedure for the recovery of this property of the tenant.
Land in urban zones in Nigeria is uncommon. Everything men need, however numerous can not bear the cost of it. The forces of the market supply and demand would give the owners a negotiating advantage over their tenants. This would go against contemporary notions of social justice and public policy. Therefore, the laws have been used to tip the scales in favor of the tenant. Protection granted to tenants by the different recovery of premises and rent control laws.
Originally, the main law for the recovery of the premises under a lease was terminated recovering local ordinance. With the advent of Lyttleton Constitution, a federal structure was adopted to Nigeria, following on which the different regions have their own legislatures. Each then reproduces the original prescription region. In 1968, with the creation of twelve states the four regions, each of twelve states have inherited all the laws in force in the region from which it was created. Subsequently, as more states were created, the various acts enabling provided applicable laws of State in which the new state was created to implement the new mutatis mutandis to the state
As regards the applicable law, but with the omission of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, recovery of the Premises Act and the Rent Restriction Act, which once managed recuperation of ownership of local non-residential and residential in the federation, respectively, there are more no federal law regulating the recovery of possession of the premises. Each state now has its own law on the recovery of premises, although all are similar in terms of the recovery procedure. In some states of Nigeria, one law covers both residential and non-residential premises and others are separated laws. However, because of the premium placed on the topic of recovery of residential premises, most states of the federation have separate laws governing residential premises.
As mentioned above, the procedure for recovery of possession of the premises is related in all states apart from for slight differences not in fact correlated to the procedure itself. These variations will be discussed where appropriate. For the purposes of our discussion in this article, the focus will be on the technique for recuperation of ownership of private premises and for convenience, reference will be our main tributaries, “Lagos 10 Abuja11 laws.
As a rule, the Occupancy Act Lagos assumes a noiseless part in deciding the terms of a contract or manages the behavior of the gatherings in that. This is the restrictive right of the parties. As long as the parties find acceptable contractual terms, the law will not interfere and enforce the terms. The application of the strict use a relationship landlord / tenant, it would mean that the owner is free to leave his property on any terms that it considers appropriate. It may set the duration of the lease, indicate the desired rent and payment intervals and can terminate the relationship and repossess the property in any way he chooses, without any restriction of the law.
These broad discretions are prone to abuse of any owner and could be detrimental to the interests of tenants. It therefore becomes imperative, in circumstances such as those of the law to eliminate this imbalance by making procurements overseeing the rights and commitments of the contracting parties and, in the case of an owner, limit the rights on the property once that is granted to a tenant.
The new Lagos Tenancy law generated considerable public interest since its adoption, much about the question of advanced rent that the law frowns. Article 4 of the new law, it is illegal for a landlord to require or receive a rent of more than one year at a sitting tenant annual , six (6) months at a monthly sitting tenant and one year of a new or a so-called tenant. It is also illegal for new and offer tenants to pay rents beyond a year.
Regarding competent court, the relevant legislation of each state prescribes the jurisdiction to hear questions of recovery. In some states, rent tribunals are set up for this purpose and magistrates’ courts or traditional courts are excluded. In other states, the magistrates’ courts retain jurisdiction. In all states, however, the High Court has jurisdiction over issues of recovery! However, even at that there is a deliberate attempt by certain laws to discourage the start of the action in the High Court where the case is such that it can be judged by the trial court. Someone could find this position in Abuja and Anambra state, where it is normal that the expenses of such activity won’t be recompensed to the High Court for an amount greater than what is recoverable in the Magistrates Court. Exceptions to this rule are where the action is a claim in good faith duty under Article 5 of the relevant laws and where a question of law is involved, which is recommended to be tried by the High Court.
In Recovery Procedure, generally, through the precepts of Nigerian law, the landlord can evict the tenant if he is in debt or not throwing it out of its premises. Legislatures in return for our conservative Act land use adopted series of tenants-friendly laws and laws. A tenant can be evicted from his apartment, unless there is strict compliance by the owner with appropriate recovery of local law. A diligent tenant before agreeing and signing a rental contract should carefully read and understand in detail the provisions of its agreement documents. Better yet, the counsel may be sought to help interpret the reading and content of the agreement. It is worth recalling the law does not and would not care to know that the tenant did not understand or never knew the law before signing his contract. When a tenant signs a legal agreement that limits his rights; it will be bound by such an agreement in the absence of any element of vitiating. The procedure for recovery of possession of the premises as indicated above is strict and technical and a violation of it can be fatal to the whole procedure. There are basically four major steps for the recovery of premises including:
i) the meaning of the statutory notice;
ii) introduction of an action before a competent court;
iii) the hearing of the action and the proof of ingredients required by law and
iv) a judgment / order of possession.