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Nigerian Tenancy Agreement: All You Need To Know

Can you imagine signing a contract that includes being barred from cooking in your apartment or that says having guests over at a certain time is prohibited? Or an agreement that says everything that gets spoilt is your responsibility? Or that you can be kicked out at any time of the day? Tenancy agreements in Nigeria can be long and complicated documents for some people, but they don’t need to be for you. 

When you find an available apartment and agree to pay rent for one year at a time, knowing nothing about the conditions of your tenancy could be a tragedy waiting to happen. Let us educate you more on tenancy agreements in Nigeria. 

The Nigerian Tenancy Agreement Bill

The Nigerian government has introduced new legislation to regulate tenancy agreements. The bill is expected to provide more clarity to the right and responsibilities of both the Landlord and Tenant. 

Individual states in Nigeria also have their tenancy laws. You can read the updated Lagos State Tenancy Law here.

Some lawyers draft the tenancy agreement using the Nigeria Property Centre document service. While some draft it using the state Act and other valid samples backed up by law.

Some of the agreement involves the landlord or agent of a property with a tenant to rent that says how much money should be given in advance and where it goes, as well as what happens if someone wants to leave early without paying upfront so they will have protection against their own deposit being used for unpaid bills.

These agreements make sure tenants know what charges come into play every time they take a new 1-2 month rental period, not just during renewal dates (every year).

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a common agreement between landlords and tenants. Tenants must adhere to specific guidelines, such as paying rent on time or keeping the property clean while living there in order for them to continue living in their homes.

While there is no law for landlords and tenants, the lawyer writes many documented tenancy agreements between the two parties. It establishes what both parties will provide and receive from one another.

The absence of a tenancy agreement in a tenancy relationship does not mean that both Landlord and Tenant have no rights in the tenancy. Landlords and tenants have implied rights.

However, a tenancy agreement is essential because it further protects both landlords and tenants, and expands on implied rights. Having a tenancy agreement is very important. You can also learn more about Land surveys in one of our articles

Typically, a Nigerian Tenancy Agreement is written by a Lawyer, which is then reviewed by the Landlord. 

Documents and keys for a home.
Tenancy Agreement.

Who Creates The Tenancy Agreement Terms?

Tenants get the terms of the tenancy from their landlord, who owns the property. The lawyer charges for the tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement will be drafted by a lawyer with whom the landlord chooses to work with.

What Are The Rights of a Tenant in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a country with many ethnic groups. While most tenancy agreements are straightforward, some people still do not find them easy to understand. We advice Tenants to get in touch with a lawyer who can assist them in reviewing their agreement before they sign it. 

The rights of a tenant include:

  1. Request for habitable premises due to flooding or damages
  2. Privacy
  3. Freedom from any sort of disturbances
  4. Use of certain areas which are common lawfully, etc.

What a Tenancy Agreement Should Contain

You need to ensure that your tenancy agreement includes the following terms and information, at the very least:

  1. Tenant’s identity and address for the Landlord
  2. The property address
  3. The commencement and termination dates of the tenancy/lease
  4. The rent amount
  5. Additional charges, such as legal fees, agency commissions, security deposits, service charges, etc.
  6. Tenant and landlord obligations
  7. Tenant’s responsibilities regarding bills

There are more terms than those listed above. These Tenancy agreements are an extremely important part of any rental agreement, as they govern the relationship between both parties. 

As a tenant, insist on signing a tenancy agreement form to avoid unnecessary issues.

Tenants’ Responsibilities

Here are some responsibilities on the part of Tenant:

  1. Abiding by safety regulations
  2. Respecting neighbours’ rights of privacy and peace when using shared spaces like hallways, staircases, etc.
  3. Returning all keys upon departure from residence, etc.

Are there anythings we missed with regards to the Nigerian Tenancy Agreement?

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