The Lagos tenancy law is awesome. Yet, it is not without some shortcomings. This is not to say that the law is not of immense benefit to Lagosians. The Lagos Tenancy Bill is filled with some disadvantages in one way or another. These disadvantages have overshadowed the real intent of the law. In the following paragraphs, my disagreement will be shown in highlights.
ALSO READ: Introduction to the Lagos State Tenancy Law
I disagree with the Section 1 (3) which exempts some areas like Apapa, Ikeja GRA, Ikoyi and Victoria Island from the law.
I feel it favours only rich in the society since most of them leave in those areas, it creates some sort of segregation between the high and low-class people in the state.
The Section 4 of the tenancy law is a good step to saving tenants from landlords who collect rent in advance often in excess of one year but I don’t think the state is ready for that now because as it is now housing demands exceeds supply. This law would only increase the cost of the lease, making it exorbitant for medium and small income earners as landlords would not want to be at the losing end. Landlords will find it very difficult maintaining their properties thereby resulting into physical, social, functional and economic obsolescence.
Section 10 of the law is a welcome development on accountability of service charge fund, but law fails to allow consequences attributable where a landlord fails to submit this bi-annual account and also the options open to a tenant who is so denied.
CHECK: PROPERTIES FOR RENT IN LAGOS
The new Law also contains provisions on the settlement of professional fees. A routine practice in tenancy agreements in Lagos is for the tenant to be billed and required to settle the professional fees of the landlord’s agent but Section 11 of the Lagos Tenancy Law now makes it the responsibility of any party who engages the services of a professional in this instance to settle the fees of that professional. The Law once again creates another lacuna by failing to define the word “professional”, thus leaving this section open to manipulation, especially since the Law also uses and defines the word “agent” to describe a person employed by the landlord in letting or leasing the premises. The law is also silent on the consequences facing a landlord who demands this payment from a tenant.
I feel the process in which landlord recovers possessions of his premises is long and time wasting I suggest some processes be removed as part of the life of the property is lost going through all the procedures.