Daily Law Tips (Tip 454) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

HOW TO LEGALLY MAKE LANDLORD PAY BACK OR DEDUCT FROM RENT, MONEY SPENT ON HIS PROPERTY BY TENANT.

Nigeria is a country governed by laws. Many relationships and transactions are regulated by laws (Federal or State laws). The relationship between a LANDLORD and a TENANT is regulated by state laws. So, each state in Nigeria as well as the Federal Capital Territory has its own State Law regulating Landlords and Tenants matters. The State Laws that regulate tenancy are very similar to each other.

Ordinarily, a Landlord and his Tenant can agree that a Tenant should make repairs and spend money on the property of the Landlord and that the Landlord will compensate and pay back same to his Tenant or have his Tenant deduct same from subsequent rent. However, the law and the courts, cannot and will not hold a Landlord liable to compensate and repay his Tenant or allow a Tenant to deduct his expenses from rent, unless there is a WRITTEN CONSENT/AGREEMENT obtained from the Landlord before the repairs/expenses. So, if you want to recover any money spent for your landlord on his property, kindly have your landlord write an agreement or consent with or for you. Even an email, sms, whatsapp or any electronic message is sufficient.

My authorities are sections 1, 2 and 15 of the Recovery of Premises Act 1954, The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 and other similar State Laws across Nigeria.

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