Only court has right to evict tenant not landlords – ERCAAN Chairman

By Damilola Kushimo

Following the practice of some landlords to evict the tenants who could not afford their rents during the COVID- 19 lockdown, the Chairman of Estate and Rent Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), Okota/Isolo zone, Mr. Olugbemiro Akinlosotu, has warned that only the court has the authority to give order to evict a defaulting tenant.

While speaking with our correspondent, Akinlosotu said though, the type of relationship between a landlord and his tenant may determine how the issue of delay in payment of rent would be handled by both parties especially during this hard times.

He reiterated that regardless of the circumstance and breach of agreement in whatsoever means between both parties during this time, the court reserves the order to evict any tenant whose rent is due.

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He said: “Though this time has been hard on everyone in every manner that concerns our usual daily activities, no doubt some people are still making headways because the lockdown was in one way or the other to their advantage. The lockdown is not really an excuse to owe rent because for someone who pays money annually, he should have been saving up to renew his rent since last year that he paid the last one but, it’s unfortunate that many people will leverage on the lockdown to delay their payment, even if they have the money.

”Be that as it may, the court reserves the right and order to evict any tenant for any breach of rental agreement, especially as it concerns payment. Any step outside court order taken by the landlord can be said to be illegal or criminal.”

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He explained further that while some of the landlords have shown consideration to their tenants by taking it easy on them, some landlords have been sending notice beforehand.

“Both decisions are understandable because they are subjective and also have to do with the prior relationship between the tenant and the landlord as well as the tenants’ payment record before this time.”

He, however, advised that both parties should have a clear understanding about the situation and settle any issue at hand amicably without needing to resort to violent act.

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