What is Eviction?
Eviction is the removal of a tenant from a rental property by the Landlord.
There is a right way of evicting a tenant and a wrong way of evicting a tenant.
what is wrongful eviction?
Wrongful eviction means removing a tenant from a property using inappropriate means.
A Landlord can remove a tenant from a property with or without reason.
Reasons for eviction
1. failure to pay rent or late payment
2. Personal use of the property
3. Renovation purposes
4. Tenant constitutes nuisance or using the property for illegal purposes, and
5. Breach of contract
Whatever the reason, when a Landlord requires a tenant to move out of his property, there are some laid down legal procedures he is expected to follow.
In order to evict a tenant the law requires that the tenant is served a Notice to quit. The length of the notice depends on the length of the tenancy as follows
- Tenant at will – 1 week notice
- Monthly tenancy – 1-month notice
- Quarterly tenancy – 3 months’ notice
- Half-yearly tenancy – 3 months’ notice and,
- Yearly tenancy – 6 months’ notice
The Landlord has a duty to serve the above length of notices except where there was an agreement between the Landlord and tenant that the above notices will not apply.
At the expiration of the above notices the Landlord is to serve a 7 days Notice of Owners intention to recover possession
After the expiration of the 7 days notice, the next step would be to file a claim in court to get a warrant of possession which allows the Landlord the right to remove the tenant.
Wrong eviction tactics.
1. forcefully ejecting the tenant from the building.
2. locking the tenant out of the property to deny the tenant access to the property.
3. removing the roof and doors of the property to make it difficult for the tenant to continue residing in the property or to render the property uninhabitable.
4. cutting off power supply ,water and utility
5. breaking and entering into the property of the tenant and making away with the tenants properties to make up for unpaid rent.
The use of any of the above measures to evict a tenant is highly unlawful and illegal, and a clear violation of law.
Also, such a Landlord could be liable for stealing, unlawful damage, breaking and entering, trespass, breach of peace etc
Remedies for wrongful eviction
1. make a report to the police depending on the circumstances of each case.
2. Contact a lawyer to seek appropriate legal advice.
3. Lastly the tenant may choose to accept the eviction despite it being unlawful and find a new property to use.
Have you ever been wrongfully evicted, we would love to hear of your experience.
For Legal Advice Kindly call: +234 705 790 7991