HOW TO SERVE 7 DAYS NOTICE ON TENANTS
By Tuebi S.O. Egbuson Esq
Associate, Bezaleel Chambers International
Firstly, what is 7 days’ notice? Simply it is the notice of Owner’s Intention to apply to Court to recover possession of the property (it follows after a notice to quit). As a Landlord in Nigeria, you need to stay on your toes in order to not be taken for granted by your tenants of your demised property. Often at times, tenants renege/default on the agreed tenancy agreement. Therefore, in order to recover premises, there are certain steps prescribed by law that one must take as a landlord to successfully recover premises. One of those steps is the service of 7 days’ notice. This excerpt shall describe the intricacies and common misconceptions on serving 7 days’ notice.
Who Can Serve The 7 days’ Notice?
It is a common misconception that a court bailiff must serve the 7 days’ notice! This is probably because, only a court bailiff can lawfully eject a tenant from a demised property (PLEASE DO NOT ARRANGE THUGS TO FORCEFULLY EJECT A TENANT OR REMOVE THE ROOF OF THE PROPERTY TO FRUSTRATE THE TENANT, IT COULD LEAD TO PROSECUTION AND MAY FACE A JAIL TERM). However, service of the 7 days’ notice can be done by you a landlord or your agent (Lawyer, caretaker etc). Thus, said person has to paste the said notice on the gate or building in question and for further evidence, take a picture of what you’ve pasted, capturing the house or building number appropriate to the demised property in question, then send said picture to tenant.
Note that you must have duly served a notice to quit on the tenant before serving 7 days’ notice otherwise known as owner’s intention to recover premises. The timeframe for valid eviction notices can be determined by the tenancy agreement, but if the agreement fails to specify said timeframe, the timeframe will be determined by the operation of law based on the period of the tenancy and the mode of payment of rent as follows:
- If the tenancy is on a weekly basis, you are entitled to 7 days’ Notice to Quit
- Tenancy at will – 7 days’ notice to quit
- Monthly tenancy – 1-month notice to quit
- Quarterly tenancy – 3 months’ notice to quit
- Half-yearly tenancy – 3 months’ notice to quit
- Yearly tenancy – 6 months’ notice to quit.
CONCLUSION & ADVICE
Having abided with the aforementioned, you can be rest assured that the 7 days’ notice would’ve been duly served. The notice will communicate your intention to recover the property not less than 7 days after the notice is served. Essence being that it gives your tenant adequate time to evacuate the premises. The 7 days’ notice is to be calculated from the day after the service of the notice on the tenant and not from the day when it was served. If it is served before a Quit Notice or during the lifespan of a Quit Notice, it is thus rendered invalid. I advise the following;
- Do not be hasty to personally evict or frustrate a troublesome tenant.
- Always seek the counsel of a legal practitioner, for both advice and drafting of necessary documents as all cases are unique in their individual way.
For Further enquiries/clarifications contact; Email; firstname.lastname@example.org tel; +234 701 22 0819 office; No 1 Durban Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria.
- Sections 7, 8 & 9 of the Recovery of Premises Act 1945, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (ABUJA) and other similar tenancy laws across the states in Nigeria.
- Onyekachi Umah ‘Effect of a Notice To Quit in Nigeria’ (Learnnigerianlaws.com, August 3, 2018)<https://sabilaw.org/daily-law-tips-by-onyekachi-umah-esq-tip-156-effect-of-a-notice-to-quit-in-nigeria/ > Accessed 13 October, 2021.
- Edoabasi ‘Udo Landlord’s And Tenant’s Frequently Asked Questions’ (https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/landlord-tenant–leases/664400/landlord39s-and-tenant39s-frequently-asked-questions , 16 January, 2018) Accessed 13 October, 2021.