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Rights of a tenant against rent increment by landlord

Rights of a tenant against rent increment by landlord

A lawyer posted on Twitter the other day that “Your landlord cannot wake up any day and just unilaterally increase your house rent, both of you must agree to it first before he can do that”. This post generated a lot of controversies and stirred a lot of arguments from netizens; some social media users expressed unbelief over this and some are just plain ignorant about it.

Some can’t believe that a house owner or a Landlord (as we prefer to call them) have no right to increase his house rent while the rent of a tenant still subsists without first consulting the tenant. It sounds like “a story for the gods” but that is what the law says. A landlord cannot increase a house rent when a tenant is still in occupation of the house without first approaching the tenant and coming into agreement with the tenant. Yes, you read right.

In this part of the world, tenants, especially the uneducated or semi-educated ones have no idea that there is something called “tenant rights” which gives a tenant right against the landlord and protects the tenant from the oppression of the landlord. Some of such rights of a tenant are; the right to enjoy peaceful possession of the property, the right against trespass from anybody including the landlord or the house owner, and also the right of the tenant against exorbitant and unnecessary rent increment from the landlord.

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A landlord is expressly prohibited by law to visit the house of a tenant without first getting the permission of the tenant. If the landlord enters the apartment of the tenant without the tenant’s permission the Landlord has committed trespass and breached the right to privacy of the tenant which is actionable by law. The tenant is to also enjoy peaceful possession of the apartment he’s occupying devoid of disturbances from anybody including the owner of the house.

When a tenant’s rent is increased arbitrarily without the landlord first consulting the tenant over it, the tenant is to approach the court for the court to declare that the increase in the rent by the landlord is unreasonable. This is the succinct provision of 37.-(1) of the Lagos State Tenancy Law of 2011 and it provides thus: Subject to any agreement to the contrary, an existing tenant may apply as in form TL 11 to the Court for an Order declaring that the increase in rent payable under a tenancy agreement is unreasonable.

By the provision of the section of the law, a Landlord cannot just increase his house rent based on his mood without going through the due process of notifying the occupant of the property and negotiating the proposed increment with the tenant, and getting the express approval or nod of the occupant over the rent increment. A tenant is to challenge any arbitrary and unilateral increase of rent by the landlord immediately after it happens.

Please note that this piece is not made to encourage in any way tenants to owe rents. Tenants should also do their parts of the bargain like paying their rents as at when due to be able to enjoy their rights in law because he who comes before equity must come with clean hands.

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28 THOUGHTS ON Rights of a tenant against rent increment by landlord

  1. If only Nigerian landlord will adhere to this law, I want to pay my rent only for landlord to tell me that my he has increased the rent from #140k to #180k , this is not fair att all.

  2. There should be provision for percentage of increments, how can a landlord give 100% increments and there’s no law stopping he/she? In the US, the landlord can only increase with 5% and the inflation rates are to be considered before that 5% increment. Our economy is not doing well but our landlords are increasing rent because of the agreement, commission and damages that they will collect from new tenants ones you leave. The Lagos state government need to do more on this

  3. Two days ago my landlady brought a letter to my wife ,only to find out it was increment from 300k to 500k,which will commence in the next payment.

    • That is what an facing now. My rent will expire next month and my landlord just informed me two days aga that my rent that is 300k is now 500k

  4. I haven’t spent up to I and half years in the apartment I live and my landlord just brought a notice of 100% increment in house rent. The notice also include a section that requires me to sign if I agree to pay, it also requires me to sign if I disagree and pack out at end of the year. Is this reasonable at all?

  5. I haven’t spent up to I and half years in the apartment I live and my landlord just brought a notice of 100% increment in house rent. The notice also include a section that requires me to sign if I agree to pay, it also requires me to sign if I disagree and pack out at end of the year. Is this reasonable at all?

    • You are not supposed to sign anything meet any lawyer to write a reply to the landlord accordingly as regards your right as tenant,if there is tangible reason for the increment like a major renovation you can say how much you are willing to pay,if not decline the increment and the law does not permit him to eject you as he wish the matter can drag for the next 3 years,lawyer will not take much to write him say 5 to 10k depend on the lawyer you approach

      • Can you assist me with this as I’m currently going through same issue..my apartment is increased from 850k payment barely a year ago to 1.4million..humans are wicked.

  6. My rent is 700k and there was a tenancy agreement which stated that after 3yrs there will be 10% increment of the last amount paid. Only for the lawyer to bring notice that the rent has been increased to 900k.

  7. My rent is 36000 naira per year and there was a tenancy agreement without indicating it will be increased,she didn’t tell me the house rent will be increase after one to two years, this month by ending is the expiry date and the house rent and a noticed of increase in house rent is given to me from #3000 per month to 5000 per month, what should I do?

  8. I only called the Landlord to send me his account details for me to renew my rent on exactly the expiration date of the rent & that was when he was verbally telling me that the rent of 100k has now increased to 250k. Can you imagine that?
    What should I do pls?

  9. My rent will expire by February 15, 2024 and my landlord gave me a letter of increment of rent from #80,000-#200,000, pls I need help. What’s the right thing to do pls.

  10. I normally renew my rent payment every January, last year November my rent payment was increased without any renovation on the apartment and both agree verbally. This year again without any work on the apartment the landlord now inform me verbally and authoritativelly that my rent has been increased from 170k to 250k. Please I need your advice on what to do. Thanks

  11. My rent is to be renew on March 2024,my house owner sent a letter of an increment which be effective by 2025,he increased last two years now another increment,we enter the house with #200,000 to #250,000,now to #350,000.on boys quarter,without any aggreament,he will just wake up and give letter of an increment,please help.

  12. I use to renew my house rent March every year. 2023 November, he increased the rent, now 2024 January, he still sent his caretaker to inform us that the rent has been increased by 30,000 thousand naira. What do you think we should do please?

  13. Pls I need help here, I got an apartment April 2023 for #200,000 and by July 2023 of the same year an increment notice of #250,000 was brought. I told the landlord that I can’t pay such amount for the rent and besides I just moved in he can’t just increase rent like that so he said he will allow me pay #200,000 in 2024 that by 2025, it will then be #250,000.

  14. You can get a lawyer to do a letter to your respective landlords just as the poster rightly said.If you are in Lagos send a whatsapp message to:08178453684(Lagos residents only)

  15. I just got a letter from my landlord that my rent of 300k is increased to 600k and it wil take effect by April 1st that am meant to renew my rent,please what can I do

  16. My land lady just woke up this morning and increased my rent from 120k to 300k how is this possible or does he actually want us to pack out

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