How To Write A Quit Notice To A Tenant In Nigeria
Quit notice, or a notice to quit is simply a letter by the owner of a property otherwise known as the landlord to the person using or living in the property, otherwise known as the tenant, proclaiming the termination of their agreement and ordering an end to the usage of the property by the tenant within a stipulated time frame.
Are you stuck in a disagreement with your tenant and your attempts at resolving it have persistently kissed the dust? Do you now wish to serve them with a quit notice but are lost on how to craft a quit notice that reflects on your venerable landlord personality and that does conform with the provisions of the law?
Come along as I take you on a step by step guide on how to write a comprehensive quit notice that conforms with the provisions of the Nigerian law and is lacking of embarrassing grammatical and morphological blunders.
1. Address the tenant by their name as written on the tenancy agreement
If you’re planning to serve a tenant a notice to quit, chances are high that have issues with them. Don’t approach your quit notice with a mindset to either harm them or get back at them for harming through the content of your letter.
So rather than address the tenant like this:
Bia, Mr Man,
You should address the tenant like this:
Segun Tochukwu Abdullahi,
Serving a notice to quit sometimes does precede tiresome court processes, and you wouldn’t want to leave any loophole for your estranged tenant to exploit to your disadvantage.
2. Go straight to the point. Let the tenant know the purpose of the letter at once
You should start your letter by telling the tenant that you want them to quit using your property.
So your letter should start like this:
You are by this letter directed to quit living at my 2 bedroom flat located at House No 14, Kola Musa Street, Birnin Kebbi not later than 5th May 2018.
You shouldn’t waste time asking for example how their family is doing. After all, if you so much care about the well-being of their family you won’t be evicting them from your property.
3. Give the tenant reason(s) that necessitated the notice to quit
Don’t end the letter by just stating that you want them to quit your property. Go a step further in the second paragraph and give the tenant reason(s) you want them out of your property.
Reasons could be non-payment of rent, constituting a nuisance to neighbours, or usage of the property for unlawful activities.
The second paragraph should thus read like below:
Complaints by neighbours and my personal findings reveal that you have turned your apartment into a wrestling arena, starving the neighbourhood of peace. You have refused to stop despite several warnings. This is not something that I or your neighbours can tolerate any longer.
4. Your letter should be written for ease of understanding of the tenant
You should not start flaunting the Soyinka side of you while writing a quit notice. It should be written in simple English — or any language that the tenant can understand, otherwise they might claim to not have understood the content of your letter.
So, rather than use such lines as below:
The regularity of the cacophonous emissions from your space has shredded the last piece of our tolerance.
Use the one below:
We can no longer tolerate the noise coming from your apartment.
5. Don’t forget the date when you want the tenant out
This depends on what is on the tenancy agreement. In a case where the tenancy agreement made no mention of circumstances where a notice to quit can be issued, the provisions of the laws of the state come into effect.
For example, in Lagos State, if a tenant pays rent annually, the legal life span for a notice to quit that can be served such tenant is six months.
You should make sure that the deadline to quit that you give your tenant conforms with the provisions of the laws of your state
For more information on the legal time frame for quit notice in Nigeria, check out How Many Months Is Quit Notice In Nigeria?
6. Make a copy of the notice for yourself, for record sake
You should keep a copy of the notice you’re about to serve your tenant for the sake of record. It just might prove useful in a court process that just might ensue.
7. Serve the notice to the tenant
Common practice in Nigeria is to paste the notice on the front door of the tenant. This is good, but could be supplemented by handing it over to the tenant.
In a case where the tenant expects the notice and tries to dodge receiving it, the landlord can hand it over to any adult member of the tenant’s household.