How to Lawfully Eject Tenant from your House in Nigeria

Its never easy as a landlord in Nigeria when you have a stubborn tenant who refuses to pay his or her rent and who does not want to leave your house. If you have such a tenant, this article will show you how to lawfully eject a stubborn tenant from your house. You would have to follow the stipulated law so as not to pay heavily in damages as the law gives tenants some advantages over their landlords.

tenant-lawTenants are dully protected by various tenancy and rent control laws in Nigeria. In Lagos for instance, the tenancy law of Lagos state is used and that is why when drafting the tenancy agreement, an experienced lawyer should be involved while due caution must be applied. As a Landlord, you should note the following as the laws on tenancy provide that a tenant who pays his or her rent:

Every 1 month: is given 1 month notice before quitting him
Every 3 months: is given 3 months notice before quitting him
Every 6 months: is given 3 months notice before quitting him
Every 1 year: is given 6 months notice before quitting him.

The above law is subject to tenancy Agreement.

Steps on How To Evict Your Tenant Lawfully

Step 1: If he is already 6 months in arrears of rent, have your lawyer serve him with a notice to quit, according to your agreement with him. The notice to quit is a statutory requirement for the termination of all forms of periodic tenancies. It is a letter and not necessarily a court document.

Contents of Notice to Quit (Notice)

The date to give up possession
The type of tenancy (yearly or monthly etc)
The description of the property with address stipulated clearly
The capacity in which the lawyer is writing


Step 2: if the tenant still refuses to vacate your building, serve him with a notice of owners intention to apply to recover possession.This notice informs the tenant of the intention of the landlord to apply to court and recover the premises from the tenant. It is given for 7 days, within which the tenant must vacate or prepare to go to court.

Contents of Notice should show

The type of tenancy
The description of the property
Grounds and particulars of the claim
7 clear days within which to vacate
The capacity in which the lawyer is writing
The outstanding rent to be paid.

It is at this point that the tenant may decide to move. But if he or she persists, move to the next step.

Step 3: File a claim to a magistrate court within the jurisdiction of the property for recovery of premises. The landlord will need to prove that the tenant is in arrears of rent. Although this will not be important if the relevant notices were properly issued and are in line with the laid down statutory requirements.

Other grounds for Evicting Tenant

  • Breach of any covenant in the tenancy agreement.
  • Use of premises for immoral or illegal purposes.
  • Abandonment of the property.
  • Lack of maintenance on the property
  • Allowing the premises to become a death trap to visitors and neighbors.
  • Tenant constitutes nuisance to the environment or his immediate environment. constantly fighting, constituting nuisance generally.

Finally, If any of the above grounds of eviction in Nigeria is breached, the court will hear the matter, make an order for evicting the tenant as long as it is proven. The court will also award damages and mesne profits to the landlord. It is advisable for tenants on the other hand to abide by the rules so that you won’t be the guilty party so that you can enforce your rights when necessary and avoid future litigation.

Reference: Infoguidenigeria


The Author


I am simply known as Ikenwa Chizoba, a seasoned blogger and the Founder of Nigerian Infopedia. A very simple person who loves writing, reading and research.


Add a Comment
  1. Andy Ubah Vincent

    Will police come and take the person out of my property because it has been six month i served my tenant notice. What will i do to pursue him out of my house? Thanks

    1. Barr Nworie

      Get a lawyer to do it. He knows what to do.

  2. bolaji

    what if a tenant is served quit notice before expiration of his dues is he expected to vacate at the expiration due immediately ones his due expires

    1. It would depend on tenancy agreement between the Landlord and tenant

    2. cross

      Will you pay him agency fee for another house he will rent? If you ain’t paying agency fee for him give him 3 months free to Cater for agency fee that he is going to waste in getting another house.

      1. ojo onaolapo

        Pls sir, after insurance of 7 days to tenant, can the layer evict the tenant without coutcourt order

  3. Kumalo

    I have an uncooperative tenant who out of frustration has refused paying his utility bills, refuses to partake on the monthly sanitation exercise , has not been paying for his yearly tenancy as at when due and always pays in bits whenever he deceides to pay his yearly rent. Right now , my lawyer has served him a notice to vacate within six months. He has been also served with a letter to clear his utility bills within one month. If he fails to clear these bills ( electricity and Lawma) . Do I disconnect him from enjoying these facilities?

    1. Well, it depends on the agreement you made with your tenant in respect to payment of utility bills. Its best you consult your lawyer on that regard. But as for the notice, you are on the right track

  4. mike

    Can I still eject a tenant even when he pays his/her rents but I dont want them in my house for some personal reasons?

    1. No, unless you want to return the rent or if they agree by mutual consent to go

  5. Siaka Sunday

    What do I do if the tenant refuses to receive and acknowledge the letter?

    1. Then you report to the nearby police station or seek legal advice

  6. Okey

    My tenant rent expired in January and I served him quit notice followed by landlord intention to recover property and this is seven months on the process. Will the tenant pay me the rent from the month I reserve him the notice because it’s seven months now

  7. Engr Toyinbo Olusola

    I’m a tenant, I paid my rent along with compulsory electricity bill and water bill for a year. But roughly a month living in the apartment, the landlord disconnect my electricity at will in which I became fed up then reported to police after 7 months in the apartment. He denied removing my light, but he did it again and I invited police over to bear me witness. Police did came to check and confirmed that he did disconnected me while I’ve paid him for the services, they said its a civil case matter and that they can only beg him not to disconnect me again but he still continued disconnecting me at will.
    My rent was about to expire 31 July 2017 ,I received an SMS on 26 July from the landlord stating I should vacate his apartment on 31 July(I wasn’t served a quit notice neither do I acknowledge any) but on the 1st august 2017 he permanently removed my electricity and paste a quit notice on my door stating that I should vacate the premises on 10th august 2017. What should I do? Did he have the right to disconnect my electricity? Did he have the right to disconnect my electricity at will the time my rent(paid along with electricity bill and water bill is still active and the arrangement is inclusive in the receipt given to me)
    What should I do?

    1. This kind of case requires legal attention as he has infringed on your right. My only fear is that you would have reported the case earlier but still seek legal attention immediately. Sorry for the delay in response

  8. Tecla

    Please, where the tenants rent has expired will there still be need to issue him a notice to quit or instead proceed with the 7days owners intention to apply to recover possession. Thanks

  9. My tenancy expires in February 2018. I made part payment of rent which terminated on July 2017 ending. My landlord then brought 7 days quit notice.Please is this right? How many month’s quit notice am i entitle to as a yearly tenant since 2015. Thank you

  10. ikechukwu

    My rent expired on 30/09/2017
    and the landlord collected N50,000:00 out of the N200,000:00 i suppose to pay him and we agreed that i will give him the balance by the end of october, now we had a problem about PHCN bill because PHCN brought bill and he refused to show it to us and asked us to pay N3200:00 per flat and i objected it and i told him that i will not pay until i see the bill and know how much they gave us, rather then giving us the bill he went to his lawyer and they served me a 7day notice to quit. what do i do in this case because i am a yearly tenant. thank you

    1. That is harsh on the part of the landlord. You would need the services of a lawyer to counter the quit notice.

    2. cross

      He can’t win the case in court. Proceed to court and explain your matter to the sitting judge whenever he gave you a court summon letter and claim of plaint. You will still be living in the house and if he does anything to threaten you that is called contempt of court and he will be punished severely for it. The worst that can happen is the court to ask him to give you a 3 month notice to quit.

    3. cross

      He can’t win the case in court. Proceed to court and explain your matter to the sitting judge whenever he gave you a court summon letter and claim of plaint. You will still be living in the house and if he does anything to threaten you that is called contempt of court and he will be punished severely for it. The worst that can happen is the court to ask him to give you a 3 month notice to quit…

  11. carol Abbey

    My rent expires October 6 and I told my landlord I am living the house because I don’t have money to pay for that type of house again and my landlord agreed the next three days wat I received was 7 days notice to quit. and 8 days after I received another letter that I should appear in court please is this the right thing?

    1. cross

      Go to the court and tell the judge you don’t have money and you need time to get money to relocate. The judge must give you at least 3 months because he can’t ask you to move to the street.

  12. Nonso

    My tenant originally moved in as a yearly tenant but at some point reduced to paying half yearly and presently he stopped paying. Should I give him 6 months or 3 months notice?

  13. Prince

    Whose statutory duty is it to pay for the tenancy agreement, landlord or tenant? any relevant laws to that effect?

  14. Chichi

    Pls my house rent just expired this 25th January but am tired of the house due to illigular constructions and scorpions, rats and other thing dat am seen in d house am paying 350k par tired of repairing things in this house which I hv called the law and d landlady to come and plaster d holes but they ignored me.
    Now d landlady disturbing me to pay her while I begged her dat I don’t hv dat money now so dat I will use d opportunity to take my time and rent another apartment.
    Pls what’s should I do and what’s my right bcos am looking for money to back out from the house.

    1. While i understand your plight, i will suggest you leave the house if its not comfortable for you because now a days landlords don’t have time or take the plight of their tenants serious. They are always after their money. While you have tenancy rights, lets not forget that this is nigeria and with this current dispensation, the law hardly holds

  15. ukachi

    My rent expired December 2017, and I lost my job but have hope of getting money to pay my landlord and have discussed with him on that, but eventually he needed money and started telling me to leave his house. what do I do in this aspect.

    1. Honestly, you have to beg your lanlord because your rent has since expired

  16. Victoria

    Pls what is the legal way to eject a tenant who doesn’t pay his electricity bill. He pays about 35% of the bill every month. His rent will expire soon.

    1. patiently wait for the rent to expire. why not disconnect him

  17. Adam

    Rent expired in september last year. 6 month notice was served just before the rent expired without any valid reason. 7 days notice was served at the end of that. What can rights do i have to still remain in said property after these. Please note there was no tenancy agreement at the point of moving into the apartment.

  18. Please, I am the one that told my landlord that i dont have fund to renew my tenancy because the rent is really crazy and the apartment didnt worth it.

    I pay every 6months so i requested for 3months and my landlord inistited on 2 months,
    what do i do.

  19. Adetunji Adeyemi

    I am presently living in a 3-bedroom flat in ibadan where i do pay my rentage yearly without any failure for the past 3 years. My problem now is that the borehole in the building had been faulty since december 2017 and a series of complaints had been sent to both the agent and the owner of the building but up till now nothing is being done, as a matter of fact i told him (agent) that i’m not suppose to pay him my rentage for that 2017 but because they will need money for the repairing that’s why i will pay him and since then, they’ve been making promises of coming to repair the borehole without any success, sinece they are not making any input in repairing it, i withold paying my rentage and now the agent had served me notice to quit, what step(s) should i take with them i.e, both the agent and the property owner, knowing that my family and others within the building had been buying water outside as the weel in the compound can’t even serve any one of us presently. Please advise.

  20. Chichi

    My tenant have never paid electricity bill for the four years he rented the house. When i complained, he said that the bill is very high. This is 15th month, he have not paid a dime as rent.He is a yearly tenant. He have been serve both six months and seven months notice, yet he refused to leave the house, refused to pay rent and refused to pay electricity bill.
    Threatened that if we go to court, he will continue getting adjournment till the number of years he wished to live in the house. What do I do?

  21. I.C.PETERS

    I hv a tenant dat paid 4 a yr shop rent but hv only stayed 4 months,of recent she has been envolve in gossips wt other tenants which has led to quarrel and bridge of family peace.l warned her but she refused to adhere. Pls advice me on next to step bcos l want her out of my compound and l have already contacted a lawyer to issue her quit notice .

  22. Olamilekan Gafar

    I rented a 2bed at #250k yearly and paid #60k for agreement on November 2016, in November 2017 I paid #150k which am to balance #100k to complete a year,but my wife delivered twins along the line which we were in the hospital for 35days and have spent a lot in the hospital,On June 2018 I paid additional #50k making my payment to be #200k.On August 31 2018 I Received Lawyer letter to Quite the apartment.. PLEASE ,I WANT TO KNOW IF AM ENTITLED TO (6) SIX or (3) MONTHS NOTICE ?

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