Landlords in Nigeria often complain that tenants don’t pay their rent on time. The most common problem is that the tenants would not pay for two months or more. A few of them would even refuse to move out of the house just because they couldn’t afford the rent.
Landlords To Tenants Advice For New Landlords In Nigeria To Be Safe From Tenant-Landlords Palava.
As a landlord, you should know that late payment of rent or refusal to pay rent is one of the most common problems you will face. Here are some ways to avoid these problems:
1) Run A Credit Check
If you are renting out your property, then it is your right to run a credit check on your prospective tenant. This will ensure that they can pay the rent on time and it will also help you judge whether they are likely to damage your property.
2) Verify Source Of Incomes
Landlords should make sure the tenant’s source of income is legal, verifiable, and stable before renting to them. When you are ready to enter into a contract with a tenant, make sure that you have all necessary documents, including proof of payment of a job or business.
You don’t want to rent your apartment to some fraudsters or students whose parents are not there to pay their rent or who are yet to get a job. Except otherwise, you choose to run a charitable organization.
3) Ensure Tenant Is Not In Debts
Make sure that your tenant can provide proof that he/she is not bankrupt or owes any debt to anyone else before entering into an agreement with him/her.
After all, if they owe someone money and they suddenly fall behind with their rent, it will be down to you to make up the shortfall. This could mean losing a lot of money quickly. Money that could otherwise have been spent on paying your mortgage.
4) Ensure They Can Afford Children’s Bills
Make sure that your tenant has enough money to pay for his/her children’s school fees, especially if he/she has children with him/her.
As a landlord, you manage your property, ensuring rent is collected, and keeping the property in good condition. Being a landlord is not a simple task.
If the family renting your property does not have enough to finance your children’s educations and still pay rent, chances are they’ll prioritize their children’s education over your rent.
5) Make Your Tenants Happy
If your tenants are happy with their accommodation, they will keep paying rent on time and make fewer demands. It is, therefore, in your interest to find out what your tenants want and do all you can to make them feel at home.
Be responsive to tenant needs. Landlords who respond quickly when their tenants have a problem are rewarded with long-term renters who pay on time. Try not to give tenants a reason to worry that their issue won’t be resolved by contacting them promptly with a solution. For example, if they have a request for repairs, meet with them immediately and let them know what you’re going to do about it.
If you have a maintenance person who visits regularly or you can hire someone quickly when there’s an emergency, this will help build trust among your tenants so they’ll know they won’t have to wait long for repairs.
6) Learn About Landlord and Tenant Law
There are different laws governing landlord and tenant relationships in different countries. There are also various laws that govern the landlord and tenant relationship here in Nigeria. It also varies by state.
You need to make sure that you know them all before renting out your property. Once you rent out your property, you cannot afford not to follow any of these laws and make the mistake of causing undue hardship on your tenants.
Many landlords think they can wake up any day and throw the tenants’ properties outside without a court order. Specifically in Lagos State, it’s highly prohibited to use force in chasing tenants out of your property or threaten them. You might be convicted when reported.
7) Get Clearance Papers
Be sure to get any necessary clearance certificates from relevant government agencies, such as the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) before renting out your unit or flat for safety and security purposes.
If you are a first-time landlord in Nigeria, a few words of advice for you.
When you choose a property to rent, make sure that you have all the required clearances. This includes Building Clearance from the LGA and State Ministry of Works, Fire Clearance from the Nigerian Fire Service, and Police Clearance from the state police command. They may require other documents depending on the property you intend to rent out.
The documents I am referring to here are a Building Approval Certificate (BAC), Fire Extinguishing Certificate (FEC), Occupancy Certificate (OC), Certificate of Suitability and Certificate of Ownership, Certificate of No Objection (CNO), and Valuation Report. You can also get copies of these clearances from your local government office.
8. Be A Regular Tax Payer
Paying taxes is one of the most important aspects of being a landlord in Nigeria. Landlords who fail to pay their taxes might be fined or face imprisonment.
The best thing to do is to pay taxes regularly with or without receipts. If you can’t pay taxes, then at least register with your nearest tax office and keep them updated with any changes in your information, such as a change in your address, phone number, and email address.
9. Issue Early Reminders
As a landlord, the best way to avoid problems is to issue early reminders. When you rent out your property for the first time, it is important that you send reminders to the tenant about matters such as when and how much to pay and what they can and cannot do in the home.
If you only remind them after they break a rule, then they will associate your reminder with punishment instead of education.
In addition, reminding them from the beginning will help to prevent problems from arising in the future because if they know the rules beforehand, then they cannot get into trouble by violating them accidentally.
An example reminder is rent should be paid 3 months before expiration, at least one year quit notice should be avoided having a stubborn tenant that wouldn’t want to evacuate your property.
10. Subject Rent Fee To Changes
The rent fee can be subject to changes since it depends on the current rate of inflation and other prevailing issues such as fuel scarcity, and increase or decrease in government taxes.
Do not be in a hurry to reduce the period of tenancy, or increase rent if it is already high, because your tenant will know that you are desperate for money and will play on that. Wait for a better offer instead.
Conclusions and Takeaway
Landlords in Nigeria have to deal with all kinds of tenants. You might encounter irresponsible ones who don’t pay their rent on time, deduct the utility fee from their rent, destroy your property, or even try to kill themselves in it. These issues can be hard to manage as a landlord.
One way to manage them is by being strict with tenants once they move into your property, including signing a legal contract with them that spells out all terms and conditions of tenancy including the due date for each rent payment, reasons for eviction, and so on. This will help avoid problems before they occur.
When selecting tenants to occupy your property, you should always do thorough background checks on them before signing any agreement with them. This will help you identify potential problems before they become too big to handle.
As a landlord, you must be able to identify the various responsibilities and liabilities involved in the business. The best way to understand this is to know your rights and obligations as a landlord.
You should know that there may be legal remedies available to you if your tenant does not pay rent, damages your property, or violates any provision of the lease agreement. The most efficient way to recover your losses is by filing a lawsuit against your delinquent tenant for breach of contract.