IS A NOTICE TO QUIT ISSUED ON A TENANT DURING THE TENANCY VALID?

A notice to quit is one of the legal ways of indicating an intention to terminate a Landlord/Tenant relationship by the Landlord.

Oftentimes, tenants complain that the notice to quit was issued on them during their tenancy and I would hear arguments that the notice to quit ought to be issued or given outside their tenancy period or after the expiration of same.

Without further ado, a notice to quit can be issued to the tenant anytime whether before the expiration of the tenancy or after the expiration of a valid tenancy period. The important thing to note is that the notice to quit never expires before the tenancy but can terminate upon the eve of the anniversary, anniversary, or after the expiration of a valid tenancy.

Duration for Notices to Quit

A notice to quit may provide for an expiration date over and above that legally contracted or provided for by law, but it should never provide for a period that expires before the tenancy period’s expiration i.e. if the tenancy would expire on 25 December 2020, then the notice may either expire on 25 December 2020 or after 25 December 2020.

The Lagos State Tenancy Law 2011 provides that parties can agree to a lesser notice period below that statutorily provided where there is a contract. However, the statutory notice period/duration required to be given to a tenant would depend on how rent is paid i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly. See table below.

SNTenure of Rent PaymentNotice Required
1Yearly TenancySix (6) Months
2Half Yearly TenancyThree (3) Months
3Quarterly TenancyThree (3) Months
4Monthly TenancyOne (1) Month
5Weekly TenancyOne (1) Week

Conclusion

A notice to quit issued on a tenant during his/her tenancy will be valid provided the same does not expire during the duration of the tenancy and meets all the requirements of the form of a valid notice to quit. Also, a longer duration may be given by the Landlord under the notice to quit. Hence, if you receive a notice to quit during your tenancy, do not fret as long as the notice is valid. You should always consult with a solicitor to determine the validity or otherwise of a notice to quit issued on you.

Next: I will be writing on whether or not a tenant ought to pay rent during the notice period if given after the expiration of their tenancy.

Authorities:

1. Tenancy Law of Lagos State, 2011

2. Cobra Ltd & Ors v. Omole Estates & Investment Ltd (2000) LPELR-6809(CA)

3. A. P. Ltd v. Owodunni (1991) LPELR-213(SC)

Published by Oghogho Okuegha Esq.

I am legal practitioner with vast experience in the Nigerian legal industry spanning corporate, commercial, civil and property law. I have appeared in various litigation matters from labour related disputes at the National Industrial Court to land disputes which started at the High Court up to the Court of Appeal. I have created this page to share some of my knowledge with the public seeing that a lot of people could really use it. I hope you find the contents helpful. Cheers!

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