The act of unilateral increase of rent with an unimmaginable and unreasonable percentage by landlords every year without any justification has now become a thing of the past.
Landlords undoubtedly have the right to increase rent subject to the test of reasonability.however,where the increase is oppressive and unreasonable, tenants have the righ to apply to court to have it reviewed.
The reasonability test here is determined by the current rent applicable in the area for that particular time. On this, tenants in lagos state are fortified by the provisions of Section 37(1)-(4) of Lagos State tenancy Law 2011. For clarity, the provisions of the aforementioned sections is hereinafter reproduced seriatim:
37-(1) Subject to any agreement to the contrary,an existing tenant may apply as in form TL11 to the court for an order declaring that the increase in rent payable under a tenancy agreement is unreasonable.
(2)in determined whether an increase in the rent is unreasonable,the court shall issue hearing notice as in form TL12 to the landlord and shall consider the application on the followig grounds-
(a) the general level of rents in the locality or a similar locality for a comparative analysis;
(b) evidence of th witnesses of the parties;and
(c) any special circumstances relating to the premises in question or any other relevant matter.
(3)if satisfied that the increase in the rent is unreasonable,the court may order as in form TL13 that the increase in the rent be changed to a specific amount.
(4) notwithstanding the provisions of any law,it shall be unlawful for a landlord to eject a tenant from any premises pending the determination of the action.
This provision of the law is to protect the oppressed tenants against abuse from Landlords in Lagos and also to check their excesses.That notwithstanding, it is trite that vigilantibus non domientibus jura subveniut meaning equity aids the vigilant and not the indolent.if a man sleeps on his right there is nothing the law can do
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