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Counsel Corner: New Lagos Tenancy Law

With Dayo Benson

Before Governor Babatunde Fashola  signed the new Lagos State Tenancy Bill into law after it was passed by the State House of Assembly, some readers who had read about it had asked questions relating to the legislation. Some of the questions were answered.

But a recurring question was the status of a sitting tenant on advance rent payment. The provisions of the copy of the bill which we relied on then was silent on the nature of advance rent payable by a sitting tenant. For avoidance of doubt, the new law as signed by the governor makes such provision. Sections 4 and 5 of the law which deal with a sitting tenant provide that Section 4

Advance Rent

(1)    It shall be unlawful for a landlord or his agent to demand or receive from a sitting tenant rent in excess of three (3) months in respect of any premises.

(2)    It shall be unlawful for a sitting tenant to offer or pay rent in excess of three (3) months in respect of any premises.

Any person who receives or pays rent in excess of what is prescribed in this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable  to a fine of one hundred thousand Naira (100,000:00) or to three (3) months imprisonment or any other non-custodial disposition.

Section 5:

(1)    As from the commencement of this Law, all landlords of premises shall upon payment of rent by the tenants, be obliged to issue a rent payment receipt to their tenants in respect of such payments.

(2)    The receipt shall state themselves

(a)     Date on which rent was received;

(b)     Name of the landlord and the tenant;

(c)     Location of premises in respect of which the rent is paid;

(d)    Amount of rent paid; and

(e)    Period to which the payment relates.

(3)    Any landlord who fails to issue a rent payment receipt to his tenant as prescribed under this Section shall be liable to a fine of ten thousand Naira (N10,000:00) payable to the court.

Running Offence

Dayo, please what is running offence in Criminal law? —Anonymous

The term ‘running offence’ , to the best of my knowledge is not known to our Criminal Law and I don’t think it exists in both the Criminal and Penal Code. It may however exists in other jurisdictions. So, you may need to explain the contest in which it is used to enable me understand it properly.

Still on ATM

I went with my daddy to first bank Epe branch to make an enquiry but the customer service officer ask us to pick an application form for ATM and submit before anything further. And my question is , is ATM made compulsory even for non computer literate .   From Olu Williams. Ogun State

The use of ATM really has nothing to do with knowledge of computer . What I think is important is the ability to operate the machine and understanding of the instruction. This as I stated previously  may be difficult for an illiterate person .

If I decide not to use ATM again, will my bank agree to cancel the services and stop deducting my money?

Yes, of course. If you stop the use of ATM, the bank would agree and stop deducting your money. All you need to do is to write a formal letter to the bank manager expressing your intention to discontinue the use of ATM.

You may  or not state the reason why you are taking the decision. By this letter, the bank is bound to take notice and stop deducting your money for the service.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.