A landlord owns his property and always has a reversionary interest in the property. The implication of this is that, whether a tenant is good or bad and whether he pays his rent regularly or not, he will still have to leave the property when the landlord no longer wants him there.
What a landlord needs to do is, to exercise patience and always remember that his relationship with his tenant is guided or regulated by law and there is no other way he can remove an errant tenant except by the instrumentality of the law.
In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the law requires that a landlord should give sufficient notice to the tenant of to quit the premises occupied by him and of his intention to recover his premises:
1. 6 months notice to the yearly tenant;
2. 3 months notice to the half yearly tenant ( that is, a tenant that pays every six month;
3. 1 month notice to a monthly tenant ( a tenant that pays every month); and
4. Seven day notice to a tenant at will.
If after the expiration of the above notices, the tenant refuses to leave, the law requires that a landlord should serve him with the 7 days notice of owners intention to recover possession.
If the tenant fails to leave after the expiration of seven days, the landlord need not resort to self help, all he needs do is to engage his lawyer to sue the “bastard”.
The lawyer will then serve the tenant with a court summons and take steps to recover the premises as well as the rent owed by the tenant.
Please note that, it is not the law that a landlord should give a tenant 6months or any period without payment. A tenant MUST always pay for every period spent in the house before moving out. Even if case lingers in court for donkey years, he MUST pay.
In order to avoid giving 6 months notice to a tenant, you can engage a lawyer to prepare a tenancy agreement for him and reduce the length of notice. Also, a lawyer can prepare an agreement and make the tenancy one for a fixed period in which case the tenant will only be entitled to just 7 days notice after the expiration of his term.
The landlords should therefore relax because when it comes to landlord and tenant’s dispute, it is the landlord who always has the last laugh.
For more information or clarification, you can reach the author on: