Tenants, Landlords Set For War As Fashola Signs Tenancy Law


As Governor Babatunde Fashola on Wednesday gave assent to the Tenancy Law of Lagos State, the ground appears set for battle between landlords and tenants.

While tenants in the state are excited about the new law that has finally become a reality, the landlords, who feel the law is aimed at them, have started threatening war against tenants and the state government.

P.M.NEWS learnt from some of the landlords this morning that the various community development associations, mostly made up of landlords, are already mobilising to embark on protests across the state against the law.

They have also accused the sate governor of trying to create problems between them and their tenants.

A landlord, Yomi Ajala, said he warned his tenants when he first read about the law in the previous edition of P.M.NEWS that they should either abide by his instructions or meet the governor to build a house for them.

“Governor Fashola is just ranting about the Tenancy Law. People before him have attempted to do same but at the end the landlords triumphed.

“Does he know what the landlords passed through to build their houses? As I’m talking to you now, I know how much we pay to the government in form of various charges and levies.

“Since he did not put into consideration the effect of the law on the landlords, we would continue to reject it. I would love to know how many landlords the prisons can accommodate especially with their current congestion,” Ajala said.

Another landlord, Olajumo Adenrele, told P.M.NEWS that landlord associations in the state have started exchanging ideas on the best action to be taken on the issue.

According to him, apart from reading about the law in the newspapers, the landlords have been informed formally at their meetings. But the news had been received with lamentations from them.

“Some landlords are still paying for the loans they took. In any case, such landlords would not even want to hear of things like that from anybody, not even the government.

“On my own, I have tried to understand the law as published by your paper. I feel the government has the interest of the residents at heart, but it should not coerce landlords into doing what they don’t want to do.

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“The government should first assist in reducing the cost of building materials before enforcing such law. Even at that, what happens to those who built their houses with loans which are supposed to be repaid within a time limit?” he asked.

A landlord, Akin Omojola, who directed his anger at this reporter shouted: “You are the ones to blame in this whole issue. You went on celebrating the law and informing the tenants about the law.

“Now my tenants, who are supposed to renew their tenancy in November have started taking advantage of the law.

“They all met me and told me they can’t pay more than six months since they don’t want to go to jail.

“Now, I’m torn between facing hunger in the next six months if I should give them quit notice or collecting the six months rent from them. The law is too controversial and it is going to create problems in the next few days.”

Another landlord, Jimoh Wahab, said landlords have planned to go to court since that is the only way they could get out of the situation.

“We have to go to court and we are already making contacts and trying to select those that would stand for us. Until the court decides on the matter, I will not recognise that law,” Wahab declared.

Though some of the tenants are happy, they have also expressed their apprehension about the law which they feel creates a rigorous process of seeking justice where their rights are trampled upon.

They advised the government to ensure that there is strict implementation of the law, even if that is the only area to be tackled by the government.

Though calls to some lawmakers at the Lagos State House of Assembly were not answered, a senior staff of the Ministry of Housing informed P.M.NEWS that the government has put the envisaged challenges into consideration.

According to him, the ministry has started enlightening both landlords and tenants about the law, as ignorance of the law is not going to be an excuse.

— Eromosele Ebhomele

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