Ogun State House of Assembly is considering a Bill seeking to criminalize the forceful ejection of tenants from their properties, including residential homes, in the State.
The Bill stipulates a n250,000 fine or six month jail term for any landlord, who engages the services of men in uniforms, thugs or any other acts to eject tenants.
Also, the Bill provides for a six months quit notice to be issued by landlord to tenant who pays yearly rent, but fails to renew such rent after six months.
The Bill which has passed through a public hearing organized by the State House of Assembly in Abeokuta provides the same punishment for tenants, who deprives his or her landlord of the power to take over their premises.
The same sanction awaits any landlord who places charms or objects to instill fear in the tenant and those who remove the roof of the rented home to facilitate the forceful ejection of their tenants.
Also, any landlord who fails to issue a rent payment receipt to his tenant after collecting rents, shall be liable to a fine of n100,000 among other provisions .
The State Assembly Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi, speaking during the public hearing on the Bill, says the Bill is aimed at ensuring that adequate steps are taken to bridge the gap in the obligations of the landlords and tenants.
Adekunbi, represented by his Deputy, Olakunle Oluomo, explains that the Bills also provides for the use of the alternative dispute resolution method to resolve issues between landlords and tenants to relieve the regular Courts of burden of cases relating to tenancy.
Stakeholders at the public hearing included Estate Agencies, representative of the Nigerian Bar Association, Kayode Aderemi and Director of Legislative Drafting in the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Olaotan.
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