A civil society organisation, Save Lagos Group has raised an alarm over an alleged widespread abuse of the Lagos State Tenancy Law by house owners in the state. The group therefore, called on the state government to live up to its obligations of enforcing the law.
According to a statement sent to The SUPREME, the group stressed the need for the state government to save tenants in the state from house owners who it claimed are flouting the law which stipulates that prospective and current tenants must pay only six months rents.
The statement issued by the convener, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman and the Director, Media and Strategy, Comrade Olaolu Oladipo, also lamented that home owners have been conniving with some legal practitioners to obtained fictitious judgments that are used for eviction purposes.
The group also alleged that some unscrupulous police officers also engage the legal practitioners and the house owners to carry out the illegal eviction of hapless tenants, saying the practice is usually carried out on Sundaymorning when the victims would be caught unawares.
The law was enacted by the immediate past administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola in 2011 to regulate the relationship between the house owners and their tenants.
Giving instances of its claim, the group pointed to a case involving two land ladies, one Mrs. Onatade and Alhaja Bilikisu Adesina of number 9 and 11, Ezekiel St, Off Toyin Street Ikeja; Lagos respectively.
Specifically, the group accused the two house owners of issuing quit notices to their tenants before the expiration of their tenancy.
The two tenants, Ms Deborah Ogunlade and Mrs. Yetunde Labode are said to be the latest victims in the hands of the two house owners who are currently harassing them by plotting to obtain an illegal eviction order against them.
Rather for the lawyers to the house owners, to follow Section (24) of the Lagos Tenancy Law which guides eviction of the tenants, they have opted to perfect their scheme in an illegal way by securing the eviction order without bringing the affected tenants into the picture.
A document from one of the house owners, Oyesola Oyewo obtained by the Save Lagos Group indeed confirmed the fears of the civil society organization as the quit notice indeed was issued before the expiration of the Ogunlade’s tenancy.
A closer look at the document shows that while the notice was issued on April 25th, the tenant received it on 1st of June 2016.
On the hand, the counsel to the other house owner, Mr. Ayo Adebosin claimed to have issued a quit notice on Labode on the 27th of June 2016 but Labode received it in August though her rent lapsed in July.
The Group has expressed its desire to apply legal action to right the wrongs being carried out by the house owner by offering free legal services to the affected tenants in their bid to secure their fundamental rights to shelter.