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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Maintaining healthy landlord-tenant relationship in a residential property is a pre-requisite for societal advancement and growth. Good tenant employee relations back-up by a comprehensive tenancy agreement and timely payment of rents are required for a cordial relationship to exist between the landlord and to also boost tenant satisfaction. Tenant relations generally deal with avoiding and resolving issues concerning residents living in a landed property. These issues may relate to house rents, tenancy agreements, and may result in conflicts if not properly managed (Salleh. 2008).
The relationship of landlord and tenant may be defined as the relationship that exists between parties to a lease. It usually arises when the owner of an estate grants, usually by means of contract, the right to possession of his land or part of it, to another person to hold for a specific period of time. Such a grant is what is called a lease, demise or tenancy. The period granted is the term or term of years.
This relationship is one of tenure which means that it is for a period which is either subject to definite limits. As a rule, the landlord confers on the tenant the right to exclusive possession for a period which is subject to a definite time limit, as in the cases of a lease for a term of years, or which though indefinite can be made subject to a definite limit by either party as in the case of a tenancy from year to year (Mohd, 2000).
The relationship between tenants and landlords In Nigeria has reached a very significant stage in the modern day society in Nigeria, thus there is a need to know and review the effect of the relationship between the landlord and the tenant on residential properties. Reviewing this, also, it is important for us to know the position as it exists between tenant and landlord in residential buildings prior to the legal evaluation of tenancy Law in Nigeria. More importantly, it is also desirable for each party to know their right as guaranteed under the various applicable laws on the subject matter. This will ensure a peaceful co-existence between tenants and landlords in residential buildings.
However, this work focuses on the evolution and development of tenancy law in Nigeria, with particular reference to the rent Control and Residential Premises Edict, Law of Anambra State Nigeria 1994. The orientation of the course is strongly practical to suit the relationships that co-exist between a tenant and landlord in Nigeria. It will also examine the various perspective that relates to tenancy such as standard rent payable by the tenants, the rent review clause, option to review clause, rent book distress for rent, profit. Further the course will also examine the compensation available for the use and occupation of the demised premises by the tenant consequent upon the termination of his tenancy. It will also examine security of tenure and grounds for possession as contained under Schedule II of the rent control and
Recovery of Residential Premises Edict, Laws of Ifite, Anambra State of Nigeria 1994.
A lease establishes the relationship of landlord and tenant and is both a conveyance of a possessory estate in real property and a contract between the parties. Through the lease, the tenant receives a right to legal possession of the property in exchange for "valuable consideration" (i.e., rent) paid to the landlord. Most leases specify the duration of the agreement, any terms for extending the agreement and details regarding rent payments. Because a lease is both a conveyance and a contract, two sets of duties between the landlord and tenant arise: those that exist in relation to residential property laws, and those that arise due to the contractual promises of the lease.
Housing codes were established to ensure that residential rental units were habitable at the time of rental and during the tenancy. In Ifite, housing violation of these rules may lead to eviction action or to the tenant being allowed to withhold rent in some cases. The right to access of a residential property is also ensured by warranties which are prescribed by common and/or statutory law. A breach of the warranty of habitability or a covenant within the lease may cause an eviction or allow the tenant to withhold rent.
So long as these obligations are not met by either party, this could be breach on this relationship that is binding by factors dependent on obligation to be fulfilled by the landlord and the tenant on his property.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The management of public housing by many estate owners, landlords and caretakers in most developing countries, including Nigeria is often bedeviled by poor maintenance, high rentals and more often than not, tenants are unsatisfied with their dwelling units. These factors plus poor or no tenancy agreements between landlords and tenants contribute towards the general decline of public housing (Hegedus & Mark, 2004).
Drafting of a comprehensive tenancy agreement requires the services of a competent lawyer, who will concisely spell out the duties and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant is sometimes ignored by some landlords or not drafted at all. In the absence of a comprehensive tenancy agreement, conflict and soar relationship between the landlord and the tenant my arise, when one party is not satisfied with the conduct of the other.
The resultant derelict state of public housing sadly also incubates high vandalism rates which in turn further contribute to the high maintenance cost of residential properties. British researcher Sheena Wilson (1979) asserts that it is often difficult to distinguish intentional forms of damage from wear and tear, indifference, neglect and thoughtlessness in public housing estates. Vandalism in such neighbourhoods therefore, is part of a spectrum of behaviour which begins with very common forms of carelessness such as dropping litter, and continues through a wide range of rough handling—bumping prams into glass swing doors, taking short cuts through newly planted flower beds, for example—to the stage where damage is deliberate: glass broken by stray objects such as stones when children are playing, smashed fittings, and dismantled fire-hoses. These are typical features in public housing owing to various factors.
From previous research works, it has become clear that non fulfilment of obligations binding on relationships can have a drastic effect. For there to be a proper conveyance of title or right to occupy in the case of a residential property by a landlord to a tenant, there are obligations binding on both parties that must be met (Basorun, 2012).
This binding factor which is called ‘rent’ on the part of the tenant has a bigger effect as to whether it will last long or not. On the part of the landlord is the obligation to lease or withhold the property. Rent as a determinant in this relationship can be a constraint due to a survey conducted in 2011 by Dele Taiwo Associates an Estate Management firm with offices round Nigeria.
There are challenges posed by these factors. Challenges such as eviction, withholding of a right to legal habitation of the property in exchange for "valuable consideration" (i.e., rent) paid to the landlord, has affected the relationship between the landlord and the tenant for various reasons ranging from non communication of position by the landlord in case of renovations or nonpayment of rent as at when due by the tenant. Most tenants especially in residential properties ignore their obligation to pay utility bills and other bills binding on them by virtue of occupying the property. All these have played a huge role in affecting the relationship between the landlord and the tenant especially in Ifite.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the study is to critically examine the effects of landlord and tenant relationship on residential property. Specific objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the extent in which landlord and tenant relationship could improve residential properties in Ife Te Anambra.
2. To examine factors that has militated against cordial relationship between landlord and tenants.
3. To propose ways of improving landlord and tenant relationship as to better residential property.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In-order to guide the study and achieve stated objectives for the study, the following research questions were formulated:
1. To what extent can landlord-tenant relationships affect residential properties?
2. What factors militate against the cordial relationship between landlords and tenants?
3. What better ways can landlord-tenant relationships be enhanced?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho: Landlord and Tenant relationship has no significant effect on residential property.
Hi: Landlord and Tenant relationship has significant effect on residential property.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Public housing although critical and inevitable in facilitating access to decent housing for the low income earners like students especially in cities and urban areas, should not be taken seriously. If landlord and tenant relationship is adequately managed, public housing is capable of supplementing the inadequacies of market driven housing delivery systems and delivering a more inclusive society. The management of public housing cannot be feasible if rent collection and other residential or tenancy agreements are not properly documented and effected. A functional rent collection and management system can be an integral component of a responsive policy platform that facilitates sustainable delivery and management of public housing.
This study will therefore greatly contribute towards improving Landlord and tenant relationships and proffer solutions to most landlord-tenant disagreements and conflicts.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to the effects of landlord and tenant relationship on residential property in Ifete, Anambra state, using selected residents of school hostels as a case study.
Concerning, limitations, time frame and financial constraints are usually the major constraints of every research study. Tight academic schedules and financial constraints could not enable the researcher to cover a wider geographical location.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Landlord/Tenant: A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant
Rent: Sum of money payable by a tenant to the landlord for occupation of the landlords‘ property.
Rent Arrears: the unpaid amount of rent that is owed to the landlord by a tenant after occupation of the landlords‘ property.
Economic rent: sum of money payable to the landlord for occupation of property assessed on the basis of the net expected income after estimates of expenses are taken into account.
Market rents: refers to sums of money payable to a landlord by a tenant established on free market economy and particularly determined by the forces of demand and supply
Building features: dwelling subsystems that relate to the human habitat
Public Housing: housing developed by a public agency for the purpose of accommodation of the low income mainly for rental accommodation and whose tenants are selected through established procedures.
Building quality: the extent to which building features meet prevailing regulations and expectations of occupants.
Social Housing: residential accommodation mainly for rental purposes established through state intervention mainly of a state agency. In some countries, the state appoints or enlists non-public agencies to provide social housing within established frameworks to ensure affordability and targeted tenant selection.
Tenant Satisfaction: the extent to which the tenant is perceives and/or is convinced that their rental accommodation meets their desires and needs which may be physical or ―soft‖ i.e. non-physical.
Decanting site: a holding site where communities/residents are temporarily relocated to give way for development in their residential zone in an organized manner.
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