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Recovery of rent arrears has been one of the major problems identified in real estate management. The main purpose of the study is to show the root causes of default in rent payment and to look at the prevailing methods of rent recovery, and to proffer proper solution to prompt payments. The study will also look into the issue of difficult tenants and examine the best ways of approaching the matters. Conclusively the .study will provide likely solution to the problems of the recovery rent arrears and treatment of difficult tenant will be strictly looked into. This study will equally provides recommendation in alleviating the problems identified in this study.


1.                  INTRODUCTION


            Recovery rent arrears and treatment of difficult tenants has been identified as a major set-back in property management. These aspects of management functions are being confronted with many problems because rent payment depends mostly on income earn from business carried out in the property. These earning and income are usually affected by changing economic condition and personal circumstances of tenants which cannot be predicted and out of control of tenants, the managing agents and the landlord.

            This topic no doubt has drawn priority attention in several seminars, symposia and even in one of the annual general conference of the Nigeria institution of the Estate Surveyors and valuers all with the view to arriving at a lasting solution to the problem. And as all efforts are being channeled towards the eradication of this incident in the property industry. More cases of the rent default by demands .continue to discourage the efforts.

            The urge to write on this topic started when we visit one estate surveyor and valuer called Ajilex property which is located at “itakogun” area of Ilesa, he had so many properties on his hand with concern was the property that was located at No. 36 Oke Opo GRA at Ilesa. The tenants was arrears of rent for over four years, and him remit all his rent arrears to the property owner, knowing the legal implication of litigation which will not be in the interest of their client they continued by the way of dialogue to a point that the landlord decided to take the matter to the point that the landlord decide to take the matter to the court and it dragged him for more than two years before the matter was pulled out of the court for amicably settlement.

            This was a result of the parties unanimously appointing an arbitrator to the matter. The arbitrator’s judgment was accepted by the parties. In this judgment he made the tenant to see the reason why the rent arrears should be paid to the landlord.

            It was equally agreed that the arrears should be paid installment to enable the tenant to cope with the payment, with this issue of arrears treated, the landlord agreed to carry out his obligations effectively. The decision on the mode of payment took time before it was resolved. The landlord who claimed that he has lost so much money within the period of arrears and court actions would prefer the total sum paid to him at once. However this request was not granted by the arbitrator instead he made the landlord to understand why he should accept the quarterly payment.

            More so, drastic action cannot be taken to enforce payment of rent on lease hold property unlike chattels which can be taken away by the owner from the person to whom it is hired for a failure to meet the agreed obligation. Rental payment on leasehold is in respect of right of use, possession and enjoyment conferred on the tenants and act in respect of tangible thing. There is usually a complicated legal relationship between the landlord and the tenants. There actions to enforce payment and recovery of rents must follow due process of law. This takes time and may fail if a landlord fails to meet contracted obligation towards a tenant.

            Enforcement of payment of rent through eviction of tenants by landlords id often mitigated by government social policy on some kinds of landed properties. There are legislation a s regards security of failure, tenants are protected from  forcible ejection and lease for failure. Government owned and managed properties have added problem of need to get political support for its management policy and action. Political climate and influence may not permit the manager of government owned properties to take appropriate action as decision is usually centralized.

            However efficiency in recovery of rents on leasehold properties depends on efficient management based on good lease term and effective control.


It has been observed that in recent times rental defaults on leasehold properties are on the increase.

This development has been agitating the minds of several interested groups including property investors and their agents. This paper is set out to study that causes of default in rent payment and prefer solutions.


The aim of this dissertation is to examine the possible ways of recovering of rent arrears and treatment of difficult tenants.

The objectives are:

I.       To examine the root cause of default in rent payment

II.    To examine the prevailing method of rent recovery

III. To investigate the issue of difficult tenants

IV. To make recommendation in eliminating problems identified.


The study was successfully carried out by using information from relevant publications, especially the Journals, magazine and seminar papers and through the use of textbook which provides a good background for theoretical and conceptual issues discussed. The source of the data will be both primary and secondary.


The study covers the recovery rent arrears and how difficulties tenants should be treated. To do this, the method of rent recovery and dealing with difficulties tenants were looked into with specific reference to select properties in Ilesa, Osun State. 


The only presumed or perceived limitation of this study is the shortest time, nevertheless everything pertaining to the recovery rent arrears and treatment of difficult tenants would be fully exercised.

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