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A Renter’s Guide: 5 Key Real Estate Regulations in Lagos

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Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling metropolis and economic hub, boasts a vibrant real estate market characterized by diverse rental options and bustling neighborhoods. For renters navigating this dynamic landscape, understanding the intricacies of real estate regulations is paramount to safeguarding their rights and ensuring a smooth tenancy experience. 

Lagos apartments are popping, but before you sign that lease and clink glasses with joy, there are a few key things every tenant should know.  This isn’t rocket science, but it’s important things that can save you money and avoid headaches down the line.  

Key Takeaways

  • Rent Control:  No formal rent control  exists in Lagos.  However, there are  occupancy permits  that  limit rent increases  for certain property types. .
  • Tenancy Agreements: A  clear and concise tenancy agreement  outlining  rent amount, lease duration, maintenance responsibilities, and termination clauses  protects both you and the landlord. 
  • Right to Repairs:  Your Lagos rental should be  habitable.  Landlords are responsible for  essential repairs  like plumbing issues, electrical problems, or roof leaks. 
  • Eviction Protections: Landlords must follow  due process  which includes  written notices  specifying the reason for eviction and  a court order  in some cases. 
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Legal Framework for Rent in Lagos

Rent Control Regulations in Lagos

In Lagos, rent control regulations serve as a cornerstone of tenant protection and housing affordability. These regulations aim to prevent arbitrary rent increases and ensure fair and reasonable rental rates across the city. The Lagos State Tenancy Law of 2011 establishes guidelines for rent control, setting limits on the frequency and magnitude of rent adjustments.

Under the law, landlords are prohibited from imposing exorbitant rent increases without justification, providing tenants with a degree of stability and predictability in their housing costs. Rent control measures also help mitigate the risk of homelessness and housing insecurity, particularly for low and middle-income renters struggling to keep pace with rising living expenses in a rapidly growing city like Lagos.

However, in 2023, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the current rental model in which people pay yearly rent in advance to property owners has become inadequate to address contemporary realities in the housing sector, especially in cities where demand for property is high and expensive.

The governor advocated a monthly rental system, which he said would be affordable to low- and middle-income earners pressured by the yearly rent obligation. Sanwo-Olu made the recommendation at the 10th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Lagos recently.

He urged policymakers to consider the suggestion and initiate a regulatory framework that would aid the transition to a new rental system. The governor said Lagos was already working out monthly rent modalities to accommodate residents not keen on the state’s homeownership scheme.

The Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority

The Law establishes the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (“LASRERA” or “the Authority”), to exist as a corporate entity vested with powers to sue and be sued in its corporate name. The Authority has the sole responsibility to ensure that all real estate activities are conducted properly and in accordance with the Law and other regulations made by it.

The functions of the Authority includes: the formulation of policies for proper dealings in real estate transactions in the State in line with global best practices; recommendation of policies to the State Government to enhance real estate transactions in the State; maintenance of a comprehensive and updated register of permits of real estate service professionals in the state; registration and issuance of permits to persons or organizations dealing in real estate transactions in the State and registration of tenancy transactions and agreements above five (5) years, amongst other numerous functions

Tenancy Agreement Requirements in Lagos

Navigating the rental landscape in Lagos involves understanding the essential components of a tenancy agreement as mandated by local regulations. The Lagos State Tenancy Law outlines specific requirements that must be included in every tenancy agreement to ensure clarity, transparency, and legal compliance.

Mandatory Clauses in Tenancy Agreements

  • The names and addresses of both the landlord and the tenant.
  • Description of the rental property, including its location and physical condition.
  • Duration of the tenancy, specifying the start and end dates of the lease term.
  • Terms of rent payment, including the amount, frequency, and method of payment.
  • Responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant regarding maintenance and repairs.
  • Provisions for security deposits, refund procedures, and deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Procedures for resolving disputes and terminating the tenancy, including notice periods and eviction procedures as stipulated by law.

Importance of Reviewing and Understanding Tenancy Agreements

  • Tenants are advised to carefully review the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement before signing to ensure clarity and mutual understanding.
  • Seeking legal advice or assistance from a qualified professional can help tenants navigate complex legal language and identify any clauses that may be unfair or unfavorable.
  • By understanding their rights and obligations under the tenancy agreement, tenants can protect themselves from potential disputes and legal liabilities throughout the duration of the lease.

Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

In Lagos, clear delineation of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants is essential to fostering harmonious and mutually beneficial relationships in the rental market. 

Landlord Rights

  • Right to receive rent payments in a timely manner as stipulated in the tenancy agreement.
  • Right to access the rental property for necessary inspections, repairs, or maintenance activities with reasonable notice to the tenant.
  • Right to terminate the tenancy in accordance with the provisions of the tenancy agreement and applicable laws.

Tenant Rights

  • Right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rental property without interference from the landlord.
  • Right to prompt and adequate repairs of any defects or deficiencies in the rental property that affect habitability.
  • Right to privacy and protection against unlawful eviction or harassment by the landlord.

Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants

Understanding the responsibilities of landlords and tenants is crucial for harmonious rental agreements. From maintenance to compliance, learn the essential duties for both parties.

Landlord Responsibilities

  • Duty to maintain the rental property in a habitable condition and comply with health and safety standards prescribed by law.
  • Duty to provide essential services such as water, electricity, and sanitation facilities unless otherwise agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.
  • Duty to respect the tenant’s privacy and refrain from unlawful entry or harassment.

Tenant Responsibilities

  • Duty to pay rent in full and on time as stipulated in the tenancy agreement.
  • Duty to maintain the rental property in a clean and sanitary condition, reporting any damages or maintenance issues to the landlord promptly.
  • Duty to comply with the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement and refrain from engaging in activities that may cause damage or nuisance to the property or disturb other occupants.

Eviction Procedures and Tenant Protection Laws

Navigating eviction procedures and understanding tenant protection laws are critical aspects of renting in Lagos, Nigeria, ensuring tenants’ rights are upheld and protected throughout their tenancy.

Overview of Eviction Procedures in Lagos

Eviction procedures in Lagos are governed by specific legal requirements outlined in the Lagos State Tenancy Law. Landlords must adhere to these procedures when seeking to evict tenants for various reasons, including non-payment of rent, breach of lease agreements, or expiration of lease terms. 

The law mandates that landlords provide tenants with written notice of eviction, stating the grounds for eviction and the required notice period. This notice period allows tenants an opportunity to address any issues or contest the eviction through legal channels.

Tenant Protection Laws against Unlawful Eviction

Tenant protection laws in Lagos are designed to safeguard tenants from unlawful eviction and protect their rights to secure housing. These laws prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without proper legal justification and adherence to due process. 

Tenants have the right to challenge eviction notices in court and seek remedies for wrongful eviction, including compensation for damages and reinstatement of tenancy rights. By understanding their rights and legal protections, tenants can effectively advocate for themselves and prevent unjust evictions.

Security Deposits and Rent Increases

Security deposits and rent increases are significant considerations for tenants in Lagos, Nigeria, governed by specific regulations to ensure fairness and transparency in rental transactions.

How are deposits calculated in Lagos nigeria?

There is currently no federal law in Nigeria that dictates the maximum deposit amount a landlord can charge.  However, Lagos State does have a Tenancy Law (2011) that offers some guidance on deposits and rent increases:

  • Deposits:  While the law doesn’t specify an exact amount, it’s common practice for Lagos landlords to require  1-2 months’ rent as a deposit. This can be negotiated depending on your agreement with the landlord.
  • Rent Increases: The Lagos Tenancy Law doesn’t set a limit on rent increases. However, it does require landlords to provide tenants with at least three months notice of any rent increase. This allows for negotiation between the landlord and tenant.

If you’re unsure about the reasonableness of a deposit or rent increase, it’s recommended to consult with a lawyer or renters association who can advise you on your rights under Lagos tenancy law.

Regulations Regarding Security Deposits

In Lagos, landlords may require tenants to provide a security deposit before occupying a rental property. The amount of the security deposit is typically specified in the tenancy agreement and serves as financial protection for landlords against potential damages or breaches of the lease agreement by tenants. 

The Lagos State Tenancy Law mandates that landlords refund the security deposit to tenants at the end of the tenancy, deducting only legitimate expenses for damages beyond normal wear and tear. Tenants should ensure they receive an itemized list of deductions and adhere to the agreed-upon terms for the return of the security deposit.

Guidelines for Rent Increases

Rent increases in Lagos are subject to specific guidelines and limitations set forth by the Lagos State Tenancy Law. Landlords must provide tenants with written notice of any proposed rent increase, stating the amount of the increase and the effective date. 

Rent increases must be reasonable and justifiable, taking into account factors such as inflation, property maintenance costs, and market conditions. Tenants have the right to challenge unreasonable rent increases and seek mediation or legal intervention if necessary. 

Common Issues Between Renters And Landlords In Lagos

Renters and landlords in Lagos can run into various issues that can lead to tension and disputes. Here’s a breakdown of common problems and ways to address them:

Common Issues and Resolutions

Unclear Agreements

Issue: Many Lagos rentals lack formal written agreements, leading to confusion about responsibilities for repairs, maintenance, and utilities.

Resolution: Always have a written tenancy agreement outlining rent amount, payment schedule, responsibilities for repairs and utilities, notice periods for termination, and any other relevant details. The Lagos State Tenancy Law can be a helpful resource when creating this agreement.

Late or Unpaid Rent

Issue: Late or missed rent payments can strain the landlord-tenant relationship.

Resolution: Maintain open and honest communication. Discuss any concerns promptly and keep records of all communication (emails, text messages).

Poor Property Conditions

Issue: Disagreements can arise over the property condition, with tenants unhappy about unaddressed repairs or maintenance and landlords blaming tenants for damage.

Resolution: Know your rights – both tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities under Lagos tenancy law. Familiarize yourself with the law to understand your position.

Unwanted Rent Increases

Issue: Tenants might feel blindsided by sudden or unreasonable rent hikes.

Resolution: Maintain clear communication. Discuss any concerns promptly and keep records of all communication.

Unresponsive Landlords

Issue: Uncommunicative landlords who are slow to address tenant concerns can be frustrating.

Resolution: Consider mediation before resorting to legal action. A neutral third party can help facilitate communication and reach a solution. The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse offers mediation services for tenancy disputes.

Caution Fee

Issue: Some landlords withhold deposits by trumping up bogus charges for repairs.

Resolution: If communication breaks down and mediation fails, consulting a lawyer specializing in tenancy law can be necessary.


In Nigeria, renters face a myriad of challenges and opportunities as they navigate the rental market. Understanding the intricacies of real estate regulations is paramount for tenants to protect their rights, ensure fair treatment, and maintain secure and sustainable living arrangements.

As tenants strive to secure housing stability and affordability in Lagos, tenant protection laws serve as a crucial safeguard against unjust evictions and unfair rental practices. By upholding the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability, both landlords and tenants contribute to a rental market that fosters mutual respect and cooperation.


What are some important real estate regulations that renters should be aware of in Lagos, Nigeria?

Renters in Lagos, Nigeria should be aware of key real estate regulations such as the Tenancy Law, which governs landlord-tenant relationships and outlines rights and obligations for both parties. Additionally, renters should understand regulations related to rent control, property maintenance standards, eviction procedures, and dispute resolution mechanisms enforced by relevant government agencies in Lagos.

How does the Tenancy Law protect renters in Lagos, Nigeria?

The Tenancy Law in Lagos provides legal protection for renters by stipulating rules and procedures governing tenancy agreements, rent payments, property inspections, and dispute resolution. It outlines rights and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, including provisions for rent increases, eviction notices, and the return of security deposits. Understanding the provisions of the Tenancy Law helps renters assert their rights, negotiate fair lease terms, and resolve disputes with landlords effectively.

What recourse do renters have if landlords violate real estate regulations in Lagos, Nigeria?

If landlords violate real estate regulations in Lagos, Nigeria, renters have several avenues for recourse. They can file complaints with relevant government agencies responsible for enforcing housing laws and regulations, such as the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) or the Rent Tribunal. Renters can also seek legal advice from qualified professionals or tenant advocacy groups to explore legal remedies, negotiate with landlords, or pursue legal action to enforce their rights and seek redress for any violations or breaches of real estate regulations.

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