A landlord is the owner of a premises or the holder of the reversionary interest in the property. This means that at the expiration of every tenancy, the right to possession and ownership of the said premises goes back to the landlord. Individuals own property for a number of reasons one of which is for passive income or as an investment as such, they let such properties out to tenants in exchange of rent. The rights a landlord has include:
- Right to receive rent: A landlord has the right to receive regular and periodic rent form the tenant for the use and occupation of his premises. Rents can be collected weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annually as agreed by the landlord and tenant. However, the manner by which the rent is collected determines the period of notice to which the tenant is entitled to.
- Right to reasonable periodic inspection of the demised premises: The landlord is permitted by law to enter into the demised premises to carry out routine checks on the manner in which the demised premises is being used. However, before such checks, sufficient notice has to be given to the tenant in the manner stipulated in the tenancy agreement.
- Right to lawfully eject a tenant: A landlord has the right to lawfully eject a tenant whose tenancy has been determined in accordance to the Tenancy Agreement or by operation of law. To lawfully eject a tenant, the appropriate notices has to be given in accordance to the law before proceeding to the law court. It is illegal to use self-help by inviting thugs or “Area-boys” to assist in ejecting a tenant. One can be liable for the crime disruption of public peace and criminal assault among others.
- Right to review rent: A landlord has the right to review his rent upward (and sometimes, in the face of economic realities like economic meltdown, downwards). Such rent reviews have to take cognizance of the prevailing rate in the area and the special circumstances of the property so that they are not viewed as arbitrary or unreasonable.
- Right to compensation from compulsory acquisition: The governor of the state by virtue of the Land Use Act has the right to compulsorily acquire properties within the state for “overriding public purposes”. However, whenever such occurs, the landlord has the right to be given compensation by the state government for the unexhausted improvements he has made on the land.