5 Easy Steps to Resolving Landlord Tenant Disputes

The landlord tenant dispute is one hurdle most people face after getting an apartment. It is most times as a result of the conditions of living in the apartment. Though this is not the case for most houses in Lagos or Nigeria. However, it is what others go through on a daily basis. In as much as Lagos is the commercial and economic centre of Nigeria, most references in this article would be about Lagos. Due to the large population of the city, it is home to different tribes. Hence, diverse landlords and tenants.

Landlord tenant disputes are not uncommon in Lagos. In fact, it is top of the list of ‘dramas’ you see in Lagos. You would understand better if you have had experience with face-me-I-face-you houses. Where the tenants are either fighting themselves or the landlord. There is always an issue or problem to be solved by the landlord. This is why being a Landlord is considered difficult. Often times these landlord tenant disputes are due to payments of one bill or the other. Either as a resident landlord or not, solving this problem is often tough.

However, in other to save you from the regular landlord tenants problems we have a list of to-dos for you. The 5 easy steps to resolving landlord tenant disputes should serve as the ultimate guideline for a good landlord and tenant relationships.

  1. Know Your Rights

One of the best ways to ensure a good landlord and tenant relationship is by knowing your rights. In fact, it is the easiest way to avoid the landlord tenant dispute. But this is often times not the case. Most of the arguments are often as a result of either the tenant or landlord not performing their rights or duties.

The countless hours spent arguing who is right or wrong would have been saved if both parties know their rights. It is not unusual to see people argue about what a simple knowledge of the agreement would settle. This is why it is important that before you rent a house, you, first of all, go through the agreements. This way, you can decide if they are what you can abide by. Either as a landlord or tenant, not abiding by the agreement is a breach of contract. So, a good knowledge of your right as a landlord or tenant helps you avoid unnecessary landlord tenant dispute.


  1. Be Professional

Let’s face it, landlord tenant disputes are bound to happen. As humans, we surely have different opinions about a lot of things. Though it is, however, not supposed to be on regular basis. There is no how peace will reign in a compound where the neighbours fight themselves or the landlord week-in-week-out. Therefore, it is always left up to the landlord on how he manages these issues. The truth is, your best bet is to be professional about it. You must start to see the house or property as a business, and your tenants as customers. So, learning to treat all customers (tenants) equally is a good way to start.

This way, there won’t be claims of the landlord favouring a particular tenant. Another thing which requires your professionalism is how you respond to disputes. Obviously, the arguments are definitely going to be heated at some point, hence, the need to respond well. For instance, because a tenant is screaming at you shouldn’t make you scream back. It is not a screaming competition! Also, because arguments can get heated and you start hearing phrases like “Do you know who I am?”, “You will see” etc., you should avoid threatening.

As part of being professional about your landlord duties, you should take responsibilities of your own end of the agreement. When everyone takes responsibilities of their duties as stated in the agreement, there wouldn’t be landlord tenant disputes.


  1. Show Genuine Interest

If there is one thing that people want, it is knowing someone cares about them. In cases that have to do with housing, it is knowing the landlord cares about the tenants’ welfare. This does not mean, as a landlord, you have to babysit your tenants. However, there should be a level of genuine concern about their welfare.

It shouldn’t be a case whereby you are only available when you want to remind them or collect the next house rent. Most of the landlord tenant disputes or problems are often about the landlord placing money over the tenants’ welfare. A tenant would respond favourably to your demands when they know you have always listened to their complaints.


  1. Have the Conversation

Most of the landlord tenant disputes are often matters that can be resolved with proper dialogue. It is, however, not so as people tend to blow things out of proportion. It is advisable that no matter how long it takes, you should ensure you talk things out with the landlord or tenant.

When you take time to see things from different angles, it will surely boost the landlord and tenant relationships. It should never be a case of “you are wrong, I am right”. When matters are ironed out rather than being avoided, you will find out that it is cheaper than settling a case in court.


  1. Get A Professional Mediator

There is definitely going to be that dispute that would always be difficult. It happens once in a while. Though you might leverage on your experience as a landlord to solve it. If you do not have much experience, it is best you seek the assistance of a real estate professional. The real estate professional in this case is a property manager. As the name depicts, they help you manage your property. So, depending on what you need, you can decide if you need a property manager or not.

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