In the beginning of the month of November 2016, I was instructed by Ms. A.O, my client; a mischievous old woman whose wealth and real properties are rewards of a plethora of law suits; to evict one of her many tenants.
There was nothing unusual about her instruction, at least we rent out her properties to new tenants and evict them every year or at the most, every other year.
This time however, there was something not quite usual about the facts- this tenancy is subsisting, in fact his rent won’t expire until 31st January, 2017. But I know my client, she carefully plots mischief employing her knowledge of the law gotten from spending a long time with lawyers, in short, she leaves no loose ends.
So, I asked for the tenancy agreement and she goes, “ah! I thought you would never ask” with that Mugabe kind of smirk. Unimpressed, as I wasn’t in much of a good mood, I took the tenancy agreement from her and just four paragraphs into the agreement, I saw my client’s arsenal.
The paragraph reads “That the tenant covenants with the landlady to pay rent for the next tenancy year or express his intention to pay, three months before the expiration of the subsisting tenancy year…failing which the tenant shall be assumed to have no intention to renew ”
Unfortunately, this tenant has neither paid rent for the next tenancy year nor expressed his intention to pay.
Apparently, he is not even aware of that paragraph of the agreement, or he read it, didn’t understand it, yet signed it.
Now, the court of law respects agreement VOLUNTARILY entered into by parties, as was done by my client’s tenant, whether tenancy, sale, mortgage, hire purchase or any form of agreement whatsoever, so, this tenant too shall pass.
In the end, my thought is, if only he read and understood it before signing it, he could have saved himself from Ms. Maleficient.