A landlord has an unfettered legal right to terminate a tenancy upon giving adequate notice. This is because the property belongs to the landlord and same can at any time retrieve it subject to the conditions of the tenancy agreement. Once the landlord abides by the provisions of the tenancy agreement, the tenant has no choice but to vacate possession.
What usually brings problems between a landlord and a tenant is the giving of adequate notice. What constitutes adequate notice is spelled out in the lease or tenancy agreement. In other words, the landlord must give the tenant the quit notice as provided in the tenancy agreement. If the tenant refuses to quit, a court of law can, on an action by the landlord, force him out of the premises. See, Oketade v. Adewumi (2010) 8 NWLR (Pt. 1195) 63 @ 75, Para A-B, S.C; D.M.V. (Nig.) Ltd v. N.P.A (2019) 1 NWLR (Pt. 1652) 163 @184, Para A.
In a case where although the landlord demands and collects rent to date, and there is evidence showing adequate notice and the landlord’s intention to terminate the tenancy or lease, does not amount to a waiver or forfeiture.
It is trite law that where the landlord has given the notice to quit and thereafter accepts rent from the tenant, such acceptance of rent has no effect on the notice to quit. It may, at best, be evidence of intention by the parties to create a new tenancy.
In Pillars (Nig.) Ltd. V. Desbordes (2021) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1789) 122 @ 144 Para B-C. Per Ogunwumiju, J.S.C held;
“The fact that a landlord collected rent on a property still in occupation or possession of the tenant after issuing a notice to quit cannot by law or equity amount to a waiver of the notice to quit, even where the notice had expired and the tenant refused to yield possession in time. The notice to quit would subsist until it is formally rescinded by the landlord and or when a fresh tenancy agreement is entered into.”
It is instructive to note that as soon as a notice to quit is served on a tenant by the landlord or his agent and perhaps specifies the date on which the tenancy ends, it is valid and effective.