CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION1.1 Background to the Study
The term “eviction” describes the practice of involuntary removal of person(s) from occupation of an accommodation for one reason or the other. It is frequently associated with a range of related terms, such as premises recovery, ejection, forced removal, relocation, dislocation, expulsion and displacement. The consequences of eviction are highly disturbing, particularly when we look more closely at its local impacts on individuals, families and communities (Leckie, 1995; Momah, 2011; Landlord and Tenant Board, 2012; Moneke, 2009).Although the causes of tenant eviction can be varied, in most instances, it arises as a response of landlords to violation of the lease term by tenant(s). A lease is a contract between a landlord and tenant, which contains the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree (Boulder, 2012). Both Landlord and tenant have some obligations to respect under the tenancy agreement. Whenever there is a conflict between the landlord and the tenant arising from head of lease terms, eviction may be inevitable especially when other forms of settlement are not feasible (Ojo, 2007). Different methods have been used in different places. While tenant eviction raises a lengthy series of human, social, economic and political considerations, this study will examine the practice primarily within the purview of property management.A very important aspect of the activities involved in property management is dealing with leases and most importantly, dealing with tenants facilitates, a good landlord-tenant-manager relationship.Property management problems would reduce considerably, if all tenants comply with the rules, covenants and conditions of a tenancy. Even where this is possible, some others reasons would make it imperative to terminate some tenancies. In property management, tenant eviction is almost inevitable although some precautions may be taken to avoid it. It is a global phenomenon, occurring in all parts of the world, both developing and developed countries (Cohre2004). A landlord who wants to terminate a tenancy and recover possession of his property from a tenant for whatever reason must observe due diligence and lawful procedure to achieve his objective. Self-help is an extra-judicial remedy to enforce or protect a right, where the landlord employs self-help, it must be lawful otherwise he will be criminally liable for his actions (Mbie, 2013; Momah, 2011; Moneke, 2009).In Nigeria and particularly in the study area, most tenants, landlords as well as property managers have suffered untold hardship, tremendous financial loss, social stigma and various degrees of disgrace from the problem that culminated in tenant eviction.The main thrust of this research work is to identify and examine the causes of tenant eviction in residential and commercial property markets in order to improve upon property management generally and more specifically in Rumuolumeni, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.Furthermore, in course of this research work we shall consider chapter two which is the literature review, chapter three research methodology, chapter four data presentation and analysis and chapter five summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation respectively.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The eviction of tenants is related to the following, breach of obligations or issuesby a tenant, such as, non payment of rent as at when due by some tenants, diversion of use of property for another purpose, requisition of premises for personal use by the landlord, constituting nuisance within the premises in form of fighting and violation of occupancy ratio in way that higher numbers of tenants or persons occupies an accommodation above the stipulated number in the tenancy agreement.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
This research is carried out to investigate why tenants are evicted from rented accommodations. The researcher intends to look at the causes of tenant eviction in Rumuolumeni neighborhood in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State.However, some specific objectives of the study are:1. To examine reasons for tenant eviction2. To examine the methods to be adopted in evicting a tenant3. To examine the process of tenant eviction in the study area.4. To examine the effects of eviction on tenants.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions are posed to guide the researcher to achieve the objectives of this study:1. What are the reasons for tenant eviction?2. What are the methods to be adopted in evicting tenant?3. What are the effects or consequences of tenant’s eviction?4. What is the process of tenant eviction in the study area?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is delimited under the following:1. Content scope: The essence of this work is to investigate the causes of Tenant Eviction in Property Management Practice.2. Geographical Scope:The choice area of study involves Tenants and Landlords in Rumuolumeni,Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.3. Unit Analysis: This study is field source investigation because it is concerned with Tenants, Landlords and Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be significant to the Estate Surveyors and Valuersand will help them to handle cases of tenant eviction in property management within their domain. Again, the landlords and tenants will not extort each other since there is a guide line. Furthermore, rent tribunals and the law courts will have lesser problem in tackling eviction matters.
1.7 The Study Area
The Local Government was created by the military administration of former President Ibrahim Babangida on the 3rd day of May 1989 out of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State. With an estimated population of over 464,789(National Population Commission 2006 Census) and it has a total land mass of approximately 260sq. km and share boundaries with Ikwerre, Etche, Oyigbo, Okrika and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of Rivers State. It is locally constituted by the people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality but due to its urban status and the hospitality of the people, there is an influx of other nationalities to the local government area. The major occupation of the people are farming, fishing and trading. However there is also high volume of commercial activities due to the location of several corporate organizations within the council area. It is today the centre of oil activities in Rivers State and tagged. “The gate of Local Government”. The local government has always been active at the Politics of Rivers State. The Rumuolumeni people are the Ikwerre extraction they are found in present ObioAkpor Local Government Area. They are positioned and bothered on the western flank by the Ogbakiri and kalabaris, Eagle Island crest while on the North and Easter axis by their Ikwerre kinsmen. They are mainly farmers, while few of them are into fishing. They are also numerous companies that operate within and outside the community. There are many villages that make up the community (Nkpor, Ngbodonha, Azumini, Iwofe, Ngboshimini) which have been subsumed into one community as a result of urbanization and industrialization. The hamlets communities are under one paramount ruler, that goes by the title “Nyeweli” who has other smaller chiefs. The indigenous language is Ikwerre. The area is a residential and industrial area. As an industrial belt, it is second to Trans Amadi. This has made this community to be host to some industries giant in the oil and gas, agro allied industries, education and military/naval base.Companies operating in the area includesAveon, Offshore, Grinaka, Eagle Cements, Saipem, Master energy, IngnatusAguru University of Education. Accessroad to the area are Wimpey (Iwofe roads, Chinda/Douglas road via Mile 4 Elepranwon road, Ogbogoro/St. John’s road. It can be accessed through Agip/Eagle-Island UST creek.1.8 Limitations of the StudyThis research work, like any other, has its limitations, prominent among them are, respondents attitudes; the problem of reaching respondents as scheduled time and inability to gather information from them, the perspective at which the respondents view the researcher, financial constraints.It wasn’t easy to reach out to some Estate Surveyors, landlords and tenants in the study area due to lack of fund.
1.9 Definition of Operational Terms
The operational definitions of some terms used in this research are:Tenant: This is a person/someone occupying a rented accommodation for a specific period of time.Eviction: This simply means forceful removal of a tenant from the rented accommodation for one reason or the other.Property: This is a physical or incorporeal of a person’s estate, or so belonging to as being owned by a person or jointly a group of people or legal entity.Management: This is a set of principles relating to the functions of planning, organizing, directing, controlling and the application of these principles in harnessing physical, financial, human and informational resources efficiently and effectively to achieve organizational goals.Practice: This is a way of doing something that is usual or expected way in a particular organization situations or area.Rent:This is a payment or series of payments made by the lessee or tenant to an owner or landlord for use of property for a specific period of time.Landlord:This is someone who owns a property (building). Landlord is also someone who lets/lease out his property to another person (tenant) for a specific period of time.
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