Types of Tenancies

March 25, 2024
Types of Tenancies

By Benita Ayo

In Nigeria, the law prescribes the rights of tenants which also depends on the types of tenancy in place. Among others, it is a right of the tenant to enjoy peaceful and quiet possession of the demised premises.

What this entail is that upon the payment of the agreed rent, the landlord must always ensure that he does not frequent the premises which has been let out to the tenant such as to disturb the peace of the tenant.

Various Categories of Tenancies

The various categories of tenancies include the following;

  1. Tenancy-at-Will
  2. Tenancy-at-Sufferance
  3. Periodic Tenancy
  4. Fixed-Term Tenancy
  5. Statutory Tenancy


This is an informal agreement between a landlord and a tenant whereby the tenant is allowed to occupy a premises for an unspecified period. In this situation, the tenant can decide to vacate the premises at any given time while the landlord may decide to evict the tenant at any given time. The distinctive features of this type of tenancy is that there is no tenancy/lease agreement between the landlord and tenant. There may also not be in existence the payment of rent.


This category of tenancy is created when a tenant holds over the premises beyond the duration or term of his tenancy/lease. In this circumstance, the landlord can hold over the tenant to a new tenancy and collect rent for the period the tenant has held over.

Periodic Tenancy

This is another type of tenancy whereby a lease/tenancy agreement continues for successive period until the tenant gives the landlord notification that they want to end the tenancy. Another name for a periodic tenancy is a ‘Rolling Contract’. A feature of this type of tenancy is that it is renewable annually or monthly. It is the most common form of tenancy in Nigeria.

Fixed Term Tenancy

Like its name explains, a fixed term tenancy lasts for a fixed period of time e.g. one year tenancy. After the expiration of the fixed period as indicated in the tenancy agreement, the tenancy automatically abates. It can, however, be renewed subject to agreement and on fresh terms.

Statutory Tenancy

This category of tenancy is created in favour of a tenant by operation of statute e.g. the Lagos Tenancy Law 2011. Thus, a statutory tenant is an occupier who, after the expiration of contractual lease, retains possession of the demised premises against the wishes of the landlord.

For further consultations, you may reach me at WhatsApp: +2348063775768 or Email: [email protected]

Benita Ayo is a Seasoned Corporate Commercial Counsel with over 9 years post-call experience. She has handled myriads of briefs in Corporate/Commercial, Employment Law as well as Property Transactional Practice.

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