Landlord Outplays Couple in Court over Rent Arrears

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 Landlord Outplays Couple in Court over Rent Arrears

By: Ademola Oladele

A landlord has taken his tenant; Mrs. Abosede Amuda and her husband to Court over 2 months’ rent arrears over a room they occupied at Akuro Olorunsogo area of Ibadan. The case was filed before Chief Ademola Odunade of the customary court seated at Mapo area of Ibadan.  

Mr. Olawale who sworn by Bible before court stated that Mrs. Abosede Amidatu rented the room she occupied with her husband in 2015 at the rate of N2.500 (US$6.94) per month. Since the beginning of last year, they have been owing him house rent but at present, she only owed 2 months i.e. January and February, all totaling N5,000 (US$13.88) which he wanted the Court to help him to collect from her and her husband.

Mr. Olawale added that if the court permits, he wants the tenant to move out of the building immediately because she usually cause disorder in the house. He called the attention of the Court that the last time the case was adjourned till today, the court rose late which made it unable to listen to their case. Besides, Mr. Olawale said that when he got home, he was so tired that he slept off, but to his surprise on the following day, it was Mrs. Abosede that woke him up with a lot of curses. He told the Court that the woman accused him of wasting day by dragging her to court to do nothing throughout the whole day instead of her to be in her work place.

Mr. Olawale added that the main reason why he wants Mrs. Abosede out of the house is that he can’t trust her anymore because everybody in the house is use a kitchen common to all. He told the Court that as depetrate as Mrs Abosede portray herself he suspects and perceives that Mrs. Abosede can mix something harmful like poison into his food in order to kill him. He concluded that he would be grateful if the court could help him to uphold his demand. 

In her response to the charge, Mrs. Abosede Amuda a trader from Akuro, Olorunsogo area of Ibadan sworn by Quran agreed that she owed Mr. Olawale 2 months’ rent at the rate of N2,500, this add up to N5,000 for the months of January and February. She claimed that her husband has once called Mr. Olawale to pay the money but he refused to collect it from her husband. She added that although, they usually pay the rent on yearly basis but since her husband lost his job, things changed adversely for her family.

She pointed out that when things were going on smoothly between them and their landlord, they enjoyed mutual relationship with the landlord (Mr. Olawale) to the extent of relating jointly as brothers and sisters. She narrated that often times when she cooked, she will offer Mr. Olawale part of it with the consent of her husband. A lot of time Mr. Olawale would come to her husband to request for money which his husband will grant him.

In addition, she said that everything just changed immediately her husband lost his job. Since then if they placed pot somewhere, he would say they are not supposed to put it there. If they put bucket there, he would complain. She said it is true that they used the same kitchen but there have never been quarrels between them. She told court that she suspect was causing commotion could be traced from the fact that when she and her husband moved into that house in the year 2015, Mr. Olawale had no wife, but since her wife moved in every smooth relationship changed.

Mrs. Abosede said that Mr. Olawale started by making new unfavorably rules which she said her husband has comprehensively warned her to tolerate and observe the new rules inorder to maintain communal relationship as of old time. She said sometimes she would quarrell with her husband because of Mrs. Olawale’s new rules which Mrs. Abosede found oppressive. That was a day Mr. Olawale insisted that she should take a table she put in a corner of the building despite the fact that the table has been useful for everybody in the building including Mr.Olawale. She told the Court that she initially refused but when she noticed her husband’s countenance and his stand, she took the table away.    

She invited the attention of the court to the event that Mr. Olawale has formerly filed case against her and her husband in October, 2018 over rent arrears and the court ordered that she should be paying the money owed gradually and she had cleared these arrears by December, 2018. She added that Mr. Olawale furiously went back to the court officials asking court to send her and her husband out of the house but the court refused to do so. The court that time told them that since there was no more quarrel, they can continue to stay in that house. Mrs. Abosede further pointed out that funny enough on the 2th of January this year, Mr. Olawale came to ask about the time she is planning to park out of the house? She said she replied him that the court has intervened and so far there is no dispute among them, she asked the court to inquire into his lanlord’s motive for asking her such question. She explained that when she noticed that Mr. Olawale intentionally came to her in order to make her angry; she left him. Mrs. Abosede revealed that it was Mr. Olawale that used to come for house rent ever since, all of the sudden, he came with an Estate Agent and told the couple that he handed over the house to the agent in order to frustrate her.

The court Registrar asked Mrs. Abosede Amuda when she is going to pay the money owed and when is she planning to move out of the house as requested by her landlord?

Mrs. Abosede started crying sorrowfully and pleading before the court for mercy. While speaking, Mrs. Abosede said that at present her husband has left the house for over six months and he was just wandering around doing nothing because he is jobless. She said Mr. Olawale too can testify to it. Therefore, she said she can’t say specifically when she is going to pay the money owed and she don’t want to get herself into contempt of court by promising a day which she may be unable to fulfill. She agreed that she owed Mr. Olawale N5,000 (US$13.88) being 2 months’ rent. She prayed the court to give her till the middle of March, 2019 to move out of the house as requested by Mr. Olawale.   

After listening to both parties, the court President Chief Ademola Odunade passionately told Mrs. Abosede to wipe away her tears and prayed for her that better days will soon come into her way and that her husband will not get lost in the course of struggling. He further prayed that her husband will come back to her with great exploit and everybody in the court listening kindheartedly chorused “Amen”. The Court President expressed that he observed that when things were going on smoothly for Mrs. Abosede Amuda’s family, the landlord benefited from them but when her husband lost his job everything changed which it is unfortunate.

The Court President leniently ordered Mrs. Abosede to move out of the house by end of April, 2019 as a substitute to the middle of March, 2019 she had requested. The President advised her to try all possible means to move out of the said building first, so that the money owed will not get increased. Then later the court will know what to do about the N5,000 (US$13.88) she owed but if she get that money before then she should try to pay it. He prayed for her that God will provide for all her needs.

Editor’s Note: From the foregoing, it is felt that the struggling woman would need help. No amount is small at helping. If willing to help, please reach out to the Editor on 0708-7474-240. or; thepublictimes@gmail.com.       

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