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Streamlining dispute resolution between tenants and landlords: The mobile court solution

Streamlining dispute resolution between tenants and landlords: The mobile court solution

“A mobile court for tenancy issues offers numerous benefits, which could revolutionise the way these disputes are handled.”

The woes of tenancy disputes are all too familiar for many renters and landlords in urban areas across Nigeria. From delayed rent payments to property damage, the issues that arise between tenants and landlords can be a significant source of stress and financial burden for the parties involved. However, a potential solution is within reach: a mobile court specifically designed to tackle tenancy issues.

The concept is simple: a fully equipped and staffed mobile court that provides easy access to justice for those embroiled in tenancy disputes to get a resolution within a 24- to 48-hour time frame. No longer would tenants or landlords need to take lengthy time off work or wait months, sometimes years, for a court to resolve their issues.

With a mobile court, disputes could be settled efficiently and effectively, reducing the financial and emotional toll on all parties involved. The Lagos State Government has successfully implemented this approach in matters concerning traffic and environmental issues, setting a precedent for its potential success in tenancy disputes.

Tenancy disputes account for a significant proportion of cases in courts, with many more cases going unreported. The current system often leaves tenants and landlords feeling frustrated and helpless, with lengthy waiting periods and complex legal processes. A mobile court for tenancy issues offers numerous benefits, which could revolutionise the way these disputes are handled.

Increased accessibility is one of the foremost benefits. Tenants and landlords could access the court at a convenient location and time, reducing the burden of travel and lengthy wait times. This would be more convenient for individuals who might otherwise struggle to attend multiple court sessions due to work or other commitments.

Faster resolution is another critical advantage. Disputes could be resolved quickly, minimising the financial and emotional impact on all parties. A streamlined process ensures that cases are handled promptly, preventing the backlog that currently plagues the traditional court system. This efficiency could significantly alleviate the stress for both parties and the loss of income for landlords associated with prolonged disputes.

Reduced costs are also a significant benefit. Legal fees and court costs would be significantly reduced, making the process more affordable for all parties. This would particularly benefit low-income tenants and small-scale landlords who might otherwise be unable to afford lengthy legal battles.

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It would also serve as a deterrent to ‘mischievous and malevolent’ tenants. These tenants are every landlord’s worst nightmare. However, with faster resolution and increased accessibility to justice, tenants who engage in the practice of defaulting on rents due and taking advantage of the lengthy legal processes in the courts in a bid to retain an accommodation for months and sometimes years without payment to the landlord will find it difficult to continue in this evil machination.

Landlords usually lose or have significant delays in their much-needed rental incomes, which are tied to pressing needs and obligations to mortgage institutions, when they are embroiled in issues with this type of tenant.

Moreover, a mobile court for tenancy issues would increase investment in rental properties by both local and foreign investors. Knowing that lengthy tenancy issues, which can cripple one’s investments for months or years, are no longer tenable in the legal system, investors would be more confident to invest, seeing a more stable, reliable, and profitable real estate market.

The need for such a service is clear. According to recent statistics and personal experience, a majority of tenancy disputes in urban centres remain unresolved for extended periods, causing significant distress to both tenants and landlords. As earlier stated, the Lagos State Government has demonstrated the efficacy of mobile courts in addressing traffic and environmental issues.

These courts, which are equipped with legal personnel and necessary facilities, have made justice more efficient. Applying this model to tenancy disputes could yield similar success, providing a quick, affordable, and effective means of resolving conflicts.

A mobile court for tenancy issues would be a game-changer for stakeholders in the real estate sector. The implementation of a mobile court system would not only streamline the dispute resolution process for tenancy issues but would also ensure that justice is served swiftly and fairly for the parties involved, fostering a more robust and reliable real estate sector.

It is time to bring justice closer to those who need it. Policy makers should therefore consider policies that aid tenancy conflicts to be settled quickly and fairly, for the mutual benefit of all parties.