Court compels Abuja tenant to pay N3.5m unpaid rent
ABUJA – An FCT High Court Maitama on Friday compelled a tenant, one Abdurrahim Abdul to pay his landlord, Ama Real Estate Ltd., N3.5 million as unpaid rent and outstanding balance.
Justice Jude Okeke in a ruling said the plaintiff had provided enough evidence to justify the grounds of reliefs sought.
“Having carefully examined the reliefs sought by the plaintiff, the cardinal issue is whether the plaintiff has made out a case to justify the grounds of the reliefs sought.
“There is no evidence before the court that the defendant paid the rent of 2016 to 2017 and the service charge.
“In the forgoing, it is apparent that the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff in the sum of N2.6 million and N650, 000, being the unpaid rent and service charge for the said premise.
“This being the case, the defendant is ordered to pay forthwith to the plaintiff a sum of N950,000 being outstanding balance for the tenancy period of 2014 to 2015 and a sum of N2.6 million being unpaid rent for the tenancy period of 2016 to 2017,’’ he said.
Okeke said that from the records of the court the plaintiff was the owner of the said property and entered into tenancy agreement with the defendant on October 2014.
According to him, the agreement started in October 2014 to September 2015 for N2.6 million unreserved rent.
He said that a certain fee known as service charge which varies from year to year was also discussed and agreed upon by the parties.
Okeke said that the records also showed that the plaintiff later entered into an oral tenancy agreement with the defendant which commenced in October 2015 and expired on Sept. 30, 2016.
He said that the agreement between the parties was that the reserved rent be paid in advance of the total of N3.2 million.
Okeke said that the sum comprised N2.6 million as rent and N650, 000 service charge, but the defendant paid only N2.3 million leaving a balance of N950,000 on the reserved rent.
He said that during the proceedings, the defendant counsel said he was not aware of a move for settlement and promised to confirm it with the defendant before he prayed for adjournment which was granted.
Okeke said that the defendant counsel also did not file his notice of intention to defend.
He said that the defendant and his counsel were not in court twice and never gave reasons for their absence and the suit was accordingly heard as undefended list as prescribed by the law.