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 Payment of rent is a vital part of tenancy albeit not proof of existence of a tenancy. It is often one of the covenants of a tenancy agreement. Payment of rent can help a court in calculating the duration for a valid Notice to Quit, where there is no agreement. Prove of payment (receipt) is needed in the calculation of a mesne profit (rent incurred by a tenant after the expiration of a valid “Notice to Quit” served on him) and even arrears of rent (rent incurred by a tenant while in a valid tenancy with his landlord). It can equally clear off any allegation of contravention of a valid rent clause (timely payment of rent). Hence, a tenant is entitled to the receipts of payment of his rent; for it is a proof of payment therein.

The receipt of payment is an acknowledgement from a landlord (or his agent) that he has received rent from a tenant. It must contain the name of the landlord and the tenant, the amount paid and the date of such payment. The property for which such payment is made, the duration that such payment will cover and the signature of the receiver must also be on the receipt.

It is an actionable offence to refuse to issue a receipt for rent paid and received. It is your right as a tenant to be issued a receipt upon payment of rent. Where the payment is only a part of the whole, it should also be receipted and same stated. Remember a written agreement endorsed by the landlord before a witness that he has received a rent from his tenant will suffice. No matter how familiar, friendly, corporative and caring your landlord is, please always demand for receipts of your paid rents to safeguard your tomorrow.

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