Over the years, the relationship between a landlord and tenant has been governed by civil law. Hence defaulting tenants were subject to several procedures in terms of recovery of premises matters by landlords.

The patience exercised by landlords in Cameroon was also guided by the civil law procedure in Cameroon. The steps in this procedure were guided by the notice period as follows;

  1. 1 week’s notice to quit for a tenancy at will.
  2. 1 month’s notice to quit for a monthly tenancy.
  3. A quarterly notice to quit for a quarterly tenancy.
  4. Half a year’s notice to quit for a yearly tenancy.

It is common practice that through the competent court in Cameroon, a 30-day notice to quit is issued after which a 7 days notice to quit is issued. Failure by the tenant to respect the notices, then a civil action is initiated at the competent court for a procedure to recover premises.

The legislator in Cameroon has ratified a law that has come as a green light for landlords, as landlords are now given the powers to establish complaints against tenants in Cameroon who default to pay their rent for two months. Such defaulting tenants shall pay a fine of from 100,000fcfa to 300,000fcfa or an imprisonment term of from six months to three years in accordance with section 322-1 of the Cameroon Penal Code.


We however recommend that the tenancy contract should have an arbitration clause in which the parties will first make recourse to amicable settlement methods. If the amicable settlement methods fail, then the landlord can engage the criminal action against the defaulting tenant in line with the relevant provisions of the Cameroon Penal Code.

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