Tenants have a very great role to play as regards ensuring a successful tenancy regime with the landlord. Hence they also have a responsibility to uphold to ensure that the relationship with the landlord is positive in nature. A tenancy contract in Cameroon is a contract of rental, usually written between the owner of a property and a renter who desires to have temporal possession of the property. The agreement identifies the parties to the contract, the property, the rental term, the amount to be paid for the term of possession, and the obligation of the parties during the tenancy period.
The terms to a tenancy contract in Cameroon are typically implicit terms, explicit terms, or written terms. These terms are usually regulated by contract law and laws regulating the tenancy regime in Cameroon.
CLAUSES APPLICABLE TO TENANTS IN A TENANCY CONTRACT IN CAMEROON
Tenants are the clients of landlords. As such they permit the landlord to make money as a result of the use of their property for habitation. Hence, they have an almost equal standard of responsibility in a tenancy contract. The responsibility of a tenant is guided by the following clauses;
- Payment of Rents: This clause expresses the fundamental duty of a tenant to pay his rent when due. A tenancy contract is a contract of offer and acceptance in exchange for consideration. Hence the consideration, in this case, is the rent paid by the tenant to the landlord. Failure of a tenant to respect this clause will lead to eviction from the property in accordance with the law in force in Cameroon.
- Payment of Bills and Other Charges: In a tenancy regime, the tenant is liable to other payments apart from the payment of rent. Other payments include; electricity bills, water supply bills, waste disposal bills, etc. the respect of this clause smoothens the tenancy relationship in the long term.
- Security Deposit: This clause has as aims to provide some form of financial insurance in the tenancy contract. It is also called a ‘Caution Fee’ in some cases. The purpose of this deposit is to ensure that if the tenant is to vacate the premises, and there is some damage caused by the tenant, the deposit can be used to offset the charges for repairs. However, it is fully refundable if the damages are as a result of fair wear and tear excepted.
- Pet Clause: This clause though most often neglected in some tenancy contractss is very important. This is because the presence of a pet under a particular tenant can constitute a serious nuisance to other tenants in the same estate. It is therefore important that the tenant who owns a pet clearly outlines the manner in which he or she shall control the same in a way desirous for the habitation of other tenants.
- Noise Clause: This clause is aimed at ensuring that the tenant agrees not to cause or allow any noise or activity on the premises which might disturb the peace and quiet of another tenant. A breach of this clause in a tenancy contract can amount to a breach of the tenancy contract.
- Illegal Activity clause: This clause is aimed at ensuring that the sanctity of the premises is maintained. The tenant is not to engage in any illegal activity or permit others to use their rented premise for the conduct of the illegal activity. A breach of this clause can have great repercussions on the other tenants in the estate.
- Anti-Theft Clause: This clause on one hand absolves the landlord from any theft caused on the property of the tenant during the pendency of the tenancy contract, and on the other hand it directs the tenant not to orchestrate theft on the property of the landlord during the pendency of the tenancy contract.
- Waste Disposal/Management Clause: This clause is aimed at ensuring that the tenant shall not allow any refuse, garbage or any loose, objectionable material to accumulate in or about the premises at all times to keep the premises in a clean and neat condition. This clause obliges the tenant(s) to live in a clean and healthy environment.
There are other minor clauses that may be added to the clauses mentioned above. However, the above clauses will protect the authority of the landlord, tenant, and the state of repairs of the property.