Finding the right property for rent in India is as tiring as hunting the perfect dream house for purchase. A tenant needs to meet several property dealers, visit different properties, and discuss the terms of different landowners until they find the one that finally suits all their property requirements. However, making a hasty move into a rental home can lead to disputes with the landowner in coming times. To avoid such disputes and protect yourself from getting unlawfully exploited by the landowner, here are some legal rights you should know before renting a property in India.
Details & Facilities You Are Entitled To Get
- Complete and accurate details like size, parking space, garden space, terrace access., of the premise
- License/rental agreement that has been stamped by the sub-registrar
- Complete authority for occupying the premise without any interruption
- Privacy and safety of the tenant while using the premise
Majority of the landlords ask their tenants to submit a particular amount as a security deposit for their property. The tenant needs to be sure that he/she is not being asked to pay a very heavy sum for the same. As per the Draft Model Tenancy created by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the security deposit must not exceed the amount equal to thrice the monthly rent. So, if the rent is INR 10,000, the security deposits should be less than INR 30,000. Moreover, the landowner needs to make a full refund of the security deposit within one month of the tenant leaving the premise. In case there are any deductions to be made, they should be mutually discussed.
The rental value of any property is determined by several factors like the value of the property, the market trends, demand, value of amenities, cost of construction, etc. There could be a certain percent of the total value of the property that could be asked as rent. However, the tenant needs to make sure that the same amount, agreed upon after the discussion, is mentioned in the rental agreement. In case there are revisions in the rental value, the percent or amount revised should be earlier conveyed in the agreement about periodic revision. For sudden revision, the tenant must be informed 3 months prior.
One of the biggest disputes between landowners and tenants arises around the maintenance work of the property. While the basic or light wear and tear in the property could be taken care of by the tenants, it is the bigger maintenance works that need mutual coordination. They need to be paid by both the parties after discussion. The landlord can deduct the money from security deposit while the tenant can deduct from the monthly rent in case either of the two refuses to pay the agreed upon amount. Moreover, no landlord can start any renovation work without informing the tenant. Similarly, a tenant cannot make major changes like building a new wall, taking down some work, etc., without the permission of the landlord.
There is a specific law and a Rent Authority which sees to it that any property available for rent is in a proper habitable condition. This means that the renovation work must not cost more than 50% of the rental amount. If such things happen, the owner needs to get it fixed. However, if the landlord refuses to get the renovation done, the tenant is rightfully allowed to vacate the property.
Entry Of Landlord
In many cases, the tenants complain of the landlords or their known entering the property with the help of the key that they have. Needless of the reason, be it repair work, an inspection of the property, showing it to other prospects, or any other cause, the landlord does not have the right to enter the property without informing the tenants at least 24 hours before coming. Moreover, their entry should be done between 7 am and 8 pm only.
Supply Of Essentials
There are some basic amenities like electricity connection, water supply, sanitary services, etc., that a landlord cannot withhold and a tenant cannot cut. Even though the tenant has not paid the rent for some time, the landlord cannot cut these basic supplies. Either of the party can take the matter to the Rent Authority to report and get compensation.
Many times, the landlord, out of the blue, asks the tenants to evict their property. The tenant has the legal right to question and deny it if he/she is not given a good reason or enough time to vacate. One of the most solid reasons that a landlord can give for sending eviction notice is if the tenant hasn’t paid the rent for two consecutive months. The landlord may even send an eviction notice if he catches some illegal activity going on or if the tenant is damaging the property and misusing it. If the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord is lawfully entitled to double the monthly rent to compensate.
If you are also looking for a property for rent in India or living in one, these rights and laws are some things that could help you ensure you are not being exploited by the landlord. Knowing the legal rights can help you have a more tension-free stay in the rented property.