Rights of A Tenant in India
The term “tenancy” refers to the possession of occupancy of lands, homes, or a unit by title through a lease or on rent. At present there are two types of tenancy agreements in India:
- Lease Agreements - comes under rent control laws
- Lease and License Agreement – comes not under rent control laws
The rent of any property can be decided by the formula developed by the local authority or judicial bodies, as the case may be. In Delhi NCR, the maximum annual rent you can charge is approx 10% of the cost of construction or the market price of the property. But the construction cost & land value both are based on historical values and not the existing market condition. So, the older the property, the lesser the rent a landlord can charge from you. This fixed rent can only be raised as a small part of the actual cost.
As lease and license agreements are designed to escape strict regulations, all terms are governed by the agreement between property owner and tenant. Apart from the very common conditions that the agreement is only valid for 11 months, everything must be mentioned in the bond. A tenant can be a contractual occupant or a statutory occupant. Contractual tenants are the tenant who occupies the property and is entitled to the possession of the property during the term of the contract. On the other hand, a statutory tenancy comes into existence where a contractual tenant holds possession after the contract is ended.
In India, we have heard so many cases of harassment either by a landlord towards the tenant or tenant towards the landlord, to address this issue, Model Tenancy Act 2021 comes into existence. The only aim of this act is to enforce a transparent ecosystem between tenants & landlords.
If you want to know more about the Model Tenancy Act 2021 then click here.
Here we are only addressing your rights as a tenant and how you can protect yourselves from a merciless landlord.
In the oral agreement
The proprietor insists on a verbal agreement for tenancy in place of a written agreement, you can say no to him. As a tenant, you should know that under the tenancy act all the agreements for the tenure of 12 months or more have to be made in written and registered to avail recourse under these laws.
Your proprietor cannot intrude anytime in the rented property without any prior notice. Every tenant has the right to protect their privacy and enjoy peaceful possession without any disturbance or burden from anybody including the landlord.
At no point of time under your agreement can your proprietor ask you to evict or leave the property without giving you a prior notice with valid reason.
The property owner does not have the right to ask you to evict the premises with a valid reason but within an unreasonable frame of time. Normally the reasonable frame of time as per law is the time mentioned in the rent agreement.
The property owner cannot claim any liability of expenses incurred on the property for maintenance work. The costs for the maintenance work carried out to the property shall be borne only by the property owner as per the law.
Last month settlement
Your property owner has no legal right to ask you to give the rent and not settle it against the security deposit during a notice period.
As a tenant, you have complete right to demand to refund the deposit which you paid as security when you vacate the property.
In the case of a deceased tenant
The property owner has no right to ask the legal heirs of a deceased tenant to evacuate without any valid reason. The legal heirs of a deceased tenant legally have the right to continue the occupancy till the agreement.
Increase in rent
Any landlord cannot demand a hike in rent in opposition to the terms contracted under the Agreement.
Almost in every state of India, this is a fixed formula for calculating the percentage of rent increase annually or end of the agreement.
As a tenant, it is your right to pay the hike only if the raise in the rent amount fulfills the formula.
Your property-owner does not have the right to insist on continued rental. As a tenant, you have full right to leave the property for a valid reason.
In our country, many people are living in rented homes under miserable conditions. It is very important for them to know and be aware of the rights of tenants. These tenants’ rights & the new Model Tenancy Act 2021 promote rental properties and bridge the trust gap between tenants and landlords
What are tenants' rights?
You are advised to remain on top of your rent payments to the landlord at all times. If the landlord will not accept rent, first issue a written notice to the landlord informing them of a bank into which they can directly deposit the rent.
Can a tenant claim ownership after 12 years of stay in India?
According to the law, if a person is staying in a property for 12 years then they are granted the ownership rights to the property, but this should be without any involvement from the owner.
Do private tenants have any rights?
Not just one, you enjoy several rights with the tenancy agreement.
- You have the right to live in a safe and good property.
- You can challenge the charges that you think are exceptionally high.
- The right to live undisturbed in property by the owner.