Tenancy Act India

Tenancy Act India

Several new provisions came into effect in 2017 which includes:

  • Extending the tenancy cycle from 4 years to 6 years for Part 4 tenancies
  • A landlord required to give reason on terminating a Part 4 tenancy in the first 6 months

They also include restrictions on the sale of 10 or more rented units in a development.

Rights And Responsibilities Derived From?

It derives from The Landlord and Tenant Law as well as from any lease or tenancy agreement between you and your landlord.

The main legislation governing these rights and obligations is contained in the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1967 to 1994 or the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 or The Residential Tenancies Act 2015.

New Legislation

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 contains several amendments to the residential tenancies legislation. Some of the changes took effect from 17 January 2017, and some others will require Commencement Orders.

Rights as a tenant

  • He is entitled to quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home.
  • He is entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation
  • He is entitled to a rent book
  • He has the right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable times.
  • His landlord is only allowed to enter his home with your permission.
  • He is entitled to a certain amount of notice of the termination of the tenancy. He is entitled to refer any disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) without being penalized for doing it.
  • He has the right to a copy of any register entry held by the RTB dealing with his tenancy.
  • All homes for rent must have a Building Energy Rating (BER), stating how energy-efficient the home is.

Security of tenure

Normally, there is a security of tenure for 4 years but the landlord may end the tenancy during the first 6 months without giving any reason. After 6 months, he has the right to stay for a further 3 years and 6 months.

Paying and reclaiming your deposit

The tenant will have to pay a security deposit when you agree to rent the property. The landlord holds this deposit as security to cover any rent arrears, bills owing or damage beyond normal wear and tear at the end of the tenancy. It is usually equal to one month’s rent.

Situations to say no to the landlord

There are some rights of the tenant when he can lawfully say no to him if breached:

  • Oral Agreement
  • Improper notice
  • Illegal liabilities
  • Last month settlement
  • Deposit Return
  • In case of a deceased tenant
  • Increase in rent
  • Forced extension

Heirs and The Hindu Succession Act, 1956

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 copy

This act attempts to amend and codify the law related to intestate or un-willed succession amongst Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. According to the provisions of the act, upon the death of a Hindu male, who died intestate, the property is passed on to the Class 1 heirs and if these are not present, then to the Class 2 heirs. If both categories are absent, then the property is given to the “Agnates” (distant blood relatives of male lineage) and if these are no present either then to the “Cognates” (distant blood relatives of the male or female lineage). However, if even these are not present, then the estate is passed on to the government.

The Class 1 heirs include:

  • Son/Daughter
  • Widow
  • Mother
  • Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased Son
  • Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased Daughter
  • Widow of a pre-deceased Son
  • Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased son of a pre-deceased son (3 levels)
  • Widow of a pre-deceased Son of a pre-deceased Son

The Class 2 heirs include:

  • Father
  • (i) Son’s Daughter’s Son
    (ii) Son’s Daughter’s Daughter
    (iii) Brother
    (iv) Sister

Amongst various others, these are some of the Class 2 heirs.

In case there is a death of a Hindu female intestate, the property will devolve in the following order:

  • Upon the Sons and Daughters and the Husband
  • Upon the heirs of the Husband
  • Upon the Mother and Father
  • Upon the heirs of the Father and
  • Upon the heirs of the Mother

If any person commits murder, they cannot claim inheritance from the victim. A person who converts to some other religion will qualify to claim inheritance but his/her descendants can’t do so until they are re-converted to Hinduism. Moreover, if a widow remarries, she cannot claim her inheritance in her husband’s property, though the children can.

The Hindu Succession Act was also amended Section 6 of the 1956 Act, that now allowed daughters to claim equal rights as the sons. Before the enactment of the Succession Act in 1956, inheritance laws were governed by “Shastric” and Customary laws that varied from region to region. Under the Mitakshara school of Hindu Law, a woman in the Hindu household only had the right to maintenance but not inheritance in the property. Also, it was only the sons who were considered coparceners (that is someone on whom inheritance lands from their ancestors), however now, the daughters and sons both inherit equal property and so, share the same liabilities and disabilities. This step taken by the court is definitely a game changer in case of a balanced legal system, where rights and duties are shared equally, irrespective of the sex of an individual.

Furthermore, the Hindu Law does not differentiate between adopted children and children with whom a bloodline is shared. This means that the adopted children also have an equal claim over the property as the others.