Tenant Rights

 Property disputes are one of the most common disputes in India. Even more common among and some of the complex disputes is between tenants and landlords. You must have often heard about incidents of owners harassing their tenants and thus it is beneficial for them to know their rights so that they can save themselves from constant exploitation. Indian law has provided sufficient rights to tenants to protect them from any illegality.

There are mainly two different types of agreements lease agreement or licence agreement. In some cases where there is no agreement or the previous agreement has expired, it is implied to be a lease agreement. Lease agreements are governed by Transfer of Property Act,1882 and licence agreements are covered under Easement Act, 1882. Lease agreements can be for an indefinite period whereas licence agreements can only be for 11 months which can include a periodical renewal clause.

Rights of the parties are given in section 108 of the Transfer of property Act, 1882. The Even obligation of parties is mentioned in the act. One of the main rights of the tenants is that all the material defects in the property should be disclosed to him and he should be given possession of the property when he asks for it and the owner is liable to fulfil his obligation if the tenant is also willing to do so. Tenants are entitled to know all the terms of tenancy beforehand.

A tenant is entitled a quiet, safe and exclusive enjoyment of his house. You can always ask the landlord for the necessary repair works even after you have moved into the property. If any noises coming from other tenants or neighbours or even the owner of the house is disturbing you, you can always main a complaint to your landlord. You are also entitled to reimbursement for any repairs that you carry which were the landlord’s responsibility.  Moreover, the owner is not entitled to visit the property without the tenant’s permission. The tenant can also have visitors over unless they do not create any nuisance or inconvenience to the owner and also if it is expressly prohibited by the agreement.

The period of tenancy must be mentioned in the rent deed along with the period when the tenancy is going to start and when is it going to stop. Date of payment of rent should also be specified and it should also include any increase in the rent in future. To reduce litigations pertaining to landlords and tenants the Supreme Court passed a judgement that no landlord can evict his tenant for at least five years if the tenant has fulfilled all his obligations. He can only do so if he wants to you the premise for his/her personal use.

Prior notice must be given by the landlord to the tenant for eviction and it is unlawful on the part of the landlord to disconnect essential services like electricity and water to the tenant and the tenant can approach the Rent Control Court to take action against the landlord.

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