Renting a Property in India

Sign a legal agreement

In whatever case, insist on a written agreement, signed by both parties, when renting a home.

This seemingly simple act puts the process, and of course both parties under legal watch. Never settle for an oral agreement, they have no legal backup.

While the landlord keeps the original document of the agreement, you (the tenant) should have a duplicate. Do not pay any rent until the documentation is complete.

Property maintenance

Typically, both tenants and landlords are responsible for property maintenance – except stated otherwise in the agreement.

Where a tenant fails to meet up with obligations like repairs, the cost of such maintenance may be deducted from security deposits. On the other hand, if property owners fail to meet up with their maintenance obligations (as in the agreement), the cost can be removed from the rent.

Uninhabitable expenses

Where maintenance cost exceeds 50 percent of total rent, such a property is considered ‘inhabitable.’ If the landlord does not act on such concerns, the tenant may leave the property after a 15-day notice, in writing, to the owner. Tenants may also report to the Rent Authority

Property damage after the tenancy agreement

On acceptance of the tenancy agreement, the tenant is expected to maintain the original conditions of the premises – except for regular wear and tear.

Whether by negligence or intention, any damage on the property should be communicated to the landlord, immediately.

Essential Supplies

Tenants have rights to basics like electricity, water, sanitary services, communication links, etc. – even where there is a default in due payments.

Where these essentials are cut off, the aggrieved may submit complaints to the Rent Authority for intervention.

Rent payable

There should be a written agreement between the landlord and tenant on the rent payable. The landlord must report any reversal three months before the date of effect.

The overall value of the property, including construction cost, the market value of land, and the value of amenities are typical factors that determine chargeable rent.

For a well-informed decision, you may also want to check out the property for rent listings and compare prices of rents across India.

Landlord’s access to the property

For whatever reason, the property owner must give at least a 24-hour written notice before entering a rented property. Although they own the home, the inhabitants’ privacy rights must be honored. And according to the Model Tenancy Act, such visits must fall within the hours of 7 am and 8 pm.

Security deposit

The Draft Model Tenancy says landlords must not charge above three times the cost of monthly rents as a security deposit. This rate however varies across state laws.

That said, landlords must return the security deposit to tenants not later than one month after a tenant vacates the property.

Tenants eviction

You may face eviction if you fail to meet up with complete rent for two consecutive months.

Also, tenants may be asked to leave the premises if they abscond for an extended period, without any written notice. Encroachment on or misuse of an additional property may also warrant a quit notice. Where tenants fail to comply, within the stipulated duration, the landlord reserves the right to increase rent (as high as twice the original cost) as compensation.

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