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It is said a bird will never learn to fly if it doesn’t leave its nest. Birds leave their nest before their first flight to chase their dreams. As do humans. With the weight of responsibilities and to accomplish their dreams, people leave the comfort of their homes to live temporarily elsewhere. It could be a new city or a new country altogether. People opt for various kinds of accommodations. It could be a hostel or a flat.
At this new rented place, one is required to pay a certain amount of money to the owner of the flat or the room. The owner is called the Landlord/ lady, while the individual paying is called the Tenant. It is common to have an agreement between the landlord and the Tenant. But very often, the Tenant is unaware of their basic rights and ends up getting exploited by the Landlord.
Most of the time the Tenants don’t know their basic rights.
Do you wanna know the Tenants’ Rights in India? Read on.
Before we know which are the rights that you have as a tenant it is important to understand tenancy and its types.
Firstly, Who is a Tenant?
A Tenant is someone who pays a certain amount of money to live in an apartment, (temporarily) to the owner of the land also called the Landlord/lady.
What is Tenancy?
Tenancy implies the possession of land or property.
There are two types of tenancy agreements in India:
A lease agreement that lasts for 12 months, that is governed by the Rent control Laws by the State government.
Lease and license agreements last up to 11 months and do not fall under the Rent control laws.
RENT CONTROL ACT:
The government of India passed the Rent Control Act in 1948 to protect the Tenants’ rights and to control the rent charges to avoid unauthorized eviction. The Act regulates neither the landlords nor the tenants’ rights are exploited.
It is imperative to have a written agreement between the landlord and the tenant that describes the authenticity of the rental agreement. An oral agreement is never advisable and not legally acceptable.
Right to deposit amount:
The tenant has to pay a lump sum amount at the start of the tenancy to the owner as a security deposit. And after vacating the house the owner has to return the deposit within one month.
The landlord cannot increase the rent overnight. He has to abide by the government laws and decide over an amount agreed by both the landlord and the tenant.
The tenant and the owner are equally responsible for maintaining the house. For instance, The tenant cannot paint the house or take out the furniture of the house. At the same time, the owner cannot renovate the house without prior permission from the tenants living in the house.
Eviction of the Tenants:
A tenant may be asked to vacate the house if they fail to pay the rent for two consecutive months. Or if they cause damage to the house or carry any illegal activities, they will be lawfully asked to leave the house.
Right to free use:
Even if the tenancy agreement says, the tenant cannot cook a certain type of food or have any visitors, these demands are null and void. As a tenant, one has the right to bring anyone over and cook whatever they want to.
MAHARASHTRA RENT CONTROL ACT 1999:
Every state has its own rent control rules and regulations. One such is of the state of Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Rent control act was passed in the year 1999. The Act aims to unite the rental laws in the state and to encourage the construction of new houses with a fair return on investment ( ROI ) to the landlords.
While getting into an agreement, it is important for both the landlord and the tenant to adhere to the act laid down by the government to ensure a smooth transaction and to avoid any kind of fiddle. In the agreement, it is advisable for both the parties to ensure to mention a few of the above-mentioned points. Moreover, both parties should abide by the mandatory rules laid down by the Government and seek legal aid whenever there is a setback.