Most of us at some point of their lives have lived in a rented home, be with friends or as a family. But how much do we know about rights as tenants?
A relationship between a tenant and a landlord is documented in a lease agreement. It is therefore important to pay attention to the length and breadth of the lease in case of misconduct.
We have compiled 10 basic rights every tenant has and can lawfully say no to if breached:
1. Oral Agreement
If the landlord insists on an oral agreement for tenancy instead of a written agreement, say no.
It's important to note that under the tenancy laws all the agreements for tenure of 12 months or more, has to be made in writing and registered in order to avail recourse under these laws.
2. Peace of living
Your landlord cannot simply walk in to the rented premises without prior notice or communication.
Every tenant has a right to enjoy peaceful possession of the property without any disturbance or encumbrance from anyone including the owner.
3. Unreasonable expectations
At no point of time under your tenancy can your landlord ask you to evict or leave the premises without assigning a valid reason.
4. Improper notice
The landlord does not have the right to ask you to evict the premises for a valid reason but within an unreasonable frame of time.
Generally the reasonable frame of time as per law is a one month period or the time stated in the terms of the Agreement.
5. Illegal liabilities
The landlord cannot transfer any liability of expenses incurred on the property for structural damages.
The expenses towards the structural changes carried out to the property shall be borne only by the owner as per law.
6. Last month settlement
Your landlord has no legal right to ask you to pay the rent and not settle it against the deposit during a notice period.
7. Deposit Return
Your landlord has to refund the deposit paid as security for tenancy when you vacate the premises.
8. In case of a deceased tenant
The landlord does not have the right to ask the legal heirs of a deceased tenant to vacate without assigning a valid reason. The legal heirs of a deceased tenant lawfully have the right to continue the tenancy.
9. Increase in rent
Landlords cannot ask for a hike in rent contrary to the terms agreed under the Agreement.
And according to the state laws, there is a formula for calculating the percentage of increase in rent every year or any other specified term.
The tenant is liable to pay the hike only if the increase in the rent amount complies with the formula.
10. Forced extension
Your landlord does not possess the right to insist on continued tenancy. The tenant has a right to vacate the premises for a valid reason.
(Divakar Vijayasarathy is Managing Partner at consulting firm DVS Advisors)
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