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RIGHTS OF TENANTS

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by: TUSHITA PODDAR


WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE TERM ‘TENANT’?


A person who inhabits or owns land or property as a result of a transfer of an asset, such as in price, for a lifetime, for years, or at pleasure is known as a tenant. An individual who has been given the authority to use and own specific real property that has been handed to them by a property owner on a limited contract is also termed as a tenant. A tenancy is thus a type of property ownership.


In certain aspects, the rental contract strengthens the occupant, but it also prevents them from becoming the legal owner of the property. Both the renter and the landowner are aware of the duties, privileges, and obligations once the agreement has been signed.


ESSENTIAL FACTORS TO INITIATE TENANCY


  • First and foremost, the individual must have complete access.

  • Secondly, the renter should be paying the rent to guarantee that it would be complete access without any limitations from the owner or someone else.

  • The main element of a rental lease is that it is for a specific amount of time. The length of the rental lease must be mutually agreeable to both entities (property owner and renter), and it may be terminated if either party violates the tenancy contract's terms.


The lease contract creates a legal agreement between the owner and the renter. The Supreme Court delivered in the matter of Magiti Sasamal v. Pandab Bissoi[1] that the legal relationship between the tenant and the landlord could be decided by a Civil Court and is not prohibited under section 66 of the Assam Tenancy Act 1971. In the case of Indu Bhushan Bose v. Rama Sundri Devi and Anr.[2], it was upheld by the Supreme Court that only the parliament has the power to make a law with respect to the regulation of house accommodation in cantonment areas. It was observed by the Supreme Court in Prabhakaran v. State of Tamil Nadu[3] that litigations pertaining to the landlord and tenant matters must come to an end quickly and judiciously.


DIFFERENT TYPES OF RENTAL AGREEMENTS THAT CAN BE FOUND IN INDIA


All types of rental agreements that are mentioned below need to be registered when not registered, the land property owners would be punished along with the renters for the infringement of the law.


  • STATUTORY TENANCY AGREEMENT


The term "statutory" refers to something that is legally recognized. Removal is not possible for such a renter. Evacuations are only possible if the renter has damaged the house or has not used it for an amount of time of six months or longer. The fee that statutory renters give is generally very little, and it is possible that if the renter expires, his or her members of the family can legally take the position of the previous renter.


  • LESSEE


A lessee has significantly more legal rights than ordinary renters, including the ability to transfer or rent a property if the lease agreement with the property owner does not indicate otherwise.[1]


Furthermore, if the renter's actions are in breach of the agreement's stipulations, the renter holds the power of the property and is not subject to expulsion.


  • LICENSEE


A licensee, unlike a lessee or a legal renter, has no ownership entitlement and stands to expand the advantage from it to the landlord's satisfaction. A license, according to the Indian Easement Act of 1882, is a document in which one person provides another or a group of individuals the authority to do or continues to perform something or to reside in real property for a set amount of time.


RIGHTS OF A TENANT OR A RENTER


Renter privileges are mostly guaranteed by the Rent Control Act. The Law regulates renters' responsibilities and privileges by laying forth their roles and protections.


  • RIGHT TO POSSESS ESSENTIAL SERVICES


The property owner does not have the authority to cut off vital resources such as power and water. He or she cannot stop the renter from using the essential necessities to retrieve the renter's debts or for any other purpose. Even if the renter has not paid the rent, these amenities cannot be revoked unless there are circumstances outside the property owner's control.


  • RIGHT TO FORM A WRITTEN RENT AGREEMENT


It is necessary to establish a formal written agreement between tenants and owners in order for the law to protect both sides' rights. No one should ever compromise for an oral agreement because it is not enforceable by law. The original form is retained by the landlord, while the replicas are handed to the renters. The renters are not bound to pay the rent until the landlord delivers them a duplicate of the lease agreement.


  • RIGHT TO HABITABLE SURROUNDINGS


The house is termed as uninhabitable if the cost of maintenance exceeds 50% of the negotiated rental price. If the landlord refuses to back down, the tenant(s) have the authority to leave the property by giving the landlord a 15-day proper written statement. They can also file a complaint with the regional Rent Authority.


  • RIGHT TO PRIVACY OF THE TENANTS


The landlord cannot invade the renter's property without a 24-hour formal notification, whether for maintenance, to inspect the state of the residence, or for any other purpose specified in the rental agreement. The Model Tenancy Act further specifies that access must occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.


  • RIGHT TO REFUNDABLE SECURITY DEPOSIT


It is illegal to impose a security deposit that is more than three times the monthly rent, as per the Draft Model Tenancy. The security deposit must be returned to renters within one month of the property being deserted. Before returning the money, they can retain the chargeable amount (upon negotiation with the renters and consent from both sides). In the cases of eviction of tenants such as the Bhaiya Punjalal Bhagwaddin v. Dave Bhagwatprasad Prabhuprasad[4]and Manujendra Dutt v. Purendu Prosad Roy Choudhary[5], it was held by the Supreme Court that there would be no additional rights provided to the landlord which he or she already did not own under his or her contract of tenancy.


CONCLUSION


Renters have been given different privileges and play a vital part in the growth of the nation's economy and the running of the government. The renters' rights must be recognized and disseminated as much as possible in order to ensure their freedom while living off the property.

[1] Magiti Sasamal v. Pandab Bissoi,AIR 1962 SC 547. [2] Indu Bhushan Bose v. Rama Sundri Devi and Anr., AIR 1970SC 228. [3] Prabhakaran v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1987 SC 2117. [4] Bhaiya Punjalal Bhagwaddin v. Dave Bhagwatprasad Prabhuprasad,AIR 1963 SC 120. [5] Manujendra Dutt v. Purendu Prosad Roy Choudhary,AIR 1967SC 1419.

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