A landlord is the owner of an estate in the land. And that owner leases the same for a term of years, on rent reserved, to another person, called the “tenant.”

While we talk about the rights of a tenant and how to safeguard their right, there is another side of the transaction, too- A landlord. Under the rental laws in India, several rights protect the interests of a landlord, too.

Government Of India passed The Rent Control Act in 1948. Though the Act is pro-tenant. But it also talks about the protection of rights of landlords.

Landlord Rights In India

1. Landlords have the right to choose who will stay on the property, which they are planning to rent out.
2. The landlord can get the security deposit from the tenant, at the time of renting out the property. Security deposit is mainly collected to protect the landlord against losses arising out of non-payment of rent and damage to the rental property.
3. The landlord has the right to get the possession of the property if he has to carry out repairs, alterations, or additions to the rented building. Also, if the building has become unsafe to stay and if it cannot be repaired without being vacated, the landlord can get possession of the property.
4. If the tenant is carrying any repairs, alterations on the rental property, the landlord has the right to be informed.
5. The landlord has the right to receive the rent on the first date of each month unless the date is changed by mutual consent.
6. The landlord has all the right for early eviction of the tenant under the following circumstances:
I. First, if the tenant sub-lets the rental property without permission.
II. In case of breach of the rental agreement.
III. If there is a delay in the payment.

IV. Similarly, if the tenant Carries out illegal activities on the property
V. The tenant misuses the property and uses the property for a purpose other than those mentioned in the rental agreement.

Management of property by the landlord/ how to avoid legal action

Managing a rental property can create multiple legal issues. One of the most important aspects of supervising a rental unit is the prevention of problems before they occur. Knowledge of the basic duties landlord has towards tenants is one of the first steps in warding off legal issues. Moreover, it is important to not forget one’s responsibilities as a landlord, to keep oneself safe from all forms of legal action. Here is some advice as to the landlord for legal issues faced by them.

1. Put a Landlord/Tenant Agreement in Writing

One of the most important pieces of advice for the landlord is to enter into a written rental agreement with the tenant. These rental agreements will guide the landlord/tenant relationship. The most important provisions include the following: the names of the tenants, the length of the tenancy, the amount of the security deposit, the party responsible for specific repairs, whether pets are allowed in the rental unit, and the amount of rent. A lease agreement should mention when rent is due, what form of payment is acceptable, whether a grace period allowed or not etc.

2. Inspection of rental property

A landlord should inspect a rental property from time to time for avoiding dangerous conditions. When a tenant sustains injuries on the property, the landowner may bear legal responsibility. The law allows a person injured on a property to recover compensation from the landlord when the landlord behaved recklessly, violated health and safety regulations, failed to make certain repairs, or the premises were inhabitable. A owner should always be aware of criminal activity in and around the rental property.

3. Make repairs promptly

A landlord must repair, maintain a rental property in a way that is fit for a stay in the rental property. This is called an “implied warranty of habitability.” Most states require rental units to provide tenants with basic amenities like heating, plumbing, electricity, and gas. The failure to provide these basic amenities is a violation of the law. When a tenant requests necessary repairs and the landlord fails to repair, the tenant has several options.

These options include allowing a tenant to withhold rent, make the repair and deduct the cost from the rent, move out, or pay the rent and sue the landlord for the difference of the rent and the real rental value of the property. If an injury occurs to the tenant because of the failure to repair, the tenant may sue the landlord for compensation.

4. Getting Rid of Abandoned Property Inappropriately

When a tenant leaves items behind after vacating the property, the landlord must notify the tenant of how to claim the property, the cost for storage, where to claim the property, etc. If the property remains unclaimed and it is more than a certain amount, the owner has the option to sell the property at a public sale after publishing a notice of sale in a local newspaper. If the property is less than the state-specified amount, the landlord has the choice to either keep the property or throw it away.

A rental property is usually intended to earn money with only less investment of time and energy. Mistakes concerning your obligations, responsibilities towards tenants can result in the loss of profits and consume an enormous amount of hazel. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a good advocate to discuss your situation. And learn how to manage rental properties in an efficient manner and according to legal fashion.

By Nitanshu Arora
Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates

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