Renting your dream house can be a tricky task. If this is your first time renting a house, you may not be aware of your rights and responsibilities for being a tenant. This is where tenant advocacy comes in handy.
The Rent Control Act passed by the Government of India aims to control rent charges and protect the rights of the tenant in terms of unauthorized eviction. The state government determines this law and it is formed keeping in mind some of the rights for both the tenant and the property owners. There are certain points one must consider for the guarantee of a safe purchase before you rent a property. They help you know your rights and enjoy all the privilege you deserve for being a tenant in India while living in your dream house.
Fixation of fair rent
The fair rent which you landlord can ask you for is a percentage (approx. 9 per cent) of the total cost of the premises which includes the market value for a portion of the land space, value of amenities (subject to a maximum of 15 per cent of the cost of the site) and value of construction based on the cost fixed by the Public Works Department – but is subjected to depreciation, depending on the oldness of the building. In case of an extended lease, if your owner wants to increase the rent, he has the rights to do so when the proposed rent amount is greater than the current rent, despite your contractual understanding.
Both the owners and the tenants are responsible for maintaining and managing the property unless there are different conditions specified in the agreement, except the common wear and tear. This means, for example, if you are a tenant of a house, you are not permitted to remove or deconstruct a wall, and your owner cannot renovate unless there is an agreement from both the owner and the tenant.
In case there is a requirement of repairs, the tenants and owner are both obliged to pay for it. If the landlord refuses, the renter can deduct the amount from the periodic rent, or if the tenant refuses, it can be taken from their security deposit.
Conditions that are unhabitable
If the maintenance price mentioned above is more than 50 per cent of the rent that is agreed upon, the house is not considered to be habitable. In such cases, if your landlord doesn’t take any actions, you are permitted to vacate the house with a fifteen-day notice that is written. You can also consider taking the matter to the local rent authority.
The owners cannot come into the premises without notice
As a tenant, you do not have to worry about your landowner waltzing into your house anytime they want. It doesn’t matter if it is for repairing purpose, checking up the state of the house, the owner cannot enter your premise without prior notice (usually 24 hours prior). The Model Tenancy Act also states that the entry even when informed must be only between 7 am and 8 pm.
You as a tenant have a basic right to basic services like the water supply, communication links, electricity, parking, and sanitary services. Your landlord cannot withhold these services, even in a case when you haven’t paid off the dues. In a case, the owner does cut off the service, you can ask the rent authority in a particular area to intervene.
These advocacies as a tenant will help you enjoy your stay in your dream house so long as you live up to your end of the deal and responsibilities.