This article on ‘Legal Rights of a Landlord in India’ was written by Kalpana Kumari an intern at Legal Upanishad.
We frequently hear regarding tenant rights and also how they need to be preserved, and we may even campaign for them. Nonetheless, a landlord’s rights are also crucial. It’s necessary to discuss the rights of the landlords in India as well because they occasionally experience harassment from their renters.
Thankfully, the government took the legal rights of landlords in India into consideration while passing the rental control legislation. They go into great length on the rights of landlords in India. The Indian legislature took a highly progressive action since it is unfortunate that the landlord suffers at the hands of the renter. With his hard-earned money, the landlord invests in the property. A tenant has the right to remain in their rental unit as long as they pay 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent of the property value in rent each month. Is this appropriate? In the majority of situations, tenants only pay 1 to 3 percent of the property’s worth in rent every year.
We shall first define the terms “landlord” and “tenant” in this article. We shall learn more about the lease between the landlord and tenant in the section that follows. The rights of landlords in India will then be discussed. The paper will then be concluded after looking at remedies to the problems relating to the Legal Rights of Landlords in India.
Who are the Landlord and Tenant?
It is known as a lease when the right to use an immovable property is leased to some other person for a set amount of time in exchange for a predetermined precise value, which is either to be delivered periodically or on particular occasions by the transferee to the transferor. Following the signing of a lease, a tenancy is established, with the transferor or lessor acting as the landlord and the transferee or lessee as the tenant. Lessee, lessor, premium, and rent are all defined under Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act.
A lease comes with a number of obligations and rights. A contract between the two parties establishes the relationship between the landlord and the renter. The Transfer of Property Act’s rules pertaining to such matters and the conditions of the contract, in general, control the rights and obligations of landlords and renters.
The preservation of the rights of landlords in India is also covered by the 1948 Rent Control Act, which the Indian government passed. Although it is a pro-tenant law, it also outlines the landlords’ rights to protect their interests.
Why is the Rent Agreement important?
The rent agreement is one of the most crucial steps for a landlord when renting out a home to a renter. The landlord and the tenant must sign a rent agreement outlining the specifics of the rented property, the monthly rental amount, the rental time, and any other pertinent facts. The stipulations of the property leasing are outlined in this agreement. This agreement outlines the rights that have been agreed upon by both the landlord and the renter. Landlord and tenant rights are protected by a number of municipal regulations.
Rental agreements are severely governed by a number of local rent control laws in India, including the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960, the Delhi Rent ACT 1995, and the Maharashtra Rent Act 1999. Some of the legal rights of landlords in India are listed below.
Legal Rights of Landlords in India
The Indian government launched Rental Control Act to control the rent charges and protect the rights of the tenants as well as landlords. It provides the following rights to the landlords:
1. Landlord’s right to screen and choose prospective tenants
A landlord has complete control over who will occupy their rental property, just as a tenant has the ability to inspect and select the ideal home for his purposes. This includes the right to screen potential renters, including checking references from prior landlords and verifying current employment, past tenant conduct, wage level, and job prospects. The landlord can choose whether to rent the property to that possible renter based on the results of the background investigation. Therefore, as long as their selections adhere to the law and are founded on reasonable standards, landlords are legally entitled to pick amongst potential renters.
2. Right to evict a tenant
It appeared more difficult for landlords to remove residents residing in the home for years since the Rent Control Act only applied to tenancies lasting more than 12 months. The recently discussed Draft Model Tenancy Act 2015 seeks to simplify matters for both landlords and renters by resolving concerns with premature eviction, repossession, and cooperatively setting and updating the rent. Laws now give landlords the authority to evict a tenant for violating the terms of the lease, for subletting the rented space or a portion of it without the landlord’s consent, for failing to pay rent on time for a predetermined period of time, for misusing the property, or for engaging in illegal activity in the rented space.
A tenant may also be asked to leave by the landlord if they need the space for their business. Landlords might also include a condition that increases rent if a tenant does not vacate at the end of the lease to deter overstaying.
3. Right to a temporary recovery of possession
If a landlord has to make repairs, renovations, or additions to the building that can’t be made without the building being vacated, he is allowed to take control of the property. The building will then be offered to the renter once again. Or, the landlord has the right to take ownership of the rental property if it has become unfit for occupancy and cannot be renovated without being abandoned.
4. Right to increase the rent
Due to regulations, landlords are given the advantage when it comes to collecting rent. In addition to having the right to charge their tenants rent at market rates for using the property, owners of residential or commercial properties also have the right to raise the rent on a regular basis. By bringing urban leased accommodations under the jurisdiction of the official housing sector, the Draft Model Tenancy Act plays a crucial role in achieving equilibrium. The Act details the duration, inheritance, rentals due, and landlord and tenant responsibilities.
The standard rate of rent growth for residential properties in India is around 10% per two years. For instance, the Delhi Rent Control Act’s Sections 6 and 8A limit the landlord’s ability to raise the rent.
5. To be advised of necessary repairs
The landlord has the obligation and legal right to react to requests for repairs in a timely manner. The renter may perform minor repairs to the property. However, prior written consent from the landlord is required for any substantial repairs that call for payment. Therefore, a landlord has the right to know about any repairs that are required for their property. The landlord is required by law to keep the property in livable condition for tenants. However, the rent control statute stipulates that the cost of the repairs would be split between the parties.
The landlord should always have a properly written contract with the tenant to avoid any kind of legal complications afterwards. This would also help him to enforce his rights against the tenant in case of any dispute.
In India, certain landlords do exercise greater authority than is often the case, but this is to their cost because renters would prefer to live with a landlord that gives a lease that is either neutral or more tenant-friendly in character. While Vietnam and Japan have extremely “Pro-Landlord” legal systems, India is said to be more “Neutral” or “Tenant-Friendly.” Furthermore, it’s critical to remember your duties as a landlord in order to protect yourself from any legal action.
- India: Model Tenancy Law. (2020, September 29). mondaq. https://www.mondaq.com/india/landlord-tenant–leases/989126/model-tenancy-law-
- Landlord legal rights in India. (2021, February 3). Housewise. https://housewise.in/blog/landlord-legal-rights-in-india/#:~:text=%20Landlord%20Legal%20Rights%20in%20India%20%201,to%20be%20informed%20of%20necessary%20repairs%20More%20
- Rights and liabilities of landlords and tenants under transfer of property act, 1882. (2020, October 24). iPleaders. https://blog.ipleaders.in/rights-liabilities-landlords-tenants-transfer-property-act-1882/
- Legal rights of landlords in India. (2022, May 5). Latest Real Estate News, Articles, Property Insights. https://www.99acres.com/articles/legal-rights-of-landlords-in-india.html
 Transfer Property Act, 1882 §105
 The rent control Act, 1948