At some point in life, one has to go away from their hometown and live on rented premises. So, it’s better to be legally informed about the rights of a tenant in order to avoid any consequences in the future.
Rights of a Tenant
Right to have a copy of the agreement: It is always advisable to enter into a written rental agreement if you want to be protected by the law. The tenant has the right to obtain a copy of the rent agreement from the landlord. Unless the landlord provides the tenants with a copy of the contract, they are not liable to pay the rent.
Right to privacy and peaceful possession- A tenant has a right to privacy in his rented apartment or property, i.e. a landlord can’t just enter the rented apartment without giving prior notice of 24 hours. He can’t visit for any surprise checks even when you are a group of bachelors in the house. As per the Model Tenancy Act, a landlord can visit the rented premises only between 7 am to 8 pm.
Right to collect Security Deposits- At the time of vacating the rented house, the tenant has the right to collect the security deposit paid by him with the interest set by the statute. As per Draft Model Tenancy, it is illegal to charge a security deposit which is three times the monthly rent.
Note – The security deposit must be returned to the tenant within one month of vacating the house.
Right to essential services- The landlord cannot prohibit you from using essential or basic facilities to recover rent arrears or for any other reason. If he does so, the tenant can approach the rent control court for restoration of services and initiate an action against the landlord.
FAQ – What are the essential services?
It includes basic facilities like electricity and water.
Right to be informed about changes in rent – A tenant has the right to be intimated about changes in the amount of rent. A prior notice of 3 months should be served to the tenant by the owner.
Right to vacate the premises: If the cost of maintenance exceeds 50% of the agreed rent and the owner refuses to pay the amount, the tenant has the right to vacate the house after giving prior notice of 15 days to the owner.
The right to say no to the extension of the tenancy – The owner can’t force you to extend the period of tenancy against your will.
Right not to leave the premises – The landlord can’t just tell you to leave the house, without giving a prior notice of 1 month.
Right to compensation: A tenant has the right to be compensated for the expenses incurred by him on repairs, which are the responsibility of the owner.
Right to live in a fit house – A tenant has the right to live in a house with safe conditions. A house having bad wiring, holes on the floor or termites in the furniture is considered to be unsafe.
Note – It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a house with a minimum living standard for the tenant.
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