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Published : January 17, 2011 | Author : shraddha ojha
Category : Civil Laws | Total Views : 100169 | Rating :

shraddha ojha
I have completed my law degree from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad and now I am serving as an In-house council for Air India express.

Protection against eviction and fixation of fair rent

All transactions in Indian real estate sector are governed by various laws enacted by the Central Government of India and respective State governments. One such law is the RENTAL LAWS. These laws govern the rental of commercial and residential property and are necessary to enforce individual civil rights of both landlord and tenant and prevention of any kind of deceit.

The real estate scene in India is flawed by land market distortions. The most glaring ones include inflexible zoning, rent and tenancy laws. Zoning laws, rent controls and protected tenancies have been detrimental to the healthy rental trends in India. They have put a freeze to land in city centers that could be otherwise made available for new retail outlets and flats.

These laws also gloss over operational inefficiencies and scuttle competition. Tenants residing could not be evicted for along time and would not surrender their cheap tenancies on their own volition. The renovation of buildings could hardly happen. One such act favoring the rental property market in India is the Rent Control Act.

The basic objective of the rent control legislation is to protect the tenant against exorbitant rents, arbitrary increases in the rent and ensure him security of tenure. The legislation has been necessitated by conditions of scarcity prevailing in rental housing markets of urban areas. As housing is a State subject, different State Governments have framed their own rent control laws. By 1972, almost all the States in the country had enacted Rent control Acts (RCA).

Rent control was conceived as a short term measure to overcome the problem of temporary shortages during World wars. The Acts were therefore enacted for short and limited durations. This practice has continued and the rent control Acts in most States are temporary Acts and are extended every few years. The State Governments have periodically amended the Acts either in response to changing market conditions or to plug some loopholes and improve the functioning of the Acts.

The rent control Acts are generally applicable to all urban areas in the States and to most of the residential and non-residential premises in these urban areas. The exempted premises include those belonging to the Union Government, State Government and local authorities. Some states also exclude from the preview of the Act properties falling below or above certain rental values, newly constructed properties, as also properties belonging to charitable Trusts etc. In each city these exemptions account for a significant proportion of the total rental housing stock.

Major Provisions of the Rent Control Act
The Acts typically contain in regard to the following provisions:
a) control on letting and leasing of vacant buildings to assist tenants in their search for desirable rented accommodation,

b) fixation of ‘fair’ or ‘standard’ rent,

c) protection to tenants against indiscriminate eviction by unscrupulous landlords,

d) obligations and duties of landlords vis-avis maintenance and upkeep of their rented properties,

e) rights of landlords against tenants who default in paying rent or misuse the premises, and

f) rights of landlords for the recovery of premises in specific cases.

[1] V.P. Sarthi, Law of Transfer of Property, (Lucknow: Eastern Book Co.) 2005

Impact of Rent Control Acts
There is a near unanimous opinion that the social objectives of rent control acts have not been realized. On the other hand there have been various adverse effects. The most significant impact is on the supply of rental housing which is influenced by the Act in three different ways:-

a) The negative effect on investment in new rental housing and supply from the existing stock of housing. This is not only due to low rents but also due to the fear of losing the house to the tenant altogether.

b) Withdrawal of supply from existing rental housing stock. Even though evicting the tenant is very difficult, as and when the landlord recovers the premises the disincentive to re-let the premises is quite high. The large number of vacancies is an evidence of the same.

c) Accelerated depreciation due to inadequate maintenance. Under the controlled regime, the rents continue to remain at a low level whereas the cost of maintenance continues to increase. The situation is more severe in case of old tenancies where the rents have been frozen at historical low levels. It is in case of these old properties that the need for maintenance is higher. The older housing stock in our urban areas thus faces premature decay and degradation. These are also the areas with highest productivity of land. The economic cost of premature death of these properties as also of their low productive use is quite high.

The rent controls have led to stagnation of revenue from property taxes since the base of property tax is Standard Rent which has been frozen under most Acts.[1]

The frozen rents have led to emergence of practices like key money. Thus, apart from creating a black market in rental housing, the Act has reduced the accessibility of low income groups to rental housing, as they cannot afford to pay large deposits to rented premises.

The widening divergence between the interests of landlords and tenants has not only led to increased litigation under rent control Acts (the rent control cases make for a majority of cases in courts) but also to increased crimes. A large number of criminal cases have their origin in disputes over rented properties.

[1] Requisition and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 (Delhi: Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.) 2007.

Delhi Condition
Recognizing the negative impact and tension created by the rent control Act, various commissions have been set up by the Central and State Governments to suggest reforms in the Act. At the center, Economic Administration Reforms Commission was set up in 1980 and National Commission on Urbanisation in 1985. The amendments in the Delhi Rent Control Act 1958 in the year 1988 have been influenced by these suggestions. Many other States (among them Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh) have also carried out amendments in their Acts.

The reforms in the Rent Control Act have been motivated by the following objectives:
a) promoting adequate supply of rental housing for different income groups and ensuring proper maintenance of old housing stock, especially in inner city areas;

b) establishing a better balance between the interests of bonafide tenants in terms of security of tenure and those of landlords in terms of adequate return and easy resumption of possession in genuine cases;

c) making rent control acts less inhibitive;

d) reducing litigation under the Rent control Act

In pursuance of these objectives, the reforms have been directed towards;

i. Liberalizing the existing Rent Control Acts by slowly releasing a larger segment of the rent housing market from the purview of the market and reducing the stringency of controls in the controlled segment of the market;

ii. Amending provisions to facilitate expeditious disposal of cases;

iii. Plugging loopholes in existing rent control Acts for enabling periodic rent revision, enforcing obligations of landlords and tenants and balancing security of tenure with resumption of possession by landlords in genuine cases of need or hardship;

The Delhi Rent control Bill 1988 which was to provide a model for amending the various State Acts has been a precursor of similar amendments in various state governments. The salient features of this Bill are given below:

1. Exemptions from the purview of the RCA extended to newly constructed properties for a period of ten years;

2. Exemption to premises carrying rent beyond Rs. 3,500/- per month;

3. The calculation of Standard Rent to be based on actual rather than reasonable cost of construction and the market price of land in the base year.

4. The permissible Standard Rent raised to ten percent from 7 ½ percent earlier;

5. The Standard Rent or agreed rent to be increased by ten percent every three years;

6. The tenant to be protected against eviction for ten years from the date of building his own house (Clause 14(1) (hh);

7. Right to recover for their own use immediate possession of residential premises made available on rent by certain sections of population like widows, defense personnel and retiring Government personnel;

8. Increased penalties for relenting (after reentry for bonafide reasons) and other offenses; and

9. In calculating cost of the house or additions thereto, the controller permitted to take help of the valuers approved by the Central Government.

The Act came into effect in December 1988. Large number of writ petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the amendments. The syprem court, in a series of judgments, has upheld the validity of most of these amendments. The Government of India has requested all the state governments to enact amendments to rent control laws on similar lines. This was broadly endorsed, as a part of the Draft National Housing Policy, in the conference of Housing Ministers in October 1990. A number of States have initiated amendments in this regard.[1]

In the light of the principles accepted in the context of Delhi and other reforms dictated by practical experience in a number of states and the requirements of conservation and better maintenance of existing stock of buildings, and in the light of suggestions received from state governments and experts, it is recommended that the following broad framework for revision of RCA may be considered:

A. Exemption
1. Taking into account the fact the problem of rent control is more severe in larger cities and inner cities and the need to enable the judicial bodies to dispense justice expeditiously with lesser load on the courts, the rent controls should be applicable only to large urban areas with population of 3 lakhs and above as per 1991 census. This will mean coverage of a total of 92 cities/towns having population above 3 lakhs. In urban areas with population of less than 3 lakhs where rent control be applicable at present, the Act may cease to be operative from the date of notification of the amended RCA in the State. The population limit is indicative and the State Governments may cover cities of 1 to 3 lakhs also or even less than 1 lakh as per local needs.

2. Exempt new construction for a period of fifteen years. New construction may be defined not only as entirely new construction on a vacant plot of land, but also substantial renovation on existing site so long as 75 per cent of the building is built anew. Technical criteria for determining the extent of renovation will be prescribed. Rent agreed between the landlords and the tenants of above Stated premises and being paid in the fifteenth (last) year of exemption may be deemed to be the standard rent subject to future indexation. Tenant’s refusal to pay this rent could be a ground for his eviction.

3. Exempt premises whether newly constructed or otherwise for a period of 15 years, where the premises have not been under tenancy for seven years or more after the last tenancy.

4. Exempt all tenancies where the term of tenancy extends beyond 20 years, as the tenure terms are more appropriately governed by the conditions of lease than by rent control.

5. Exempt residential and non-residential properties above a specified rent, cut off rent to be defined for single tenancy, as per the proposed new formula for standard rent and as net of property taxation, maintenance charges and charges for amenities. The exemption to apply to existing tenancies also and both existing and new constructions. The exemption limits may be in relation to size of the cities/towns based on population. This will be revised every 3 years according to the consumer price index. The suggested exemption limits could be as follows:-

Urban Areas Exemption limit
>10 lakh Rs. 3500/- per month

5-10 lakh Rs. 2500/- - do -

3-5 lakh Rs. 1500/- - do -

6. Exemption to premises with legal title and valid building permission owned by Wakf and such other religious and charitable trusts including trust operating educational institutions may be considered on a uniform basis by State Governments according to local circumstances.

7. The exemption to low rent properties can be withdrawn as it merely exposes poor tenants to exploitation.

The exemption to low rent properties was granted on the ground that at very low rents the need to protect the tenant was minimal. Also the absence of rent co troll may encourage more rental housing in this segment. This however has not happened. Moreover, as has been the experience in many States, RCA is more effective in granting security of tenancy and assuring availability of minimum amenities to the tenant rather than in controlling rents. The exemption deprives the low-income groups from this protection.

In many States (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Andhra Pradesh) where properties below a particular rent level have been exempted, the historically prescribed rent levels have been too low to be relevant after 20 years. In cases where the levels have been revised upwards, many high valued properties where the rents have been frozen due to operation of rent control laws have been exempted thereby distorting the intent of the legislature. It is, however, proposed that the low rent properties may continue to be exempted from the provisions relating to accommodation control, wherever these are retained by the State Governments in their states.

8. Exemption of premises hired by diplomats, foreign missions and international agencies. Since most of them pay high rents, these will be anyway exempted under the proposed provision of exempting high-rent properties.

9. Accommodation owned by Governments, Cantonment Boards and local authorities as defined in Nagar Palika Bill should also be exempt. The accommodation rented by the Governments and local bodies however will be under the purview of Rent control Act subject to the exemptions specified above.

B. Standard Rent
Substitution of multiple formulae for fixing standard Rent (SR) by a simple formula, which will provide fair rate of return on the investment in the house.

a) Standard Rent (SR) to be fixed on the basis of 10% return on the cost of construction an market price of land at the commencement of construction. The rate of return can be varied by legislation. The Standard Rent so derived could be increased by a certain percentage from the year of construction to the present year to arrive at Standard Rent for given year.

To this Standard Rent are to be added charges on account of maintenance, taxes payable and amenities. The maintenance charge may be ten per cent of the Standard Rent, that for taxes as per actual tax payable pro-rata and the charge for amenities as agreed between the landlord and the tenant subject to a maximum in relation to the rent paid. These charges are over and above the standard Rent and do not constitute a part of it.

b) The new Standard Rent to become applicable from the day the Act becomes effective. The permitted increases in Standard Rent would also be effective from the day the amendment permitting the increase in rent comes into effect.

c) The Standard Rent may be revised every three years on the basis of criteria notified by the State Governments. Meanwhile, the Standard Rent to increase by a given percentage every year to be prescribed by each State according to rate of inflation, subject to adjustment at the end of three years according to CPI. The increase in, Standard Rent will be automatic. Reference to the rent controller will be made only in case of disputes on the base rent.

The rate of increase could vary from city to city and can be higher for larger urban areas. Thus in cities like Delhi, Bombay etc. Standard Rent could increase by eight per cent every year, where as for smaller urban areas this figure could be five per cent or as the State Government may decide. The percentage of increase n Standard Rent may be higher in case of non-residential properties.

For most of the States in India, price increases over the past one to two decades have been in the range of 8-10 per cent. This should determine the outer bound for prescribed increases in rent, since in smaller cities as well as in some parts of large cities an increase of ten per cent may result in Standard Rent being higher than the market rent. Further the rent control acts have also been used as anti-inflationary measures and rent increases equivalent to price increases may fuel the inflationary pressures. Under the current macro-economic scenario when the CPL has crossed 14 per cent mark, linking rents with CPI will lead to sharp increases in rents.

Extrapolating the current rents at 8 percent per annum, a rent of Rs. 1500/- for a two bedroom flat in a middle class colony in Delhi in 1991 will increase to Rs. 2204/- by the year 1995 and will approximate Rs. 3500/- by 2001.

d). The increases in Standard Rent for premises in non-residential uses may be at a higher rate.

e). The new Standard Rent will be applicable to all old new tenancies. The rent of the old tenancies with less than the specified rent is to be brought at par with the prescribed Standard Rent gradually over a period of five years in order not to impose a sudden financial burden on tenants. The State Government may decide to have a longer adjustment period and/or a lower rate of growth of rents of older tenancies to further lighten the burden on tenants.

The level of neutralization of rent may relate to the age of premises and lower rates of increases be used/adopted for earlier period. Further, the level of neutralization could range from 25 per cent for residential premises with less than 25 square meters area to 100 percent for plinth area over 80 sq.mtrs. and for non-residential premises.

f). Standard Rent is to be increased if landlord invests subsequently in the premises and the investment has been made in agreement with the tenant/s and it leads to significant improvement in the flow of service or amenities to the tenant/s. The increase in Standard Rent will be only in relation to expenditure incurred on construction by the landlord. The land price taken for calculation of the rent will continue to be the price prevailing at the time of initial construction as indexed up to the year of reconstruction.

g). Reduction in flow of service due to reduction in accommodation space or poor maintenance or deterioration in services will result in lowering of standard rent and the tenant can apply to Rent Collector for re-fixation of rent.

The important principle is that while the tenant will enjoy security of tenure in controlled premises, he should agree to pay a rent that provides adequate return on investment and provides for proper maintenance and taxes, so that he does not enjoy an unfair advantage over the landlord. If at all the tenant is to be subsidized, it should be done by the State and not the landlord.

Standard Rent and Revenue Base of the Local Authority
The revision of standard Rent will strengthen the property tax base and augment the financial resource base of the local authorities for whom property tax is a major source of revenue.

C. Eviction
Almost all state Acts specify certain grounds for evicting the tenant which include non-payment of rent, misuse or non-use of premises requirement for major repair or reconstruction, bonafide need of the owner and acquisition of a house by the tenant. It is suggested that the following grounds may be added to the above:-

a). refusal to pay revised standard rent;
b). sub-letting of premises (without the permission of the landlord);
c). Failure of tenant to deliver possession after giving notice to quit;
d). Denial by the tenant of title of landlord;
e). Deliberate misuse or damage of premises, and other reasons cited in a number of State

laws. These have been included as the statutory grounds for eviction in various states.

In the current Acts, summary procedure is available for evicting the tenant in case of bonafide requirement of the landlord for certain category of owners. In Delhi, Summary procedure is available for eviction on bonafide grounds to all owners. With this a special category of persons like Government servants, widows, armed forces, etc. has been created who is to be provided immediate possession incase of bonafide requirement. It is suggested that to this special category we add the aged (65 years and above) and the handicapped. The State Government may include some other groups (like scientists etc.) for special treatment depending upon the special requirement of these in each state.

In eviction proceedings, compromise between landlord and tenant should be permitted at any stage.

The landlords should be penalized heavily for not occupying or relating the premises within three years of getting possession on grounds of bonafide need. This offense can be taken cognizance suo moto by the Rent controller who can also charge the fine on a continuing basis. In case the landlord demolishes and reconstructs the house after acquiring possession, the period of three years is to be counted from the day of his occupying the house. The penalties may be provided for n State laws.

Acquisition or building of a house by the tenant his spouse or dependent children will be a ground for eviction of the tenant. The tenant is to be given a period of one year to move to the newly acquired house from the time it is ready for occupation so long as he does not let out the house whereafter the landlord can move the rent controller for eviction of the tenant by summary procedure.

Resumption of possession for own use should be provided for controlled non-residential premises. The grounds for eviction should be specified. Under the RCA, special rules should be framed for non-residential premises. Most of the premises should be brought within the purview of contractual tenancy as far as possible. The law can provide for penalty for both landlords and tenants for the violation of obligations listed in the Model Law.

Streamlining Judicial Procedure under Law
The present civil courts are over burdened with cases under the Rent Control Act over and above other cases, and it takes many years for disputes to be settled or for landlords to get possession even in genuine cases. In Delhi, 10,000 cases are filed each year in contrast to the maximum disposal of 4000 cases, and there are three tiers apart from the SLP to the Supreme Court. Court has recognized this in a number of cases and has advocated a system of adjudication by Tribunal and the exclusion of civil courts from hearing rent cases. A proposal for amendment to Article 323 B of the constitution to provide for the establishment of state level Rent Tribunals and exclusion of jurisdiction of High Court and other Courts has been approved by the Cabinet. Adjudication of rent control would be vested in rent controllers (excluding civil courts), with only one court of appeal to Tribunals at the State level. The State level Tribunals to be set up will not be governed by Civil procedure code and may be given powers to decide all issues (like that of ownership, title etc.) pertaining to resolving of tenancy disputes. Under Article 136 of the constitution, SLP will be only to the supreme Court against the orders of State level tribunals. Tribunals can also take up cases suo moto for revision. The constitutional amendment will ensure excluding the writ jurisdictions of High Court. Details of composition, jurisdiction and procedure of the Rent Tribunals and Rent Controllers will be finalized in consultation with Min. of Law.

The powers of rent controllers would include the power to accept affidavits as proofs. The controller should also have the power to record a lawful agreement or Compromise between the litigants and make an order accordingly. There should be heavy penalty for adjournment on frivolous grounds. It is open to State Governments to extend the jurisdiction of the proposed two tier system to properties or towns not falling under Rent Control Law if they can make the budget provision or strengthen the set up suitably.

The procedure of litigation should be simplified. Summary procedure should be followed and decision should be given largely on the basis of written statements and plaints as suggested by the Supreme Court itself in one case. Oral evidence can be limited to minimum. Representation by Counsel allowed only when absolutely necessary. Code of civil procedure in all its details should not be applicable to the functioning of the Tribunals.

There should be a time limitation of disposal of cases specially under the Summary procedure. This would be facilitated if day to day hearing is allowed for these cases. In case the Rent Controller fails to abide by the time limitation, the Tribunal will have suo moto powers to call for the papers of the case and decide the case itself.

Prescribed standardized proformae for instituting appeal under various provisions to be prepared for use of landlords and tenants.

D. Maintenance
Providing for better maintenance and up gradation of houses by:
a). including maintenance cost explicitly as charges payable by the tenant to the landlord, thus making it viable for the landlord to carry out proper repairs etc.

b). The landlord to be responsible for all structural repairs whereas the tenant can carry out day-to-day repairs against adjustment towards rent. These should be specified.

c). The landlord to be given the right to inspect the rented premises;

d). The tenant to restore premises o the landlord in as good a condition as at the time of entry.

e). Procedures for temporary vacation of premises for renovating old buildings to be simplified. In this respect, the RCA should be excluded from the operation of the other related Acts like slum Clearance and Improvement Act etc.

Following terms of re-entry of the tenant can be prescribed:-
i. The tenant is not to be provided any compensation for temporary vacation.

ii. The tenant is to be given first choice in the allotment of accommodation in the renovated premises.

iii. The landlord can apply for revision of rent taking into account expenditure incurred on special repairs to the building.

iv. The tenant is to be required to pay the revised rent on the basis of the prescribed percent of cost of reconstruction (renovation). The cost of land taken for calculation of standard rent will be based on indexation of the original land price rather than market value of the year of reconstruction.

v. Tenants refusal to pay the revised rent will be a ground for eviction.

vi. The landlord can use the remaining premises for any purpose permissible under the Building Bye-Laws etc. after providing for residential space equivalent to that available in the older building to the erstwhile tenants.[2]

E. Obligations of Landlords and Tenants
Whereas most of the State Acts prescribe obligations of the landlords, that of the tenants are omitted. In order to streamline the system, it is imperative that the Act not only states responsibilities of landlords but also of tenants.

1. Landlord to compulsorily register tenancy with the authority designated by the State Government.

2. Landlord liable to give rent receipt to the tenant.

3. Willful cutting off or withholding of essential services by the landlord or tenant to be penalized heavily.

Obligation of tenants have been covered under “Maintenance” paragraph.[3]

Limited Period Tenancy
In order to induce landlords to supply rental housing a few state Governments have introduced new provisions in the Act to create special category of contractual or semi contractual tenancy within the framework of rent control acts. Recognising that the major disincentive to rent out the premises has been the difficulty associated with getting repossession by the landlord at the end of the contracted period. It is proposed that such provisions be introduced in all state Acts.

i. The landlord be permitted to let out his premises for a limited period not exceeding five years, if he does not require the same for that period;

ii. Such permission will be granted by t the rent controller after verifying the bonafides of the landlords contention. There will be a limitation on the number of times such permission can be granted;

iii. During the period of tenancy all provisions of rent control act be applicable. However at the termination of the limited period the tenant will have to vacate the premises. No judicial proceedings be required for this eviction;

iv. The failure to vacate at the end of the ‘limited period’ should be liable for heavy penalty.

It is expected that this provision will bring in a large pool of transient supply of rental housing in the market.

It is proposed to create three types of tenancies in the controlled rental housing market (i) long term tenancy extending over a period of 20 years or more; (ii) limited period tenancy extending upto a period of five years; (iii) all others specifying no period of tenancy.

Under the proposed scheme (i) is exempted from most of the provisions of the

rent control act during the contracted period of twenty years. It is believed that the ‘security of tenure’ extended to the tenant under this provision compensates for the partial non-protection of the tenant under the Act. The limited period tenancy is already provided for in the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958.

It is believed that providing for a plurality of typologies of tenancies will provide incentives for larger supply of rental housing in the market, since different factors motivate different suppliers of rental housing.[4]

Other Provisions
1. Make rent control act as a permanent Act The rent control act in most states is a temporary Act and is extended every few years. The failure to extend can result in unintended suspension of the Act and consequent chaos in the rental housing market. Since there is no intention to abolish the Act even in the conceivable long run it might be better to make the Act a permanent Act;

2. Vest administration of the Act in the State Housing Department –The adjudication of rent control act falls under different departments in different states. If Rent Control/act is to be used as an instrument of housing policy and integrated with other instruments, it is important that the entire operation of the Act (legislation, implementation and adjudication) is with the Ministry or department of housing. This reform will also improve the efficiency of the Act.

3. Abolition of provision for accommodation control –The provision of Accommodation control is a feature of Rent control Act in some states. This provision was introduced at a time when there was dire need to house army personnel and such officials in times of scarcity of housing and is out dated. Of all the provisions this provision has turned out to be the most expensive to operate and most difficult to operationalise. The provision should be abolished with immediate and retrospective effect. All properties which have been leased under this provision should be treated at par with other tenancies under the Rent control Act. If however, certain states believe that there is need to retain this provision it may be continued for a .limited period or as decided by the state Government or notified areas.

4. Limit the inheritability of tenancy to all legal heirs who had been living with the deceased and dependent upon him and do not own a house in the urban area. In case of minor children, the right of inheritability to be applicable only for a limited period. In case the heir owns a house in the urban area, he is to be permitted one year’s time to vacate the premises.

5. Subletting to be permitted only with the written permission of the landlord. The illegal sub-tenancy to be converted into lawful ones within a given period, if landlord agrees;

6. Rent control provisions to be extended by State Legislature to private properties in cantonment areas in consolation with the Central Government as provided in the existing Cantonments (Extension of Rent Control Laws) Act, 1957. The properties of cantonment Boards themselves should be exempted from the provisions of RCA.

7. All tenancies to be registered;

8. Provisions relating to charging of premium to be deleted from the Act;

9. Part vacation of the house to be made feasible;

a) if the tenant does not require whole of it and subject to the landlord agreeing;

b) under eviction proceedings for bonafide reasons; if the landlord is agreeable to get part of the house vacated;

The old Acts could be repealed by state Governments rather than amended as the drastic amendments required may lead in some cases to confusion and make the Act very complicated.[5]

Conclusion and Findings
The rental laws in India need to be revised to protect the owner and his/her property from the tenant.

Special areas of focus should be on terminating old tenancies, removing constraints on increase of rentals and empowering owners in the sense of being able to reclaim their properties without any court proceedings.

The market forces should be allowed to determine the rental amounts and the owner must have full protection for his/her property. This will go a long way in providing security to the landlord and also reduce the deposit amount required with the lease agreements.

If these laws are enacted and strictly enforced, there is every chance that more investors will want to enter the real estate market to utilize the rental fees as income. This is especially true for the commercial sector. The tax laws also need to be revised so that renting of properties becomes a financially viable option. Amendments in the Rent Acts of several states are a progressive move.

· Sridhar Madabhushi, Unfair rent Uncontrollable Control Rights- Wrongs-Reforms, (Hyderabad: Asia Law House) 2009.
· Requisition and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 (Delhi: Universal law Publishing Co. Pvt Ltd. 2007).

[1] Available at reboker.com/rent/Policy paper.rtf visited on October 12, 2010.
[2] Madabhushi Sridhar, Unfair rent Uncontrolable Control, (Hyderabad: Asia Law House) 2009 p. 220.
[3] Available at www.lawmart.com visited on 11th September 2010.
[4] Madabhushi Sridhar, Unfair rent Uncontrolable Control, (Hyderabad: Asia Law House) 2009 p. 220.
[5] Available at www.lawschool.com visited on 15th October 2010.
[6]V.P. Sarthi, Law of Transfer of Property, (Lucknow: Eastern Book Co.) 2005

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: shraddha.ojha@legalserviceindia.com

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Article Comments

Posted by suraj on December 07, 2016
I was living in Bhiwadi in a rented flat from 4 yrs in 2-3 ppl group. paying monthly electric bill. now bill generated for huge cost having reason monthly billing was being made on average basis and this bill is adjustment of current reading-last atual reading-actual units paid. Not mentioned when they have taken reading of last one. Am i responsible for such bills. such average billing was continued brefore I entered in flat

Posted by anil verma on September 23, 2016
My landlod has filed suit to evict my shop on bonafide need.He has one shop in main market lower bazar and 2,two room sets are vacant on top of my shop which can be changed to commercial and used as office.I am writing from Shimla,H.P.Are there any grounds in my favour to avoid eviction. Please help

Posted by maddy on July 08, 2016
Even after the completion of 11 month leave and license agreement the tenant is not vacating the premises. we have filed case for eviction in the appropriate authority. what will be the next step.
we are facing a lots of problem for evicting the tenant even after agreement period is over .Pls. guide
You are also requested to let me know when new model tenancy act will be tabled in parliament of india and when it will become law

Posted by Bobby Mani on December 04, 2015
You are not supposed to vacate the building unless there is a valid order from a competent court.

Posted by Manoj on November 03, 2015
how can the rent of a property situated in dehradun be increased (which was recevied from the state govt. on lease in 1913 and whose freehold process is under way)from 15-20 rupees fixed in 1950s and the same amount exists till date?

Posted by Nirmal Kumar on October 28, 2015
I have taken a home of 2 rooms on rent @Rs.8000/- per month on 10th Nov. 2014 and in this October 2015 landlord saying 10% increase in rent and Rs.8/- per unit as electricity charges instead of Rs.7/- and taking Rs.200/- per month as water charges. The rent should be increased after three years then how he raising by intimating verbally? Please help. In meager income of source from where the tenant collect money and give to landlords.

Posted by Himanshu Tak on July 17, 2015
I am working in new delhi, chattarpur region, village jonapur.

I am working for over the past 2.6yrs, at jonapur . And living nearest to my workplace here itself.
I lived for 1yr above at my past owner place, and she committed to serve a facilite furnished house butvtge time passes hand she took wohle amount from me as per rent, duly as per ny work in field I always give 2 3month rent at a time,but served nothing and they also takes electricity by theft. And now I had change my flat and as per they committed me they never served the like that and I left. Now from last 15days they are harassing me to give an uncommited amount by saying it was due.
Yesterday she abused me and even taken my bike as well ph by saying that 5k is pending; the area is of village and she insulting me in a wrong manner, I want to sue her in court. As she is female and warning me that I ll do case on you if you will not pay.
Please I am harassed and give me sloution everyone know about the attitude of her, and I dont want this that she is blaming me and insulting me in that society in a wrong manner without telly actuality.

Posted by PRA on June 12, 2015
Hi Shradhdha
Pls give me knowledge share
My premises located in mumbai
Since 1997 My premises use in partly for residence & partly in office with knowledge & oral permission of landlord since last 18 years. landlord consent for the same subject apart from the above increase in taxes and paid to the corporation for part user of the premises of office purpose and thus taxes on commercial basis are being paid by me.
My Question is
1) If BMC records in my premises user is commercial & collect taxes in commercial basis since last 18 years then i said my premises is fully commercial are not.
2) Landlord not showing rent receipt to collect taxes in which basis, but my knowledge he is collecting commercial basis,how can i calculate? He is showing tOtal rent & taxes amount.
3) What is Existing Taxes
4) What is Capping Taxes
My corporation is BMC

Posted by SNBhargava on May 28, 2015
Is there Exemption of property carrying rent of Rs 3,500 and above in Haryana like that in Delhi

Posted by Bobby Mani on March 18, 2015
The main reason for proliferation of landlord tenant matter is primarily because landlord do not get rent which is close to the market rent. In landlord tenant matter it is the bounden duty and obligation of the Court to ensure that the landlord gets the rent which is akin to market rent. The High Court is quite justified in increasing the rent from Rs. 175/- to 25,000/-. R. K. Bansal v. Jag Pravesh Sharma RCR (Civil) 2012 (4) 395

Posted by jatin pathak on January 26, 2015
tenant are left long time but house in the possession of them after this situation court cannot anything because tenant is lawyer and he knows about law. rented premises locked by tenant and he disadvantage his knowlege.

Posted by Rajesh Singh on January 26, 2015
My friend is owner of a house in Lucknow. He constructed his house on bank loan but now he is transferred to Hyderabad. So he rent out the house to a tenant for 11 months. Now after 2 years when he asked to vacate the house, tenant is not ready to vacate the house & in fact he has filed a case in local police with fakse charges of harrasment that landlord is presurrizing him to vacate the house. Please advise me how he should proceed & what are his rights as landlord.

Posted by vikram kumar on January 10, 2015

fair rent can be applicable for one tanent or for all tanent in the building whether it is commercial or resenditial

Posted by ANUPAMA YADAV on November 10, 2014
Dear Sir,
I am staying in a 2BHK NO 50 House bearing T.P. Vinodha 2nd cross konanakunte cross with an advance amount of one lakh and monthly rent of 8000 for the first year and 5% increase in the rent per anum I was rented the house for three years meanwhile i was forced to vacate within two years by not taking the rent for four months where I was put into trouble and he did not accept the rent also. Finally he deducted the three months rent from my advance amount of one lakh to vacate the house including the Paint charges of RS 10000 and finally I received Rs 59000 and the bathroom and taps in the kitchen was not repaired even in spite of repetition. Please take reliable action against him so that the other tenants should not face the same consequency This is ridiculous, it seems there is law made favourable for the owner thus they are taking advantage. Kindly help me out what to do?

Posted by Purushottam on September 21, 2014
I,now retired ,have two shops in my residence was rented in 1983.On my personal & boanfied need, I started a litigation under U P Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 u/s 21(1)(a) Bona Fide need of landlord .One tenant has other alternate shop & residential in the same city
and other tanent has plot ,Ag.land and a residence.As my legal case has fixed for final hearing, please refer me the legal decesions by ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT and from SUPEREME COURTalso. I WILL BE PRSONALLY HIGHLY THANKFUL TO YOUR GOOD SELF.......p s kashyap

Posted by Muraliraju on September 09, 2014
I am from Bangalore and entered in to an rental agreement with my house owner on 14-10-2013 for 11 months, and it is mentioned as below now I have decide to move to Chennai and intimated to my house owner on 1st week of August 2014 that I will vacate the house in Oct 2014. In this scenario have completed 12 months but still is forcing me to pay 3 month rent and saying that he will deduct the same from my security deposit which I paid (80,000) need your legal advice here, Thanks in Advance.
The lessee shall agree to stay at least 11 months in the said house premises, if he fails to do so, the lessor is at liberty to deduct three month rent from the lessee’s security deposit or he can arrange alternative tenant within the stipulated period

Posted by narayanan on July 11, 2014
My tenent is Airtel occupying 1100sqft in chennai prime locality annanagar from 2005.when I went for fairrent fixation as per valuation rs,68000/pm the lower our died rs36000/and after appeal by both of us the applent rentcontoller fied it@40000/pm in nov2013..within a months order I filed rcop/eviction, and CRP in madras highcourt.Airtel never contested.never remitted the difference in rent from 2009tilljuly2014.,on this ground I filed eviction 11(3&4)
Now Airtels local legal head is pressing me for a compromise putting a condition that arreares will be paid only if I sighin memorandum to withdraw all suits including CRP i,and to be given 1 yr time to vacate as a pree conition..can I within this memorandum? Is it not one sided,I am a senior citzn 66 years and they have failed to give maintenance rent for the past 6 years...the dues as applent authority judgment comes to 16lakhs..but in the appelent there is a mistake in calculation amounting to rs.17 lakhs..missed the eye of the judge..so I filed CRP in the high court.the hobble applent quoted all earlier judjements and passed the order fixing rent as 40000/pm instead fixing it for 56000/as per his own earlier judjed parameters citing various court orders.now Airtel locallegal head in madras says Airtel has been paying partial rent of 8500/pm and so not a will full defaulter and since crp is pending need not pay arrears or to vacate...I am afraid my 6 year legal battle will fail? What should I do..shall I go to media?you can they presurre me to sighn memorandum without paying any arrearea and to continues for 1 year?what is the solution?will Indian kanoon help me? All these 7 years only my bp increased,with adiabatic,heart conditions...will you bring it to the attention of Lakshmi mitral?or the present CEO&MD?

Posted by Gunasekar on May 16, 2014
Rent control act is fair. Wether is thesame working. All landlords r least bother and simply fixing rent on their own wish. Always middle class people one who suffer.

Posted by Bobby Mani on March 17, 2014
Good work on Rent Control. Can a formula be derived for fixing fair rent

Posted by g.satchithanandam on August 10, 2013

Posted by Prashant Pote on June 01, 2012
Hi Shradhdha , Quite informative.
Can you help me?
I rented a flat from July 2011. We entered into agreemnet for 11 months. At the end of the tenure I agreed to the increase in rent to Rs 15000. Initially I paid Rs 1.4 Lac as deposit. Sevcond agreement was entered wef 01/06/2011. On May 8, my owner asked me that he wants to raise the rent to market porice- a hike of Rs 7000 per month. I refused & told him that I will vacate the house. The 11 month period comes to an end on 31 May 12. In the agreement 2 months notice period is written. My question is if the two month notice period will be applicable to me. I had informed my owner that I will be vacating the fklat by the end of May & I have vacated the same on 31/05/2012. He is now saying he will deduct two months rent from my deposit- for May & June 12. Is it justified as per rent control act. Can you give me contact details of the officail with whom I can take my case?

Posted by Sohrab Kamdin on March 10, 2012
My FEE SIMPLE (totally freehold)
property was taken away by the Army last year although I had complied with the law by writing to the D.E.O.that I was willing to negotiate the Price. In spite of this the Army acquired the property without paying a Penny. What should I do?

Posted by k.anitha on October 16, 2011
I am living in Hyderabad in a rented house for the past one year paying a rent of Rs.4,000/-. When i have come into this house after two months the owner asked us to pay the rent of Rs.4,500/- and when i refused she asked us to vacate the house. But i haven't as I have undergone a throat surgery and after this my husband has expired. After 15 days of my husbands death she again asked us to vacate the house. As i was not in a condition i said i will vacate after i get a house according to my budget. Then after one month my daughters marriage got settled and the owner gave an ultimatum that we have to vacate as soon as my daughters marriage is over. i am dependent on my daughters salary. My daughters marriage was on october 7th 2011 and the owners husband has come directly inside without seeking our permission and was shouting at me to vacate the house immediately. after my throat surgery i cant speak loudly. i can only whisper. so my sister spoke to him but he want only me to speak. i want to take action against him through rent control act but i dont the rules properly and how to proceed. please help me .

Posted by anitha ashankar on October 09, 2011
I am living in chennai india for 36yrs in the same premises and now the owner is asking me to vacate with the sum of Rs.5lakhs,but i need help from a solicitor who can help and guide me what can i do.For this 36yrs many owners have been changed.what is my status.

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