The landlord (lessor) and tenant (Lessee) relationship begins when the lease agreement is signed or the tenant enters into the property whichever is earlier. A rental agreement refers to the relationship between landlord and tenant. It is an agreement in which the rights and liabilities of tenant and landlord are set forth, which is binding upon both the parties. In India the owner can rent his property only in two ways:
- Lease agreement
- License agreement
According to The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 if there is no agreement or where the agreement has expired but still the parties continue to pay and accept rent, then it would be termed as a lease agreement. There are few major differences between the two agreement, the lease agreement is governed by The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and license agreement is governed by The Easement Act, 1882. A lease agreement can be for an indefinite period however license agreement is for 11 months with a periodical renewal clause. Rent under lease agreement is governed by the rent control law which differs from state to state.
The main legislation governing these rights and obligation in private rented accommodation is set down in Landlord and Tenant’s Act 1967 to 1994, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 and Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act, 2015 and The Planning and Development (housing) and Residential Tenancies Act, 2016.
Rights of Landlord:
The following are the rights available to the landlord:
- Collection of Rent Deposits: when the landlord and the tenant sign the tenancy or lease agreement, the landlord has right to collect rent deposit, the amount for this deposit is same as rent for a period of 1 month or 1 week.
- Collection of Rent: the landlord is entitled to collect rent, in full on the day it becomes due.
- Entry to Rental Unit: landlord has right to enter the rental home in order to complete maintenance and repair or in case of emergency, but landlord should not hamper the privacy of tenant.
- Termination: landlord has right to terminate the tenancy during the first 6 months without giving any reason.
- Increase Rent: landlord has right to increase the rent as the clause mentioned in the lease agreement.
- Right to evict: the landlord can send notice to tenant for leaving the house, this generally happens in the case where the rent is not paid, if the tenant disagrees the landlord can file an application for proceeding for eviction of land.
Liabilities of Landlord:
The following are the liabilities of the landlord:
- Latent Defect: these are the condition in which the landlord is aware but the tenant is not and the possible danger is not obvious. This condition can be like a defective window, poorly constructed balcony, it is the duty of the landlord to address these issues to the tenant.
- Negligence repair: it is the duty of the landlord to maintain his property, for maintaining of the property there have to be repaired within a reasonable period of time, if repairs cause any damage to the tenant, the landlord will be liable.
- Vicarious liability of landlord: while the landlords are not vicariously liable for the act of tenant, there may be some exception in which the landlord may be held liable. For example, if the landlord is aware of the nuisance caused by the tenant and fails to address it, the landlord will be liable for the injuries resulting from such a nuisance.
- Rate: the landlord has no right to charge the rent more than the market price.
- Reimburse tenant: it is the duty of the landlord to reimburse the tenant for any repair carried out. This was to be duly carried by the landlord.
- No biasness: the landlord has no right to select tenant on basis of caste, religion, sex etc.