While recent cases in the NCR have highlighted the harassment of landlords by tenants, the reverse is also true. Many tenants are treated shabbily or evicted unfairly without recourse to redressal. This, despite the fact that the Rent Control Act of 1948, which was formulated to protect the rights of both landlords and tenants, has a skew towards the latter. The legislation aims at keeping rents under control and prevent undue evictions, with rules and guidelines to ensure these. Each state has its own Rent Control Act, but only minor differences distinguish them. So if you are planning to rent or are being ill-treated by your landlord, find out about your rights. Make sure that you sign a written agreement with the owner or you will be unable to redress your grievances.

1. Unfair eviction

Remember, the landlord cannot evict you without a valid reason or in an unreasonably short period of time. These reasons include not paying rent for two months in succession, using the property for illegal or commercial purposes, or other than those specified in the rent agreement, objectionable behaviour on your part, damage to property, or if the owner wants to shift in himself. He also needs to serve a notice period of at least 15 days for the tenant to shift out.

2.Essential services

One of the basic rights of a tenant is access to essential services like electricity, water, sanitation, parking, etc. The landlord cannot cut these off or deny these to the tenant even if the rent or other dues have not been paid. In case the owner does so, he can be taken to task by the relevant authority and penalised for it.

3.Rent limits

The owner cannot charge any rent that he wants and has to abide by the market rates and value of the property. He also cannot increase the rent randomly every year and has to act as per the hike agreed upon and mentioned in the rent agreement. If he wants to increase it, he must give a three months’ notice to the tenant.

4.Tenants’ heirs

If a tenant dies mid-term, the landlord cannot throw out his legal heirs or successors who were living with him, if they want to continue to stay in the house for the remaining period of the contract or rent agreement. These successors would include the deceased tenant’s spouse, children, parents or daughter-in-law.

5.Maintenance & deposit

The landlord has to bear the cost of any maintenance or renovation work that is carried out in the house, whereas the charges for utilities and services like power, water, etc. have to be borne by the tenant as mentioned in the rent agreement. Besides, the landlord must return the security deposit taken before the start of tenancy within a month of his house being vacated, and can adjust any unpaid dues by the tenant in this amount.

6.Right to privacy

The owner cannot barge into his house whenever he wants and disturb the tenants. The tenant has the right to live peacefully in the house without constant intrusions by the landlord. The owner must give prior notice or inform the tenant suitably in advance before entering the property.


All of us have been in a financial dilemma when it comes to relationships. How do you say no to a friend who wants you to invest in his new business venture? Should you take a loan from your married brother? Are you concerned about your wife’s impulse buying? If you have any such concerns that are hard to resolve, write in to us at etwealth@timesgroup.com with ‘Wealth Whines’ as the subject.

The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.

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By fintax360

We Fintax360 team simplify finances and taxes for millions of Indian businesses and people. We educate them about finances, taxes and improve their relationship with money.

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