Rights & Obligations of a Landlord/Licensor

Last Updated at: Oct 30, 2020
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The Indian Government announced a freeze of rent increases and protections against tenancy terminations. This has been applied as law through the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act, which came into effect on 26 March 2020. This means that landlords can’t increase rent for their rental properties. This will apply for an initial period of six months, from 26 March 2020 until 25 September 2020.

 

The property owner has to ensure the rights of his tenant and the society building are maintained. He’s obliged to the following:

Vet the tenant: The property owner should do a background check on the prospective tenant for the safety of his property and neighbours. The owner is required to inform the local police station of the new rental agreement, and provide details such as proof of the tenant’s identity. Occasionally, landlords also ask for a letter from the tenant’s employer to confirm his credentials through a declaration from the company he/she is working at.

Security deposit: The contract should specify exactly what the property owner can make deductions for. He will also have an obligation to return the security deposit within the number of days specified in the agreement. The licensor can, with due intimation to the licensee, inspect the premises as and when felt necessary. Agreements usually include a clause to this effect.

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Safety obligations: The landlord is responsible for the safety of the property, including the installation of necessary safety equipment as well as the maintenance of potentially dangerous appliances in the house. Failing to provide adequate safety measures could leave the landlord liable for damages or legal action. In case something malfunctions, the property owner is required, as quickly as possible, to repair the damage.

Rent receipt: The property owner must issue rent receipts to the tenant containing the tenant’s name, the date, the amount received and the landlord’s signature. If the rent receipt is not given, the rent controller could direct the landlord to pay double the rent to the tenant.

Failure to vacate: When the contract ends, the tenant must vacate. If he fails to do so, the licensor may file an appropriate suit for eviction, claiming damages or compensation before the small cause court. Naturally, the security deposit will also be withheld.