Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     26 August 2008

Tenancy Laws

Hi all,

mine is quite a simple query to all the legal professionals here.

we can easily observe that there is a rising trend in Landlord-Tenant disputes in every state and this dispute does give impetus to multiplicity of litigation among the parties thus causing backlog of cases.

what i intend to discuss is whether we need new tenancy laws which shall be in conformation with the modern economic trends giving free hand to a landlord to extract true value of their property without getting troubled by litigation.  Since we are a free economy now and everyone invests in property to gain something, why should a tenant become a burden upon a landlord?

secondly do we need uniformity of tenancy laws throughout the country?

lets discuss it out seriously with pragmatic approach.


 5 Replies

Shree. ( Advocate.)     26 August 2008

Dear Sir,

           Regarding your query i read an article and it  reflects your thoughts and the solution is only to amend the RENT CONTROL  ACTS THROUGHOUT INDIA.

       Rent Control Act was an attempt by the Government of India to eliminate the exploitation of tenants by landlords. Rent legislation tends to providing payment of fair rent to landlords and protection of tenants against eviction. But the allowances have been very generous and hence tenants residing in rental properties in India  since 1947 continue to pay rents fixed then, irrespective of inflation and the realty boom.  

The Rent Control Act has led to several adverse situations like languishing investment in rental housing, withdrawing of existing housing stock from the rental market, stagnating municipal property tax revenue.  The rent control along with security of tenure has not given any encouragement to house owners to renovation their houses and most houses as a result have a worn out look.

Repeal of the Rent Control Act would lead to construction boom and meet the growing need for housing and aid employment generation. There will be more rational use of prime locations and will set off a continuous process of urban renewal.

In 1992, the Central Government proposed a model rent control legislation, which was meant for and circulated to all states. The model Act proposed modification of some of the existing provisions on   inheritance of tenancy and also prescribed a rent level beyond which rent control could not apply.  The New Delhi Rent Control Act that was passed in 1997 was based on this but failed to be notified due to resistance from traders who are sitting tenants. Very few states have introduced the model Act.

The new Maharashtra Rent Control Act, Delhi Rent Control Act, Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act, Karnataka Rent Control Act all has provisions for the dispute among the landlords and tenants.  Each of the State Rent Act provides for fixation of Standard Rent as well decree for possession and provisions that lay down the satisfaction of the Court.

Rental Agreement is an integral part of rental law

Rent or lease of a residential or commercial property in India is subject to strict Indian laws. A mutual agreement on the terms and conditions of the rented property by the landlord and the tenant is required. In the present times, leasing a commercial space in India as opposed to owning commercial real estate is turning out to be a brilliant move.

Professional legal advice becomes a necessity as there are fewer tenant-friendly laws in the area of commercial leases, and no standard lease agreements. A lawyer’s help will be useful for making an informed decision in negotiating the best deal on a commercial lease as he/she can research zoning laws and local ordinances and inform you about local real estate market conditions and customs.

A rental agreement refers to a relationship between the landlord and the tenant.  It is legally binding upon the parties. It may be brief, or it may have extra conditions or obligations.  However, any changes or additions to a rental agreement should be maintained in writing.  The rental agreement is a ‘Legal Form’ which has to be completed, signed and dated by the tenant and landlord. There are leases and rental forms for renting, leasing and managing residential rental properties. Both the parties must have access to the document once it is signed.

The landlord should get the agreement registered. The landlord must give the tenant a duplicate copy of the rental agreement, failing which the tenant is not obligated to pay rent until the tenant receives a copy of the rental agreement.

For a lease agreement, the terms of the lessee (tenant) and the lessor (landlord) when they enter into a lease agreement would include terms like the term of lease, deposit amount and monthly rentals. The lessor or the landlord should ensure the premises come back in the right shape in repossession.

  • There has been no damage to the tiling, plumbing, flooring or electrification and the premises are in the proper condition.

  • No major changes have been incorporated in the premises. If the lessee has made some changes, which are not acceptable to the lessor, the latter may ask him to undo the changes.

  • In the case of leasing of furnished premises, the condition of the furnishings is in proper condition.

  • All the electricity and telephone charges have been taken care of till the specified date by the lessee or tenant at the time of repossession.

On satisfactory fulfillment of all these aspects, the lessor should offer the refund the security deposit (if given) to the lessee offering vacant and peaceful possession of the premises.

In a Tenancy Agreement there is a transfer of interest and it establishes the non-eviction of the tenant by the owner except on the grounds of eviction mentioned under the Rent Act.

Under the Leave and License Agreement transfer of interest takes place on permission and the same can be terminated as per the terms of the agreement. The possession can be demanded back from the licensee. The label to the agreement could be Leave & License or Tenancy Agreement, but it is the intention of the party that counts. Documentation of the commercial lease is also an important rental law procedure.

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.

Article Source:

Bobby Mani T (Lawyer)     06 January 2012

The discussion started by Adv. Kiran Kumar is a vital issue with reagard to socity at large and particularly legal socity.  The courts are heavly burdened by rent control matters.  Where as in socity the tenants are enjoying a free ride at the expence of landlord who get only a megre rent for their property.  So very few buildings prop up and Heavy Pakidi and rent are charged for the available buildings.  As pointed out by the Supreme court in a judgement "Fools build houses for wise men to live in"  when fools turned wise no one build houses and as supply diminished nturally the rent goes up. The only solution is to bring a legislation balancing the interest of the landlord and tenant.  It is better to change the word landlord (which is brought from Transfer of property an d Zamindari system) and substitute it with building owner.  Only if a balanced legislation is promulgated the building sector will boom and fund will flow to building sector, which is a criteria for the development of India.


Om Shanker Shrivastava (Environmental Lawyer)     14 May 2012

I would say in a single line is that " The rental laws in India need to be revised to protect the owner and his/her property from the tenant"

P Narayanan (Secretary to Deputy General Manager)     15 May 2012


            I am not in legal profession still i have some experience in this subject.

            Definitely the Rent control act should be modified.  This act was enacted long time back with some definite intention.  But many people have cleverly misused this act to their convenience.  I have rented out my flat to me friend of 30 years.  His rent cheque bounced.  I believed him and he cleverly went to Court and seeks adjournament only.  Now, it is three years.  My counsel says that nothing can be done as the laws are slow only.  Recently there was an article in Times of India dated June 18, 2011regarding Model Residential Tenancy Act 2011.  The article appears to be fair for both landlord as well as tenant to some extent.  Dont know what has happened to its legislation.  Some clear cut rulings/how both owner as well as tenant can go to Court  is also needed.  I am just posting this as want to know the subject deeper for personal knowledge.

S Jadhav 98336 98330 (Jadhav & Associates)     25 June 2012

There are many issues to the rent control act revision.

Besides the much talked about power to the tenants vs power to the landlords, the stamp duty and registration has made it more bothersome. e.g. why should a person having regular documents to prove that he is a citizen of india and employed in a company require to register himself as a tenant with the police station?

Also, if every rent agreement is actually registered with the registrar, it will actually become difficult for the registration office to carry out registration of other documents and the queues will be more than at Mumbai railway stations.

There are thousands of laws still require to be revised but the politicians will not have the time as they are still doing what they wish to do.

We should prepare a model law and regulations on some smaller matters first and give it as suggestions to the law ministry and make a small start.

S Jadhav

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