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How can a rental agreement safeguard your property from nefarious tenants?

How can a rental agreement safeguard your property from nefarious tenants?

In a developing nation like India, rental housing has grown significantly and so is the offenses related to them. There have been cases where the tenants refuse to pay the rent or steal from the tenant or break the rules like a proclaimed offender. Thus, a centralized tenancy law has been enacted in order to safeguard the rights and interests of the Landlords.

A rent agreement is a legal document that a landlord and tenant sign to start and control a tenancy. The terms and circumstances of the tenancy as well as every aspect of the two parties, the landlord and the renter, are included in the rent agreements. The rules outlined in the rental agreement must be adhered to by both parties.

The tenant is required to sign a rent agreement when engaging into a renting arrangement with a landlord in accordance with the proposed Model Tenancy Act of the union government (all states must base their draught rental legislation on this Act). The terms and conditions that will be binding on both parties must be included in the lease agreement.

The Model Tenancy Act was created by the government of India to encourage the rental housing market and make the transaction advantageous for both landlords and tenants; especially it safeguards the interest of the landlord from Nefarious Tenants. The guidelines established by this example policy are meant to be used when negotiating rent agreements. The policy will release more than one crore units in India's rental housing markets; according to the union housing secretary it will replace the country's current rental housing laws once states have given their consent.

However, since the model tenancy law is progressive in design and won't go into effect retroactively, existing rent agreements will continue to be exempt from its reach. Even after the previous laws were repealed, any problems involving existing rental agreements would be resolved in accordance with them.

All tenancy agreements involving the renting of both residential and commercial premises are covered by the model tenancy law. However, the rent agreement must be written for duration longer than 11 months in order for the Model Tenancy Act (MTA) provisions to be applicable. The MTA regulations will not apply to leases that are signed between a landlord and tenant for a term of up to 11 months. This also implies that, in the event of a disagreement, neither the landlord nor the renter will be able to refer to the model law's rules.

Sometimes, in order to save money, tenants and landlords come to an oral agreement on the tenancy rather than signing a rent agreement. Some people may choose to formalise the agreement and include stipulations relating to the tenancy, but they may choose not to register the document. This is because if a rent agreement is made and registered, both parties will be required to pay a registration fee.

Once the rent agreement is deemed to be lawful by the court, the landlord will also be required to disclose his rental revenue. However, it is against the law to engage into a rental agreement without being registered, and doing so could prove to be risky for both parties, particularly in the event of a later disagreement. A rent agreement is not legally binding unless it is registered with the sub-office registrar's.

Drafting a contract with clear terms and conditions and registering it is advantageous to both parties. The landlord should print the lease on stamp paper after drafting it. The documents should be registered at the sub-office registrar's after the tenant and the landlord have signed them in the presence of two witnesses and paid the necessary fee. Landlords and tenants would need to appear before the authority to have the lease registered if states established rent authorities in cities following the passage of the draught law.

Documents needed for rent agreement registration;

Landlord;

  • Two passport-sized photos.
  • Aadhaar card.
  • Identity proof (driving licence, voter card or passport).

Tenant;

  • Two passport-sized photos.
  • Aadhaar card.
  • Voter ID card.
  • Passport for people from outside India.

Details to be included in the rent agreement;

Key details included in a standard rent agreement are:

  • Names and addresses of the tenant and the landlord.
  • Signatures of the tenant and the landlord.
  • Monthly rental amount.
  • Security deposit.
  • Maintenance charges.
  • Period of stay.
  • Responsibilities/rights of the landlord.
  • Responsibilities/rights of the tenant.

Rights, the landlords should know in order to save themselves from nefarious tenants:

While we talk a lot about the rights of a tenant and how to safeguard them, there is other side of the transaction, too. A landlord under the rental laws in India; there are rights that safeguard the interests of a landlord from a nefarious tenant:

  • Right to Evict: Each state has a varied set of laws governing the ability to evict a tenant. Meaning that in some places, a landlord has the right to remove a tenant for legitimate, personal reasons such as wishing to move in. However, in most situations, the landlord must file a court petition to evict the tenant.
  • Charge Rent: As the property's owner, the landlord is entitled to charge rent to a tenant. Since there is no legal law establishing a cap on rent, the landlord is free to keep raising the rent fees as he sees fit. Therefore, it is wise to include the amount of the increase and the conditions of the increase in the rental agreement itself in such circumstances.
  • Temporary Repossession of Property: The landlord has the right to temporarily take back possession of the property in order to repair, change, or improve it. However, such alterations to the property must not do the tenant any harm or seriously interfere with his tenure.

What happens if the tenant refuses to pay the rent or vacate the property?

If the tenant is neither giving the rent nor is vacating the house, then he is liable to compensate the landlord in the form of damages.The degree of harm is determined by the loss you have endured. Damages are awarded for both bodily and psychological damages incurred. The present value of the land on which the loss occurred is typically used to determine the extent of physical loss. Calculating a mental loss is more difficult; the court must carefully review the case to determine the significance of the loss before deciding on the amount to be paid in damages.

If a tenant has not paid their rent in a while or isn't moving out, the landlord may file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages for the loss—financial and emotional—caused by the issue. The landlord may alternatively submit an application to the Rent Control Board asking the Board to decide the case and order the tenant to pay the full amount of rent or evacuate the property.

In India the cases of fraud and nefarious tenants has been rising significantly, if a fraudulent has been done to the landlord he should hire a professional lawyer who might give him the appropriate advice and help him filing the complaint as well.

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