Is your tenant refusing to vacate your home after the completion of license period?

11-Jul-2019    |    Source:    Times Property

Is your tenant refusing to vacate the home after the completion of the license period? Being a landlord to a notorious tenant can come with a long list of challenges. 
WHAT CAN A HOME-OWNER DO IF THEIR TENANTS REFUSE TO VACATE THE HOME AFTER COMPLETION OF THE 11-MONTH PERIOD?

ANSWER:First of all, let us explore the myth about the 11-month period. The Registration Act, 1908 stipulates that any lease (tenancy) of over 12 months needs to be compulsorily registered. Hence, tenancy or leave and license agreements were made for a duration of 11 months to avoid payment of stamp duty, etc. However, now, concessional stamp duty is prescribed for leave and license agreements for up to 60 months, and they are also required to be compulsorily registered for the protection of the owner. Hence, the typical tenure of 11 months has lost its relevance.
The Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, which is applicable across Maharashtra, governs the relationship between the owner and the licensee of residential premises. If the licensee does not deliver possession of the premises on
2.)  LEGAL STEPS/ PROVISIONS THAT YOU CAN

ANSWER:First and foremost, the agreement must be registered, and the responsibility is on the home-owner, failing which any protection of law shall go. Non-registration also attracts penal provisions against the landlord. Registration of these agreements can be done online if the standard format is adopted. the expiry of the license period to the home-owner, the home-owner can make an application to the Competent Authority for eviction. Apart from securing possession, the licensee shall be liable to pay compensation at the rate of 200 percent of the agreed rent for the period of overstay. This remedy is, however, not available to a tenant who gives premises on a license to a sub-tenant. Even if the licensee is granted permission to contest, the Competent Authority has to decide the matter within six months. In case of non-compliance with the order of eviction within 30 days, the Competent Authority shall restore possession, and if necessary, by the use of force. The best part is that the order of the Authority is non-appealable. However, the state government can exercise revisionary powers. Thus, it is a very effective and prompt remedy.
If the tenant fails to vacate residential premises on the expiry of the license, the home-owner can file eviction proceedings before the Competent Authority constituted under the Rent Act and can secure eviction.
3.) IN CASE THERE IS AN ONGOING LEGAL PROCESS (IN COURT), WHICH PARTY CAN CLAIM THE HOME?
ANSWER: Only small causes courts have jurisdiction in the matter of recovery of rent or possession of any tenanted premises. Upon a favourable decision, the home-owner shall be entitled to claim the home. If he/she has expired during the pendency of the proceedings, his/her legal heirs will get possession.
4.) WHAT ALL SHOULD BE MENTIONED IN THE AGREEMENT WHEN GIVING OUT YOUR HOME ON RENT?
ANSWER: The agreement should be titled ‘Leave and License Agreement’. The contract should preferably stick to the standard format prescribed for online registration. Unnecessary jargon should be avoided. Important terms like period, license fee, commencement date, provision for an increase in license fee, security deposit, lock-in period, rent free period, if any, for fit-outs and all other conditions need to be set out. The customary dos and don’ts of the licensee need to be mentioned. Besides, it is desirable to expressly state that the agreement is governed by Sec.24 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999.
5.) WHAT ARE THE TENANT’S RIGHTS, AND HOW SHOULD HE/SHE ENSURE THAT HE/SHE IS A GOOD TENANT?
ANSWER: The tenant is entitled to enjoy the premises during the license period without any disturbance from the owner as long as they are paying the rent regularly and complying with the terms of the agreement.
The tenants must not make any structural changes, create a nuisance, or violate the rules and regulations of the society in which the premises is located.
The tenant should keep the premises in a tenantable condition and desist from using the premises for any immoral purpose for storage of hazardous goods. No commercial activities can be conducted in residential premises.


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