In India, the State Rent Control Acts govern the provisions relating to maintenance of a rental property. Most States have their own laws on rental control which provide for maintenance of a rental property. But the basic provisions remain more or less the same. All Rent Control Acts make provisions against poorly maintained rental property. These Acts make both the landlord as well as the tenant liable for maintaining the property in good condition.
Legal Provisions Governing a Poorly Maintained Rental Property
The following provisions are as per the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. But, Rent Control Acts in other States also contain similar provisions.
If you are a Landlord
As per the Act, you are under obligation to do the following acts:
- Maintain the property in good and tenantable condition.
- Conduct repairs without which the property is inhabitable.
The term tenantable means condition of a property that makes it fit for living.
If you are a Tenant
Some State Laws, such as Karnataka Rent Control Act, 2001 also impose the above duties on the tenant:
Remedies against Poorly Maintained Rental Property
In case the landlord fails to make the above repairs, the tenant can make such repairs himself. He can also deduct the expenses for such repairs from the rent payable by him. However, this amount cannot be more than 12 percent of the yearly rent. Further, in case of repairs necessary to make the property habitable, the tenant may send a notice to the landlord. Such notice will ask the landlord to make the repairs. If the landlord fails to make the repairs, the tenant may make an application to the rent controller for making the repairs himself. The tenant can deduct the cost of such repairs from the rent payable. But, the amount of deduction cannot exceed fifty percent of rent in any case.
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