Q: I filed an eviction petition on the ground of bona fide requirement under the Delhi Rent Control Act. Since, I was not too well I did not appear for evidence before the Court and instead I got the examination of my Power of Attorney who gave evidence before the court. Is such an evidence proper in a case of bona fide requirement?
Ans: The best person to prove bona fide requirement of a landlord is the landlord itself. In case you could not appear before the court for some extreme reasons, you should have got yourself examined on commission. The court generally takes an adverse inference in case the landlord himself does not appear for leading evidence for a bona fide requirement. It would be appropriate that even now you should filed an application for your own evidence in the court and you should not rely upon the evidence given by your Power of Attorney.
Q: What are the essential requirements in case a widow wants to file an eviction petition for getting back her tenancy let-out at a monthly rent of Rs. 1,500/-?
Ans: The essential things required for filing an eviction petition by a widow are that she should be the land lady of the premises and the premises should be required by her for her own residence. The said apart nothing else is required to be proved in such a case.
Q: I have instituted a petition for bona fide requirement under the Delhi Rent Control Act. In the said petition I am claiming that I have a grown up son of 18 years of age and I require one separate room for that son. Is such a demand of requirement of a separate room justified?
Ans: Yes, such a demand is justified. One single room is required for the grown up child who should be free to use and live in that room in the manner he likes and should be free to devote his time to his studies without disturbance. The ground is justified and bone fide requirement can be proved on this ground.
Q: How can a premises be sublet by a tenant?
Ans: Under law any subletting by a tenant has to done by a written consent given by the landlord, who has let-out the premises to the tenant. In case there is no written consent to the tenant by the landlord to sublet, any subletting done by the tenant is illegal and in such an eventuality the tenant should be liable for eviction from the premises.
Q: Can a suit for eviction be filed against the tenant by the landlord, if the monthly rent is Rs. 2,500/- ?
Ans: Under the Delhi Rent Control Act, no suit for eviction of a tenant can be filed. Section 50 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, clearly bars the jurisdiction of a civil court. For evicting a tenant a petition can be filed only under the grounds mentioned in the Delhi Rent Control Act, before a Rent Controller
Q: I have filed a case against my tenant in which a question has arisen about the difference between 'tenant at sufferance' and 'tenant by holding over'. Can you enlighten me on the same.
Ans: If after expiry of the period of tenancy or after his determination a tenant continues in possession without landlord's consent, the said person (tenant) holds the property as tenant at sufferance having no interest. For his ejectment no notice is necessary. But a tenant by holding over is different. To be tenant by holding over he is to continue in possession after the efflux of time with the consent express or implied of the owner. It is a creature to bilateral consensual act. It is not created by unilateral intendment.
Q: Is it correct that whenever the rate of rent is altered, a fresh tenancy comes into being ? If a landlord accepts enhanced rent during the period of the tenancy, does the earlier tenancy comes to an end and a new tenancy begins. What does law say on this ?
Ans: It is not correct to say that whenever a rate of rent is altered, a fresh tenancy come into being and the old tenancy stands surrendered by implication. Landlord accepting an enhanced rent during the terms of tenancy say at 18th year when the tenancy was for 20 years, it cannot be said that the earlier lease has not been surrendered by implication. The old lease subsists and the end of the term the tenancy comes to an end by efflux of time.
Q. I am the co-owner of a property which is on rent. The tenant is not paying the rent for the last four months, but the other co-owners of the property are not interested in filing any case for the recovery of the arrears. Can I file a case for recovery of my share of the arrears of rent ?
Ans. In a Co-owner's suit for recovery of proportionate rent and splitting up of tenancy, it is open to a co-owner to pray for a decree for his share of arrears of rent by filing a suit on the basis of unified and integral tenancy and without making any effort to split up the same. It cannot be said that a co-owner must sue for the entire arrears of rent and if he does not do so he cannot maintain an action.
Q. A Notice by predecessor of interest ejectment suit by successor A notice to terminate tenancy was issued by the Estate Manager of the Bombay Port Trust (constituted under the Bombay Port Trust Act 1879) on behalf of its Board of Trustees to the tenant occupying the building owned by the Port Trust. Before the expiry of notice period there was a change in law and the successor of Board to Trustees instituted the ejectment suit. Is such a suit legal and valid in law ?
Ans. The right to eject tenant acquired by the erstwhile Board of Trustees acquired by giving notice to quit ensured for the benefit of the successor of the Board of Trustees. Therefore the suit for ejectment filed by the successor Board was competent. It is no doubt true that per se Section 109 of the Transfer of Property Act does not apply to the facts of the instant case. It contemplates transfer of lessor's right inter vivos. But when right, title and interest in immovable property stand transferred by operation of law, the spirit behind s. 109 per force would apply and successor in interest would be entitled to the rights of the predecessor.
Q. I let out one floor of my house to a tenant but the lease was not registered. have been accepting rent from him. Is the lease for the period mentioned in the lease deed. Is a notice necessary for evicting my tenant ?
Ans. When a tenant continues in possession after expiry of the term contemplated on an unregistered deed of lease, and pays rent, he is a tenant by holding over from month to month, the unregistered lease deed being inadmissible and term of lease being not a collateral purpose. For his eviction notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act Act is mandatory.
Q. What is the difference between a joint tenant and tenants in common ?
Ans. The basis distinction between joint tenants and tenants in common is that in case of joint tenants there is unity of title and possession, while in the case of tenants in common, though there is a unity of possession there no unity of title.
Q. I have filed a suit for vacation of my rented property. The tenant has challenge the validity of the notice I served him under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. What is the legal requirement for such a notice ?
Ans. What s. 106 requires is that a lease from month to month is terminable on the part of either the lessor or the lessee by 15 days' notice expiring with the end of a month of the tenancy. A legal termination of the monthly tenancy thus requires two conditions to be fulfilled viz. That there must be a notice terminating the tenancy giving 15 day's notice and it must be expire with the end of the tenancy month. A notice giving mere 15 days' time by itself will not answer the requirement of s. 106 but it must also indicate that the 15 days' period must expire with the end of the tenancy month.
Q. My uncle had taken a property on rent where he is carrying on certain manufacturing of goods. The landlord has served a notice for ejectment on the basis that the property was let out for residential and not manufacturing purpose. What is required to be shown by us to prove that the tenancy was for manufacturing purpose ?
Ans. The tests for determining if a lease is for manufacturing purpose are (1) that it must be proved that a certain commodity was produced, (2) that the process of production must involve either labour or machinery, (3) that the end product which comes into existence after the manufacturing process is complete, should have a different name and should be put to a different use. In other words the commodity so transformed as to lose its original character.
Q. My father owned a premises which were on rent with a tenant. During the tenancy since my father required some money, the property was mortgage to the tenant. Now my father has repaid the amount to the tenant. Would it mean that the tenancy is automatically surrendered by the tenant ?
Ans. When a landlord mortgages the premises to his tenant, then no redemption of the mortgage the landlord does not ipso facto get the right to eject the tenant. When mortgage is executed the question whether the tenancy stood impliedly surrendered or not is the yardstick. If it is, the landlord gets the right to evict. There is no question of merger of the two rights, for neither of them is a higher or lesser estate.
Q. My Landlord is disputing that my tenancy is nit a lease but a license. There is no written agreement between us. How does one differentiate whether it is a lease for a license?
Ans. The crucial test in each case is whether the instrument is intended to create or not to create an interest in the property the subject matter of the agreement. If it is in fact intended to create an interest in the property it is a lease, if it is does not it is a license. In determining whether the agreement creates a lease or a license the test of exclusive possession though not decisive is of significance.
Q. A was inducted as a tenant in the premises, but the rent was always paid by the firm in which A was a partner. Is it not that the partnership firm becomes a tenant under such circumstances ?
Ans. A relationship of landlord and tenant is created by contract. Mere payment of rent does not necessarily establish relationship of landlord and tenant. A was found to be the tenant, the fact that a firm made payment of rent on behalf of A who was partner of that firm would not make the firm a tenant.
Q. I am living in a rented premises with disputed ownership the pay monthly rent to "B' Is mere acceptance of rent sufficient to make `B' the landlord?
Ans. Landlord is the person who has the right to receive rent. Mere acceptance of rent does not make `B' the landlord unless he has the legal right to receive the rent.
Q. What is a Standard rent? How is standard rent fixed? When can I make an application for fixation of standard rent?
Ans. Standard rent is the rent which the land lord is expected to receive from the tenant. Standard rent is only provided if the property is under Rent Control Legislation . Under Section 6 the Standard rent to be fixed. Under the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act the application for the fixation of Standard Rent Act can be moved within two years of the creation of the tenancy. Delhi Rent Control Act will be applicable only if a the rent is less than Rs. 3,500/-
Q. I have sub-let the house where I am presently living. Does it constitute a ground for eviction?
Ans. If the rent is less than Rs. 3,500 then subletting a one of the grounds for eviction u/s 4 ( d) Rent Control Act. If the rent is more than Rs. 3,500 then there is no formal condition agreed upon between the landlord & tenant about the subletting in that eventuality . The landlord has the right to make the lease on account of subletting. Under the termination of lease the landlord has the ground to file a suit for possession.
Q. I am a tenant under a valid lease agreement. I have not been receiving electricity bills for the meter installed in the premises under my occupation. However, the said meter is in the name of my landlord. Suddenly, one day NDMC officials informed me that my meter is to be disconnected on account on non-payment of bills. Can I seek any relief from the Court as the meter is in the name of my landlord?
Ans. There is no privity between tenant and the NDMC and as such no relationship could be established between them . It is better to obtain duplicate bills from the NDMC and pay the same to avoid disconnection.
Q. We are tenant of a house . We have not given rent for the month of March & April we are old tenant since 1994. We don't have the new agreement & our landlord want us to vacate the house. We are already fighting in the court. Can he take us out without any notice? Can we stay there for longer?
Ans. You have not specified in your question as to what is the monthly rent of the premises and as to whether the Agreement under which it was taken was in writing and was registered and what was the duration of the tenancy. Further you have also not mentioned about the nature of the litigation pending in the Court. In any event in case the monthly rent is below Rs. 3,500/-, the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act, would be applicable, wherein you can be evicted only under certain specified grounds which includes not payment of rent , subletting of the premises, bonafide requirement of the landlord etc. In case the monthly rent is above Rs. 3,500/- and agreement is registered (if over one year) then the terms of the lease would prevail. The landlord under such circumstances is liable to serve you with a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act giving 15 days time on the expiry of the tenancy month for terminating the tenancy. Thereafter, he has to file a suit for ejectment which will be tried by the Court. The landlord cannot forcibly evict you from the premises and the procedure before the Court will take few years to be decided. The strength of your case can only be told on having details of the case. You should however, pay the rent to the landlord either by sending the same by money-order or by depositing the same in court in the litigation already pending.
Q. I am a tenant of 2 separate tenements, one shop and one float, but I have only one rent receipt for both. The entire building is now being redeveloped by a private developer who says that since I have only one rent receipt I can get only one tenement viz., a flat of 750 sq. ft. How do I verify the user (residential/non residential)?
Ans. If you have sufficient proof to establish that two properties, i.e. one shop and one flat, are absolutely separate from each other, then it will be taken as two different properties. This can be proved by way of evidence of various persons who have visited the shop and the flat. As you have stated that there is only one receipt, the question is whether in the receipt two rents are mentioned or a single rent is mentioned ? If two rents are mentioned in a single receipt that by itself is a proof that there are two different properties. If there is single rent mentioned in the rent receipt, then it has to be seen if two properties are anywhere indicated in the receipt, which will help you to prove your case. Further, whether the shop is separable from the residential portion, the same is also a fact to prove that there are two different properties, i.e. a shop and a flat. In your case the different users, itself proves that there are two separate properties and you can always claim compensation for two properties.
Q. "Sufficient cause", as required by rent controller for non deposit of rent within statutory period, if shown by the tenant that he could not deposit the same as advocate did not take necessary steps and he later changed the advocate and also informed the controller his willingness to pay the arrears, if no affidavit of the previous advocate was submitted but Rojnama entries do suggest that on 2 previous occasion the advocate was not personally present and tenant himself had to submit the Vakalatnama of his advocate, can the controller rule that tenant has not shown sufficient causes?
Ans. While construing as to what is a 'sufficient cause', the courts normally look into various aspects of the case. The matter is solely at the discretion of the court concerned and if a good cause is shown, the courts normally condone any irregularity or default by a party. It is but obvious that in the situation mentioned by you, the previous advocate who has defaulted in depositing the arrears of rent, would not give his affidavit admitting his default. In such case you should file your own affidavit and further bring the proofs which would show that you had given the amount of arrears to the advocate for being deposited and it was on account of the default of the advocates that the needful could not be done. If the same is done the court would construe the same as a sufficient cause.
Q. "Sufficient cause" , as required by rent controller for non deposit of rent within statutory period, if shown by the tenant that he could not deposit the same on medical ground i.e. suffering slip disc and submits also medical certificate from Government hospital and also from specialist private doctor, can the rent controller reject the certificates outright as the tenant was personally present in the court on prior occasion to file Vakalatnama of advocate where the matter was adjourned to a further date, although the tenant has pleaded that he was present in the court disregarding medical advise and with great difficulty as his advocate was not present in the court on that day?
Ans. The ground mentioned by you in the query for being construed as a sufficient cause, may not hold good before the court. The same might be rejected on the ground that if you are unwell, some other person could have been deputed by you to deposit the arrears or to engage an advocate to do the needful. The medical certificate may just help you to seek condonation of delay in depositing the arrears only for a few days, but not for any longer time. Further, if the tenant was present in the court and the order was passed and the tenant was aware of the same, it is immaterial that he was present there against the medical advice. If he could be present to attend the hearing, there can be no justification for not depositing the arrears on the said date.
Q. We had given one floor of our house on rental basis for two years. Our tenant had neither given rent from past one & half years nor he is willing to vacate it. Now tenancy time of 2 years is going to over in this month. We had also made a simple agreement on affidavit witnessed by property dealer BUT NOT A LEGAL ONE BY COURT. WHAT SHOULD I PROCEED ?
Ans. You should issue legal notice to the tenant for the non payment of rent and also terminate the tenancy by way of notice, which should be of 15 days expiring at the end of the tenancy month. After the expiry of notice period, if the rent is more than Rs. 3,500/- p.m. you can file the suit for recovery of possession along with arrears of rent. You can also file an application for deposit of future rent in the court, If the rent is below Rs. 3,500/- p.m., you can file the petition for eviction on non payment of rent. If it is a newly constructed property and the letting is first letting then you can file the suit for possession irrespective of rate of rent. In such a case the Rent Act is not applicable.
Q. During pendency of eviction proceedings if there are arrears of rent should the controller direct the tenant to pay such arrears if the tenant wants to contest further proceedings?
Ans. If the eviction petition is on the ground of non payment of rent then the Rent Controller is under duty to pass an order for deposit of rent u/s 15 (1) of Delhi Rent Control Act. If the eviction petition is on any other ground then you have to make an application under Section 15 (2) of Delhi Rent Control Act for direction to the tenant to deposit the rent. If no rent is deposited as per order of the court, the court has the right to strike off the defense of the tenant.
Q. What do the term "sufficient cause" and bonafide payment mean?
Ans. The term "sufficient cause" means a good and reasonable cause which will satisfy the court about the conduct of a person being genuine and "bonafide payment" means payment tendered genuinely and in good faith generally with the actual belief that the person to whom payment is being made is the actual owner or has valid right and title tot the particular thing/property.
Q. What are the grounds on which delay can be condoned for non deposit of rent within the statutory time?
Ans. As such there are no written grounds for condonation of delay for deposit of rent. U/Sec, 15(7) of Delhi Rent Control Act., "Sufficient Cause" is the only ground which further depends from to facts of the case and the Court may if convinced, condone such delay.
Q. What should I do to make sure that if I rent my property to someone, as to make it safe. The rent would be around Rs.15,000/- per month.
Ans. The Delhi Rent Control Act, 1988 was primarily in acted to safeguard the interest of the tenant . However after the amendment made in the Delhi Rent Control Act, in the 1988 the provisions was made that in case the tenancy is over Rs. 3,500/-, the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 would not to be applicable. In the eventuality the person is governed by the normal loss relating to the contract between the party and in a tenancy said law is defined under the Transfer of Property Act. There can be no provision or term in a lease deed which can secured you 100%. However the violating of the property if the would be appropriating better if the rent is kept above Rs. 3,500/-, so that the tenant is not entitled to the protection under Delhi Rent Control Act. If the lease is to be executed for a more than a period, the same is bound under law to be register under Indian Registration Act. and if your are executing a lease over one year you should get the register otherwise the terms of the lease cannot be led as evidence in the court . Even if you write all the request terms, the tenant can still refused to vacant at the end of the tenancy in which eventuality you will have no option but to proceed to the court for eviction of the tenant which normally take a few years, however the precaution which can be taken if that is a good amount can be kept as security and further a clause should be incorporated in lease deed specifying a huge amount as damages in the even talk the tenant willing to vacate the premises.
Q. If premises are rented to a partnership firm and subsequently the firm is dissolved and the 2 partners continue to occupy the premises for their individual businesses, if the landlord files eviction proceedings against only 1 partner and manages to get a decree of eviction, is the other person also bound by that decree and in case he is not can he obtain a stay from the executing court or what are the other options for him?
Ans. If the decree is against the one partner then the partner who had been left, has the right to be heard and he may get the stay from the executing court. In your case if the landlord had made the firm also a party and there is a decree against the firm in that case the decree against the firm means decree against all the partners.
A. Explaining Legal Issues and Responsibilities to Tenant(s)
On your behalf, YMI's executive will explain the legal issues and responsibilities to your tenant(s). The following items will be discussed with the tenant(s):
- Rent issues - Amount of rent, payment date, escalation in rent as per contract, advance rent, TDS deductions (if any) and any other payments
- Duration of lease contract
- Areas of property that can be used and those that is out of bound
- Regular maintenance of property interiors and exteriors.
- Terms and conditions about the repairs and maintenance in the contract
- Any other legal clauses in the lease contract that need to be explained
To understand the terms and conditions of your lease contract (if already existing), we would require a copy of the rental agreement with your tenant.
B. Periodic Property Inspection (Exterior/Interior)
A periodic property inspection shall be conducted by YMI to check the condition of the property. Such inspection would include both the interiors and exteriors of the property.
Exterior checks will be done on monthly basis by our Executive at the time of rent collection. An Interior check will be done once every quarter by a manager and the Property Inspection report would be mailed across to you.
Damages and misuse or unauthorized use of property, if any shall be handled as per the contract terms and will be reported to you.
C. Rent Collection and Deposit
Monthly rent will be collected on or before the date fixed as per the agreement and will be deposited in the bank. A scanned copy of bank deposit challan would be mailed to you. YMI will make reasonable efforts to make errant tenants pay up on time, but shall not be responsible for non-payment by any tenant.
D. Accounting Services
Books of accounts will be maintained about the source and usage of funds. This will be handed over to you at the end of the financial year. TDS payment details will also be maintained and the details will be utilized at the time of filing Income Tax returns in India.
A quarterly report will be sent you on all the receipts and disbursements on your account.
E. Major Repairs and Maintenance Contracting
Tenants can get in touch with us for all major maintenance work (they are expected to do minor work and bear the cost of consumables required for upkeep of the property). Upon request for maintenance work by tenants, a physical visit will be made to assess the work requirement within a reasonable time.
External vendors / consultants will be engaged based on the complexity of the work. Possible reasons for the repairs will be analyzed & if it was due to the tenant’s fault it will be informed to you and required action will taken as per your feedback and the terms of conditions of the contract.
F. Inventory Check
Inventory checks will be made at the time of entry of the tenant into your property. If there is an existing tenant, we can conduct inventory check at the time of quarterly inspection.
A complete check of inventory will be done, when the tenant is vacating the property and a detailed list of all assets and their conditions will be made. It will be compared against the inventory list annexed to the rental agreement and appropriate suggestions will be given to you based on the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.
Utility Bill Payments
All the details about the utility bill payments like Property Tax, Water, Electricity, etc will be maintained in our database and a request note for the payments will be sent to you well before the final payment date. After the receipt of the payments, it will be paid to the concerned department. Receipts will be maintained in your case file and can also be sent to you on request.
In case the tenant vacates during our tenant management then, the service will be put on hold until the next tenant is found. This period of hold (provided it is not more than 6 months) will be added to the validity period of the tenant management service and the service shall get extended for such time. If the period of hold exceeds 6 months, then a refund request can be given and such refund shall be handled as per our Refund Policy
Q: What are the responsibilities and obligations of the tenant? Why is it necessary to explain this to the tenant?
Ans: The key responsibilities of the tenant are:
- To make timely payments of rent
- Proper upkeep of the property during their occupation subject to normal wear and tear
- Usage of the property only for the purpose for which it was let out
- To abide by the terms specified in the lease agreement
It is necessary to explain the above to the tenant to ensure there is no misunderstanding and problems at a later point of time. A clear understanding of our company's policies in dealing with properties we manage ensures that tenants endeavor to always abide by the terms of the agreement. A property that is managed by a professional organization always stands a lower chance of default on rent than a self managed property.
Q: Who will go to collect the rent? Will it be the same executive always? Post collection, how will you update the client and ensure that the money is indeed received by the landlord?
Ans: We have a team of trained professionals who will be assigned to collect rental cheques and deposit it to your account and the same shall be intimated through email to you just to make sure that the amount has been credited to your account. Normally, the same person is expected to go for rent collection on a month on month basis so that he can build a good relationship with the tenant. In the event that a new person is sent for collection of rent, the same shall be intimated to the tenant. It is mandatory for all our company personnel involved in rent collection to carry our company identity card and produce it whenever the tenant asks for it.
Q: How will you keep track of the travel itineraries or preferences of tenants and ensure that rent is collected on time without delays due to any cause?
Ans: We keep in constant touch with the tenant to ensure rent is collected on time. Our procedures stipulate that we call the tenant one week prior to the due date to remind and organize the collection with minimum hassle. If the tenant is not available during the collection dates, our executives shall collect a PDC (post dated cheque) in advance or request tenant to make alternate arrangements.
Q: Will you accept post dated cheques in advance from tenants in lieu of rent to be paid? Will you collect post dated cheques even when the amount is past due?
Ans: Yes, we can accept post dated cheques in advance, but only if there is no past due from the tenant. We will not collect post dated cheques when the amount is already past due. In all such cases, a current dated cheque shall be insisted upon by our Executive.
Q: What is the tracking mechanism you have to ensure that cheques don't bounce or if they bouncethat you are in a position to take immediate action?
Once the rental cheque is collected and deposited to your account your Relationship Executive shall intimate you via email and shall request for a confirmation of credit to your bank account. Since we do not have access to your bank account, we will not be in a position to know whether the amount gets credited unless you inform us. If there is a cheque bounce we shall handle it according to the applicable procedures of our company. The tenant is likely to be issued a termination of lease agreement notice on behalf of the owner if the tenant is identified to be a defaulter according to our standard procedures.
Q: What is the kind of monthly update I shall receive after your inspection at the time of rent collection?
Ans: You shall receive the following from your Relationship Executive:
- Rent collection deposit proof (scanned copy)
- Maintenance checklist for your property
- Monthly Income and expense statement
- Bills for approved expenses (if any incurred in that month)
Q: When will I get those client updates - monthly and quarterly?
Ans: Monthly updates shall be sent through email on or before the 10th day of the subsequent month. Half yearly updates based on Manager's visit shall be sent by the 15th day of the sixth month. Apart from these updates if any ad-hoc or emergency tasks like plumbing, repairs etc. are performed then it shall be updated from time to time through email or phone call.
What will be the procedure followed by your company in the event of rental default by tenant? What is your company's liability in such a situation?
Ans: We take due care and attention to see that your tenant(s) pay on time. There could be certain situations where the rental default or delay is not intentional but could be due to a technical difficulty or a temporary problem for the tenant. In all such situations, a company like ours will be in a better position to ascertain if the tenant needs to be let off with a warning or if the matter needs a major escalation. Our clearly defined procedures for rental delays and defaults are explained to the tenant right upfront. If there is a cheque bounce for 2 times we shall issue a termination notice on behalf of the owner. However our company does not guarantee rental collection and cannot take any liability for a bad tenant. We shall strictly follow the procedures laid out for such situations. In the event of a major problem with a tenant, our legal team shall be at hand to assist you to get the tenant vacated through legal means. Costs of such eviction handling shall be extra.
Q: What would you do if the tenant fixed by your company turns out to be defaulter after some time due to any reason? How will company handle the situation?
Ans: We have an experienced team of people who know how to tackle rent defaulters in a legal manner. In most situations the defaulting party can easily be vacated and rental arrears adjusted against their rental deposit provided timely action is taken and the lease agreement is sound. In the unlikely event that we have to undertake court proceedings to evict the tenant we shall not charge any fees for such follow up (though lawyer's fees shall be extra). And further we will help you find a new tenant without charging any additional service fee provided such eviction happens within a year of fixing the tenant. However if other brokers are involved in finding the tenant under any circumstances then those charges shall be incurred by the owner. Most tenants do not default or delay on payments as long as they understand that someone professional is managing your property. Tenants, who go bad either due to circumstances or otherwise turn out to be so, primarily due to lack of timely action by the landlord.
Q: Who will keep track of lease agreement expiry date, rental hike applicability etc. and implement it? Does your responsibility stop with informing the client about it or would you actually implement it?
Ans: Our service includes keeping track of lease agreement expiry dates and rental hike applicability. We shall intimate you about such important items well in advance so that you can take timely action on it. If required, we can also undertake drafting of the lease agreement, getting it signed by tenants and sending it back to you at minimal extra costs. In case of any rental hike as per lease agreement, the tenants shall be informed in advance and if there is any disagreement the issue is put across to the landlord immediately. We act as a facilitator to solve these issues in a quick and fruitful manner and advise you on the pros and cons of any action.
Q: You mention about a Supervisory staff / Manager inspecting the property once in 6 months? How does it help?
Ans: A Manager is deputed to visit the tenant and inspect the property once in 6 months for the following reasons
- nterior/Exterior inspection of the property
- " To keep a track on executives and to monitor if the task assigned to them is being done properly
- " Run through a Maintenance checklist survey to see if property is maintained well
- " Make a courtesy call on the tenant to check if everything is going fine. A happy tenant goes a long way in maintaining your property like his own.
Q: How will you handle tenant eviction if a tenant goes bad and refuses to vacate?
Ans: If a tenant refuses to move out after being served a due termination notice as per the lease agreement terms, we will seek your approval and file an eviction lawsuit on behalf of you. In most situations, when the tenant realizes that we mean business they will be willing to go for a negotiated settlement and vacate peacefully. If not, we will leave it to our legal counsel to obtain the court order directing the tenant to leave and local law enforcement agencies will be pressed into service if the tenant does not co-operate. Legal costs of tenant eviction are separate and it shall be estimated depending on complexity, location and the lease terms.
Q: I have a property where I am unable to vacate the tenant who has resided in the premises for ages. Can you take over the tenant eviction part only?
Ans: Yes, we will be able to take up the tenant eviction part only after consulting with our legal team. We will do initial investigation with our legal counsel based on a preliminary fee that you will have to pay. Once the investigation is completed we will give you the legal opinion as well as a plan of action that you shall be free to pursue or drop.
Q: If the existing rental agreement with my tenant is not water tight but if you are required to handle Tenant management in such a situation, would you handle it?
Ans: Yes, we can also persuade the tenant for a new lease agreement at the time of renewal. However we are not responsible if the tenant does not agree or refuses to change the terms at the time of renewal. We can also advise you on alternatives to protect your interests.
Q: Who handles the legal aspects of sending a termination notice? Since the agreement will be between me and the tenant, are you authorized to send a termination notice?
Ans: We have an efficient legal team who will be handling all legal related issues. We shall take an authorization letter from you right at the beginning of the service giving us the right to issue a termination notice to your tenant on behalf of you.
Q: What is the kind of book keeping you do on behalf of clients and how will it help me at the time of filing taxes or for general reconciliation?
We maintain and provide the following information:
- Record of all income and expenses on the leased out property
- Providing fully itemized monthly reports and year ending accounts statements
- Facilitate a bank reconciliation to ensure complete transaction data integrity
- Keep a copy of the necessary property papers for payment of property taxes and filing returns.
Q: Who is authorized to do an inventory check at the time of moving in or moving out of a tenant? If there is multiple move-ins and move-outs within a year would you charge extra for inventory checks each time?
Ans: Our company representative will be assigned to do inventory check at the time of moving in or moving out of a tenant. Yes, we will charge extra for inventory checks if there is multiple move-ins and move-outs within a year.
Q: How will you deal with things such as tax notices from Govt. Agencies, Apartment Association and Electricity Dept. etc?
Ans: Any tax or other notices from government agencies, apartment association are dealt with separately depending on the urgency. We shall follow the procedure of intimating the customer via mail with regard to details like date of payment, amount to be paid etc. If the owner does not respond, two reminder emails will be sent followed by a phone call to remind you about the payment before the due date. Once the payment is received by us, we will do the needful to pay it on your behalf. A proof of payment shall be sent across to you along with the monthly update. If the payment is not sent on time, a notice of non-payment shall be sent through email to the customer on the due date and YMI shall not be responsible for the consequences of non-payment. Our responsibility ends with timely intimation and facilitating payment for the client if required.
Q: Are bill and tax payments errands part of the package? What happens if I fail to send you the money on time?
Bill and tax payment errands are part of the package.Bill and tax payment will be made only on receipt of the amount received from your end. However as a value added service we do remind all our customers via email about all such important items.
Q: Does your service cater to any time repairs for the tenant? Do you undertake repairs / renovation work on behalf of the landlord if requested for?
No, our tenant package does not include any time repair services for the tenant. Minor repairs and fixes are part of the tenant's responsibility as per most lease agreements in India. In the event this has to be handled as well, it shall be taken up separately through an empanelled vendor of YMI at extra costs.
Major repairs and renovation that shall affect the building structure unless specifically caused by negligence / misuse by the tenant, usually come under the landlord's responsibility. If a major repair / renovation request is given by a tenant or if assessed independently by us, the same shall be intimated to you. If you choose to use our services for repairs / renovation or even for just supervising the work you can request for an estimate. We will liaise with our vendors / estimate the effort and give you a quote. Once you accept the quote and upon receipt of payment we will proceed with the requested work after informing the tenant. Updates and monitoring reports as may be agreed upon shall be given from time to time till completion of work. An assessment on work completion will be done by qualified personnel from our company
In case of an unforeseen emergency where there is danger to human life or property we may initiate repair works without waiting for an approval and the owner shall be contacted as soon as possible. Such repair work carried out by our vendors shall be inspected and certified by qualified personnel from our company. Once the work is completed the bill for the emergency repairs shall be sent across and will have to be reimbursed by the owner within a time frame of 15 days. Non receipt of payment for a period of 30 days shall lead to cessation of service and initiation of recovery proceedings against the owner.
Q. How can I be sure that an estimate for repairs given by your executive is accurate and as per market standards? Who verifies whether the estimate is correct?
Ans: We will provide an estimate/ quote from a minimum of 2 reputed vendors who are empanelled with us and the same is forwarded for your approval. We have qualified personnel at every branch who have experience with repairs / renovation and maintenance activities who can assess whether a quote is accurate and reflective of actual costs. However if it is difficult to assess exact cost of repairs for some works due to adverse local conditions / wear and tear of parts and associated structures on which the repair is to be undertaken, the possibility of variation will be informed in advance to the client. In all such circumstances the client shall bear the additional cost (if any) on completion of the work. Non receipt of payment for a period of 30 days shall lead to cessation of service and initiation of recovery proceedings against the owner
Q: Does your company take responsibility for the quality of work undertaken by your empanelled vendors? What happens if a job done by your vendor goes bad and I need to shell out additional money to replace the equipment/fixture?
Ans: Yes, we take due care to always undertake the work through experienced vendors and pay special attention to monitor their work properly. In the event, you choose to use the services of any vendor or an empanelled vendor with YMI without supervision from our side then we shall not take any responsibility for the quality of work. In the event you choose to use our services of supervision along with the repairs then qualified personnel from our company shall certify the work on completion. Feedback on the quality of work done shall also be obtained from the tenant. If minor flaws are noticed in the work then we shall get the vendor to rework and complete the job to satisfaction. If major flaws are noticed we shall take action against the vendor and withhold payments and take corrective measures through a different vendor.
Q: If I were to get you to paint the house through your vendor and after a few months if the paint were to start peeling off or start showing bubbles what can I do about it?
Ans: Defects that get noticed after a few months could be due to various reasons. Poor workmanship could be one, but it could also be due to inherent defects in the structure, water leakage during rains or any such cause. If poor workmanship is the established reason after an assessment by our technical staff, we will initiate action against the vendor. But, if certain defects do appear after repairs within a reasonable time frame not due to poor workmanship but due to adverse conditions in the structure / parts or unforeseen problems with the property, our personnel shall review and recommend suitable action. In all such cases, the vendor or YMI cannot be penalized for the problem and the client is expected to settle all bills on time.
Q: How do you assess completion of work and send me proof of it when an approved repair or renovation is actually completed?
Ans: Whenever an approved repair or renovation work is completed through us, qualified personnel from our company shall make a visit to assess it and shall certify the work completion. The bill for the work done, the assessment report and the tenant feedback report along with pictures (wherever required) shall be sent across as proof of completion of the assigned work.
Landlord And Tenant Disputes:
The disputes may arise due to non-payment of rent, enhancement of rent, fixation of fair rent, eviction of the premises or for any other reason. If the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller, one may have to file petition only before the Rent Controller for relief.
Q: What are the legal grounds for eviction in most areas?
Ans: Non-payment of rent: The landlord must inform the tenant in writing that full rent is due by a specific deadline or the lease will be terminated.
If the landlord refuses to take full payment and the tenant can prove it, the eviction can be challenged in court. After the deadline, the landlord doesn't have to accept payment.
Other tenant violations: The landlord must inform the tenant in writing of the supposed violation. The tenant must have ample time to correct the problem. If the tenant does nothing to correct it, the landlord may evict.
Lease has expired: If the landlord doesn't extend an expired lease and the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord may evict. The tenant must be given written notice.
No lease: When a tenant rents month to month without a lease, a landlord needs only to give written notice (usually 30 days) to terminate the lease. If the tenant does not leave at the end of that time, the landlord can evict.
Tenants should: Present documents, use originals or high quality copies. All cash transactions should be documented with receipts. Canceled checks and money orders are good proof of payments.
If the court orders you evicted, you can postpone eviction if you have a good reason. The judge may consider hardships, such as young children or a sick or elderly family member, in setting the eviction date. Landlords be prepared.
You may file a request for an "extension of time" if hardships keep you from making the deadline. Typically moving a child out of school, loss of job etc may qualify to avoid evictions. BE YOU MUST HAVE PLAN OF ACTION.
Withhold rent: The law in most jurisdictions requires the tenant to inform the landlord in writing that they intend to withhold rent if a specific problem isn't solved by a certain date. Tenants must give the landlord reasonable time to comply with their requests, depending on the problem. The tenant must also make sure the landlord or his contractor has access to fix the problem.
Q: What is a lease?
Ans: A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant, in which the parties agree on terms for the rental of property. Once the parties enter into a lease, they are usually legally bound by its terms and provisions, as long as these terms are not contrary to the landlordtenant law.
Rental agreements are sometimes oral rather than written, particularly for situations like the month-to-month rental of an apartment. While an oral lease may be legally binding, it is better to have it in writing so both parties' obligations are clearly spelled out, and misunderstandings are avoided.
Q: What should be included in the lease?
Ans: The lease should include:
- the address of the property being rented.
- the name and address of the landlord.
- the amount of rent.
- the amount and nature of any deposits required.
- the date rent is to be paid each month.
- the term of the lease (for example, some leases obligate the tenant to rent the property for six months or for a full year, while other leases specify a month-to-month tenancy).
- and the notification requirements for ending the lease. The lease should state who is responsible for paying the various utility bills and may spell out each party's responsibility for caring for the premises. Some leases also state the names or the number ofpeople who may live in the house or apartment.
- Many landlords choose to use a form or pre-printed lease agreement. Like any legal document, such an agreement should be reviewed carefully to make certain all relevant provisions are included, and that both parties understand what is being agreed upon. Do not sign a lease with blank spaces, and do not rely on promises made by one party but not included in the lease.
- Leases sometimes include clauses which are not legally enforceable (for example, provisions allowing the landlord to take possession of the tenant's property or to lock the tenant out if the tenant fails to pay the rent on time). The fact they are in the lease does not make them legal. In addition, both landlords and tenants may have other rights and obligations not spelled out in the lease. The fact they are not in the lease does not take those rights away.
If you have a question about the provisions of a lease, talk to your attorney before you sign it.
Q: What are the landlord's rights?
Ans: An owner of residential property may rent it on almost any terms and for such legal uses as he or she desires, subject to the restrictions in the landlord-tenant act. If the owner sells the premises, the new owner is bound by the existing lease.
The landlord has the right to:
- receive rent and collect damages for misuse or negligent destruction of the property; including damages in excess of the tenant's deposit.
- charge whatever rent the landlord desires (unless your community has rent control laws).
- establish terms and conditions governing the tenant's conduct. Rules must be applied to all tenants in a fair manner, and notice of those rules must be given to the tenant at the time the lease is signed. Rules adopted after the tenant signs the lease are enforceable if notice is given to the tenant, and if the rule does not substantially change the rental agreement. Rules must promote the appearance, convenience or safety of the property or the welfare of the tenants, preserve the property from abuse, or make a fair distribution of services and facilities for tenants. The landlord's right to establish such rules does not give him or her the right to discriminate against prospective tenants on the basis of such factors as race, religion, or national origin.
Q: What are the tenant's rights?
Ans: The tenant may have possession of the rental property until the lease expires, as long as he or she performs all legal obligations. The tenant may use the property in any lawful way, subject to the restrictions in the lease.
The tenant must be given, in writing, the name and address of the property owner and the name and address of any person authorized to manage the premises. This information must be kept current to reflect any changes.
Q: Can the tenant sub-let the property?
Ans: Unless prohibited by the lease, the tenant may sub-lease residential property. However, leases often prohibit sub-leasing, or require the landlord's consent to do so. Sub-leasing can cause problems, because the original tenant then becomes both a landlord and a tenant. The original tenant must fulfill his or her obligations under the original lease agreement, even if the property has been sub-let.
Q: When can the landlord enter the property?
Ans: The landlord may enter a rental dwelling to inspect the premises, make repairs, supply services or exhibit the property to workers, prospective tenants or purchasers. In such instances, the landlord should give the tenant at least one day's notice that he or she intends to enter, and should enter only at reasonable times. The landlord may enter without the tenant's consent only if there is an emergency, or if the tenant has abandoned the premises.
The lease may require tenants who intend to be away from their apartment for a period of time more than seven days to notify the landlord of the absence, so the landlord does not assume the property has been abandoned.
Q: Who must maintain the property?
Ans: The Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Act requires landlords to comply with the community's minimum housing codes concerning health and safety. If repairs cannot be negotiated between the landlord and tenant, violations of the housing codes should be reported directly to the local housing office.
If the community does not have a housing code, the law imposes certain minimum responsibilities on the landlord. He or she must make all repairs to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition; keep the common areas clean and safe; maintain whatever facilities are supplied, such as the furnace, plumbing and elevators; provide garbage cans and supply reasonable heat and hot and cold running water. A landlord and tenant can, under some circumstances, enter into a written contract providing for the tenant to take care of some of these duties, provided the tenant receives some benefit for doing so. But without such a contract, the landlord is responsible.
The tenant must comply with all community housing codes. He or she must keep the dwelling unit as clean and safe as conditions permit, dispose of garbage in a clean and safe manner, keep the plumbing clean and use the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling facilities in a reasonable manner.
The tenant may not deliberately or negligently destroy, damage or remove any part of the premises. The property must be left in as clean a condition, excepting ordinary wear and tear, as it was when the tenancy began. If the tenant independently does repairs, painting or fixing up, he or she usually has no legal claim for reimbursement from the landlord. Finally, tenants and guests must conduct themselves in a manner which will not disturb their neighbors.
Q: May the landlord shut off services?
Ans: A landlord may not interrupt electric, gas, water or other essential services to the tenant, nor may he or she attempt to recover possession of a dwelling unit by interrupting such services. A landlord may not take retaliatory action, such as increasing rent or decreasing services, if a tenant complains to a government agency about the condition of the premises, or organizes or participates in a tenant's group.
Deposits and Rent
Q: Can the landlord require a deposit?
Ans: The landlord may require the tenant to pay as much as one month's rent as a security deposit, and as much as one-quarter of one month's rent as a pet deposit. For example, if the rent is $200 per month, the deposit required cannot exceed $200, plus $50 if the tenant has a pet.
When the lease ends, the landlord may apply the deposit to unpaid rent and to any damage done to the property. This may include the costs of cleaning the apartment, but it is not intended to cover normal wear and tear.
Upon demand, the tenant has a right to receive, within l4 days, the balance of the deposit and an itemization of any costs paid out of that deposit. (It is best to put the request in writing.) The tenant should give the landlord a forwarding address so the deposit may be refunded.
Many disputes over deposit refunds could be avoided if the tenant would make a list — preferably before moving in, or immediately after moving in — of any existing defects or damage in the apartment. The list should be dated, and if possible signed by the tenant and the landlord, indicating both parties agree on what damage already existed. Both parties should keep a copy of the list. It is also recommended to make a similar list upon moving out to help in settling disputes. Disputes over deposit refunds often must be resolved in small claims court if the parties cannot agree.
Q: When is rent payable?
Ans: Rent is payable at the time designated in the lease. The landlord does not need to give any demand or notice for the rent to be paid.
If there is no written lease, the rent is due at the beginning of the term. If the term is longer than one month, rent is payable in equal monthly installments at the beginning of the month.
Q: May the landlord lock out a tenant if the rent is not paid?
Ans: If the rent is not paid on time, the landlord must follow certain notice requirements as spelled out in the Landlord-Tenant Act. The landlord must make a demand in writing that the rent be paid within three days, and that if it is not paid, the rental agreement will be terminated. If the tenant pays within the three days, the landlord may not end the rental agreement.
If the rent is not paid after three days, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. If the tenant refuses to leave voluntarily, the landlord may file suit to have the tenant evicted. The landlord may not lock out a tenant who has not paid rent, and may not take possession of the tenant's property or remove the tenant's belongings. A court order of eviction is required before a tenant can be forced to move.
Q: Can the landlord raise the rent?
Ans: If the landlord and tenant have a written lease specifying the amount of rent, the rent cannot be raised during the term of the lease. In a month-to-month lease, oral or written, the landlord cannot raise the rent without giving the tenant 30-day notice that the rent will be raised on or before a rental payment date, beginning at the next rental payment date or later. For example, if the landlord wishes to raise the rent effective October 1, notice must be given to the tenant on or before September 1.
A provision in the lease allowing the landlord to raise the rent without notice, or with less than 30 days' notice, would be an example of a clause which is unenforceable under the law, even if the tenant agreed to it at the time the lease was signed. There is no limit under state law on the amount of rent a landlord may charge or the number of times it can be raised, provided proper notice is given. However, if the landlord makes frequent, unreasonable increases in the rent, the tenant may wish to consult a lawyer to see if there are any legal remedies available.
Q: When may rent be withheld?
Ans: There are very few circumstances in which a tenant is legally justified in withholding rent. To protect yourself it is best to talk to a lawyer before ever withholding rent.
The law provides that if the landlord fails to provide essential services such as reasonable heat or running water, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord of the condition, and may arrange for reasonable amounts of these services and deduct their actual cost from the rent. The tenant may also be entitled to a reduction in the amount of rent due during the time these services are not provided, or may find other housing and be excused from paying rent during the time alternate housing was necessary. There are other situations, such as damage by fire or other casualty, in which rent may be reduced or the lease terminated.
Ending a Lease
Q: Is notice required to end a lease?
Ans: A month-to-month lease may be terminated by either party giving written notice to the other at least 30 days prior to a rental payment date. The lease would then end on the designated rental payment date. For example: If you rent an apartment on a month-to-month basis, paying rent on the first day of each month, and you wish to move out on October 1, you must give notice on or before September 1. You may not give notice on September 15 that you intend to move on October 15. If you gave notice on September 15, the first day you could move out without penalty would be November 1. Likewise, if the landlord wants you to move out on October 1, he or she must give you notice on or before September 1. Unless the lease states a definite term, a lease is week-to-week in the case of a roomer paying weekly rent, and in all other cases is monthto- month. However, not all leases with monthly payments are month-to-month leases. The lease may be for a set period of time, with special notice requirements for termination.
Example: On May 1, 2000, you sign a one-year lease for an apartment. In September, you are transferred in your job and must move to another town, or, you find an apartment you like better, you can't afford the rent. In any case, you are obligated for the entire term of the lease-until April 30, 2001. You cannot end your obligations simply by giving notice that you intent to move, even if you observe the 30-day requirement spelled out above.
This does not necessarily mean you will end up paying the rent for the full year, even after you have had to move away. The landlord in this example does have an obligation, after you give notice you must move, to try to rent the apartment to someone else. If he or she cannot do so, however, you are obligated for the full term of the lease. If you have a lease with a fixed term, be sure to read it carefully for any special termination requirements. In some cases, the lease will simply end after the six months or one year is up. If the lease does not provide for this, however (and most do not), it will automatically convert to a month-to-month tenancy after the term is up. The notice requirements noted above (30 days prior to a rental payment date) would then take effect.
Q: Can the lease be canceled before it expires?
Ans: If one of the parties violates important conditions of the lease or of the landlord-tenant law, the lease may be terminated. The lease itself may state certain circumstances under which the tenancy will end. As previously noted, if the tenant fails to pay the rent the landlord may notify the tenant the lease will end if the rent is not paid within three days. If a tenant fails to comply with terms and conditions other than the payment of rent, he or she must be given 14 days in which to correct the offending behavior. Similarly, if the tenant believes the landlord is not fulfilling his or her duties under the lease or under the landlord-tenant act, the tenant must give the landlord notice of the problem and l4 days in which to correct it. In either case, the notice may state if the condition is not taken care of within l4 days, the lease will end in not less than 30 days.
In the case of serious violations (such as shutting off utilities or essential services), or repeated violations, either party may choose to end the lease under the provisions of the law. Terminating a lease is a serious matter which may have financial consequences for both parties. Talk to your lawyer before deciding to proceed. Depending upon the circumstances and the reasons the lease was terminated, either the landlord or the tenant may be able to recover damages and attorney fees as a result of the termination.
Q: Does notice have to be in writing?
Ans: In most cases, yes. For example, a notice that rent is past due or that certain repairs are required must be in writing. Notices to terminate the tenancy must be in writing. In some situations, the landlord- tenant law states that "written or actual" notice must be given. In other cases, the law states only that one party must give the other "notice" before entering the premises (for example, the law says the landlord must give "one day's notice" to the tenant).
To be on the safe side, and to prevent misunderstandings, it is generally best to put in writing all notices between the landlord and the tenant, and to date the notice and keep a copy. For specific situations, you may wish to consult the landlord-tenant law. A free copy of those statutes may be obtained by writing to the Nebraska State Bar Association at the address listed below.
This pamphlet, which is issued to inform, not to advise, has been prepared and published by the Nebraska State Bar Association. It is distributed by those who want to help you obtain your rights under the law.