Busting myths about renting

Know your rent

Chennai

Did you know that your owner can’t evict a tenant if the tenant pays rent regularly, unless the owner wants to shift in? Well, we asked seven tenants and most were pretty clueless about the same. Here, we take you through the lesser known aspects of renting, thus busting myths that most tenants are subjected to.

We’ve all heard dreaded stories of crazy landlords, hidden charges and dodgy properties that come along with a tenancy agreement. And now that many young adults are moving out of home, many Millennials are still in the early stages of their life and career, and are usually living in rented homes as they are keen to have flexibility in their career. The growing pressure to step onto the property ladder often leaves one unsure of the facts when it comes to renting and the options available.

Busting myths about renting

– Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co

Here are a few common myths surrounding renting:

1. It is better to buy property and pay EMI than pay the rent – In the traditional Indian mindset, which attaches great significance to ownership of property and frowns on payment of rent, it is necessary to bear in mind that the decision to rent should be guided on practical considerations. If the tenancy is for a limited purpose, such as temporary relocation to a place for a job, children’s education, etc, renting is a better option;

2. Tenant pays more maintenance than owner – The rules of the association cannot be discriminatory and are required to be applied uniformly to all occupants;

3. Tenant is entitled to claim ownership of space by virtue of long period of stay – The Rent Control legislations cannot be confused with the law of adverse possession. While rent control laws seek to prevent rights of a tenant against illegal dispossession by the owner, the law of adverse possession will apply only if a person has been in continuous uninterrupted possession for the prescribed period. However, if the tenant is occupying under a valid agreement with the owner, he cannot as a matter of right claim ownership after a specified term;

4. Landlord is required to undertake all repairs – The terms of the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant need to be examined to understand the inter se obligations of the parties with respect to repairs and maintenance. In the absence of any agreement, the law requires the landlord to undertake repairs of structural nature only and the tenant is required to undertake day-to-day repairs and replacements.

Source: Deborah Pereira, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai