• Owner of flat deducting extra money from security deposit

I rented a 1BHK on April 10th of this year in AECS layout, Bangalore. I made a initial deposit of Rs 70,000/- as security. Now I'm vacating it and I had given the owner 1 month advance notice. But the owner told me that he would deduct 1 month rent (Rs 12000/-) extra as a penalty for leaving the house within 11 months. However no such thing is mentioned in the Agreement. Agreement says: "It is hereby agreed that one month notice on either side is required for the termination of the tenancy." I could not convince the owner on this part. Also the owner is going to deduct the Rs 7000/- from the deposit anyway, it is mentioned in the Rental agreement as painting charges, I'm fine with this deduction, but not with the 1 month's rent deduction. Can someone please guide me about my next course of action?
Asked 3 years ago in Property Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Hello,

Thanks for posting your question.

As it appears from your query, there was no clause in the contract between you and the landlord which states about deduction of one month's rent in case the premises are vacated before 11 months. Hence, by doing so the landlord has breached the contract which existed between the both of you.

My suggestion regarding the course of action to be taken is as follows:

1. Send a legal notice to the landlord demanding the deducted rent and stating that in case of non-compliance the landlord must be ready to face appropriate legal proceedings.

2. Since the above transaction amounts to breach of contract, you may file a civil suit regarding the same. However, the amount involved is a small sum and the cost of contesting the suit itself might exceed the sum involved. Hence, I will suggest you against it.

3. You may file a criminal complaint/ F.I.R. under section 406 IPC for criminal breach of trust, stating that you had kept the deposit with the landlord as a security amount and now the landlord has misappropriated the money and despite specific demand is not repaying the same. Here, because of the threat of police/ criminal proceedings, the landlord might return the money. In strict sense, the offence under section 406 IPC is not made out, however, this is done to arm-twist the accused to reach a settlement.

From the above, to begin with, you must send a legal notice and many times it is sufficient to get the money recovered. 

In case you need any assistance in drafting of the legal notice, you may contact me after 7 pm any day at +919828020140 or email me at: nishantbora@gmail.com

Do let me know in case you require any further clarification.
Regards,
Nishant
Nishant Bora
Advocate, Jodhpur
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