• Dispute over rent

Dear Sir / Madam,

We have been a tenant of a shop for more than 50 years. Ever since, we have been paying  the collective rent amount every 2 or 3 years. The owner stays in a different place, so we send the amount by money order. This is the way it has always been going on.

However, this time it has been 65 months since we paid the last rent amount. Neither did the owner ask or remind us, nor did we send it by ourselves.

Finally, a couple months ago, we sent the money order for the total amount due, but he refused and returned it.

He says that he wants us to suddenly pay more than ten times of the current rent rate.
This is not possible for us financially. Besides, can the owner do this legally?

It looks like he either wants us to pay almost 10 times the current rent rate, or vacate the shop.

We are three individuals with three shops (one each) and the same case applies to all three of us.

As for my shop, pfb the rent per month as set by the owner and agreed by me:
1963 - Rs.45
1984 - Rs.75
1995 - Rs.135
2004 - rs.200 (last paid upto 2009)

I believe that the other two shops have (/ had) a similar rent structure as well.

Any advice / help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanking you in anticipation.

Sincerely,
DB / SKS / RG
Asked 2 years ago in Property Law from Kalimpong, West Bengal
1) the amount of rent paid by you is a pittance  of Rs 200 per month 

2) it has not been increased for period of over 10 years . 

3) you have not mentioned how was rent forwarded by you ? 

4) if landlord is refusing to accept rent send  a demand draft for rent amount along with covering letter by Reg post AD 

5) if landlord refuses to accept it you can deposit the rent in court . 

6) landlord can also file eviction  suit against you . 

7) contest the eviction suit if any filed by landlord . it may take years for suit to be disposed of 

8) it is better to arrive at an amicable settlement with landlord
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) Rate of rent is a matter of contract and can be varied in accordance with agreement only and not unilaterally.

2)  The Rent Control Legislations enacted in the pre-independence and immediately after independence era to prevent exploitation of tenants provided a statutory mechanism enabling a tenant to, notwithstanding having entered the premises with a promise to pay rent at a certain rate, apply to the Rent Controller/Court for fixation of standard rent which as aforesaid was generally lower than the prevalent market rent. 

3)However, with the passage of time, several Courts have found such provisions in the State Rent Legislations entitling tenants to wriggle out of the agreed rent to be archaic and struck down the same. Else the rent agreed between the landlord and the tenant binds both of them and neither is entitled to unilaterally vary the same during the period for which it has been agreed. On the expiry of the said period, if unable to agree on extension / renewal of the lease at a mutually agreed rate, the remedy of the landlord is only to evict a tenant and to for the period of unauthorized occupation recover mesne profits defined in Section 2(12) of the CPC as profits which the person in wrongful possession actually received or might with ordinary diligence have received. A landlord cannot be heard to while not wanting to evict the tenant, as per his own calculation claim increased rent. 

4) However, if the premises are within the purview of the Rent Act which prohibits the landlord from evicting the tenant for the reason of expiry of the term for which the premises were let out, the landlord cannot while being so prohibited be permitted to claim mesne profits or increase in rent unless permitted under the Rent Act. 
Thus, in the absence of a provision in the statute it cannot be held that a landlord is entitled to market rent from a protected tenant.
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
You can file a case for fair fixation of rent and ask the court that land lord is not ready to accept the rent and to hive permission to deposit in court
Jeshma Mohandas KP
Advocate, Kozhikode
567 Answers
1 Consultations
3.5 on 5.0
1. You are not liable for 10 times increase of the rent. Continue to tender the rent at earlier rate of rent.
2. if the landlord refuses to accept rent then start depositing the rent before the Rent Controller.
3. In the same Rent Controller you can apply for fixation of fair rent.
4. Nothing to worry, West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act is in favour of the tenants.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5154 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1. The monthly rent paid you at the rate of 200 INR is very paltry, and must be grossly inconsistent with the market rent.

2. Does the rent agreement recorded between you and the landlord have a clause regarding enhancement of rent according to the prevailing market rate? If such a clause is there then you are accordingly liable to pay higher rent. If, however, no such clause exists in the agreement between you and the landlord then there cannot be a unilateral increase in rent by the landlord. The demand of a landlord, in the absence of an agreement, for an increased rent at par with the present market rate is invalid, illegal and violations of terms of agreement.  

3. Remit the rent to the landlord forthwith by a demand draft through a registered post,

4.  It was a mistake on your part to not to remit the rent for the past 65 months as this endowed the landlord with the right to move to court for your eviction. Non-payment of rent is a legal basis for eviction of the tenant. Be informed that no one can drive you out without following the process of law, so rest assured unless you are evicted by the court you may reside in the premises.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18057 Answers
445 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. ur not liable to pay 10 times increase in rent to landlord.

2.pay the rent of 65 months @ Rs.200/pm by demand draft and send it to LL by speed post.

3.if LL refuses it then deposit rent of 65 months in rent controller court.

4. if LL file eviction case in court then defend it strongly.

5.however, present rate of rent of Rs.200/pm is very low and you may increase it to RS.400/pm.

6.settle matter amicably with LL.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers
0 Consultations
3.8 on 5.0
Hi, you being a tenant in the premises and request your land lord and fix the rent according to the market value or else if he  ask you  to vacate the schedule property you will be in trouble.........
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4104 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
1. The tenancy Agreement is required to be seen for proper advice,

2. Your not paying the monthly rent regularly on time is a valid cause for evicting you,

3. However, the land lord can not charge ten times of present rant,

4. send him rent every month through money order and if he refuses, submit the rent before the rent Controller,

5. If he files eviction suit, it will take around 20 years to be disposed of,

6. Relax. The W.B. Tenancy Act is in favour of the Tenant.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12043 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
best is to go for written legal agreement  with LL.stating all terms and conditions clearly.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers
0 Consultations
3.8 on 5.0
1. If there was no rent agreement made between you and the landlord then your possession is not protected by the law. In the absence of a rent agreement between the tenant and the landlord the former can under no circumstances claim to have a legal right to continue to occupy the premises. As such, the landlord can file a criminal case for house trespass against you and also file a case for your eviction.

2. Convince the landlord to enter into a rent agreement with you clearly articulating therein the terms of tenancy. If he refuses to make such an agreement and initiates legal proceedings for your eviction then either contest them, or voluntarily vacate the premises.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18057 Answers
445 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
A. Execute a written Lease Agreement with sufficient stamp duty between you and LL, it would be helpful to both parties due to rights and interest of the parties protected by the law by fencing legal agreement.

B. You are liable to pay arrears rent and take a receipt for the same while you paid the amount .

C.  Land Lord cannot exercise his right improperly that his activities managed under the local laws. Hence, contact local lawyer to prepare legal effective draft with respect to the same.
B.T. Ravi
Advocate, Bangalore
733 Answers
29 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Firstly request your landlord to fix the rent as per the market value and then execute a proper rent agreement, therein specify the amount which needs to be paid to landlord and other conditions
If there is no rent agreement then you are not protected under law.
Sudershani Ray
Advocate, New Delhi
192 Answers
25 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1) it has to considered that you have been tenant for over 50 years . 

2) in those  days hardly anyone executed rent agreement . 

3) the norm was to take premises on rent by obtaining rent receipt from landlord .  

4) settle issue amicably with landlord . since earlier you were paying RS 200 you should agree to reasonable figure . 

5) even if landlord files eviction suit against you it would take years for suit to be disposed of . 

6) you are a protected tenant and rent increase  cannot be exhorbitant . 

7) in event landlord suggests entering into written agreement get it vetted by your lawyer before signing the same . 

8) you can contact Mr Ganguly or MR Barman senior experts from West Bengal in this regard
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Get a rent agreement written for your safety and getting the protection of law. You can fix a new rent according to fair rent.since you have paid the rent you will be protected
Jeshma Mohandas KP
Advocate, Kozhikode
567 Answers
1 Consultations
3.5 on 5.0
1. You shall have to accept that you are paying very low rent,

2. The land lord is entitled to get fair rent within the periphery of law,

3.Eviction suit will take years as per present trend but your land lord has adequate ground to seek your eviction,

4. Settle with the land lord and pay fair market rent to him,

5. He has the right to ask you to enter in to a written agreement which you can not avoid,

6. You may not agree with some of his clauses/terms and put your own term/clause but you can not refuse to execute tenency agreement,

7. Ofcpouse the land lord can not exorbitantly hike the rent above the fair rent of your area.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12043 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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