• Landlord refusing to return rent deposit

I rented a 1bhk flat one month ago under 11 months rent agreement. However when we stepped in the house, a lot of things were non functional like switch board was worn out, sometimes the lights and fans were not working due to old and worn out switchboards, flush not working. After following up with Landlord several times he repaired the switchboard as for the rest of small things he is just ignoring us and replies very rudely. All these miscellaneous things should had been taken care of before we stepped in. The landlord is very rude and treats us with disrespect. We decided enough is enough, and informed the landlord that we would be vacating and will serve one months notice period as stated in the agreement. Total period of stay now would be 2 months including the notice period served to him. The rent agreement does not mention any lock in period nor any mention on consequences of premature termination of rent agreement. The landlord claims that I'll have to forfeit the deposit money paid to him as there is a clause in the agreement which states if either party terminates the agreement within 6 months is liable. However on close inspection of the rent agreement, it does not state any lock in period nor anything which remotely states that deposit will have to be forfeited in such scenario. 


The Cancellation clause reads like this - "That, Subject to the condition of lock in period (if any), if the Licensee commits default in regular and punctual payments of monthly compensation as herein before mentioned or commit/s breach of any of the terms, covenants and conditions of this agreement of if any legislation prohibiting the Leave and License is imposed, the Liscensor shall be entitled to revoke and/or cancel the License hereby granted, by giving notice in writing of one month and the licensee too will have the right to vacate the said premises by giving a notice in writing of one month to the Licensor as mentioned earlier. 


Miscellaneous Clause: The Licensee or the Licensor shall have the option to terminate this agreement by giving to the other side one month notice in writing and this agreement will accordingly stand terminated on the expiry of the said period of notice. The said security deposit shall not carry any interest and shall be refunded by the liscensor to the Licensee on expiry or upon earlier determination of this presents after deducting therefrom any amounts payable by the Licensee to the Licensor under this  agreement and all other losses and damages caused to the Licensor by damage or demolition of the said premises or non payment of any bills agreed to be paid by the Licensee under these presents. 


Is there any such clause which entitles the landlord to keep the deposit money on premature termination of the rent agreement even though no such thing is mentioned in the rent agreement ? What are my options in such a scenario?  What if he promises to return my deposit and after vacating the premises simply refuses to refund?
Asked 4 months ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Christian
Terms of agreement are sacrosanct 

2) if there is no lock in period landlord cannot forfeit security deposit on termination of agreement 

3) if landlord refuses to return SD file summary suit to recover your SD with intetest 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23364 Answers
1222 Consultations
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You could have repaired the things in the house yourself and then deducted the expenses from the rent. The tenant has the right to debit to the landlord the expenses incurred on repairing and installing those vital fixtures and amenities which are either missing or dysfunctional from the inception of tenancy. Be that as if may, the clauses extracted by you do not permit the landlord to make forfeiture. You may issue a lawyer's notice to him to refund ths SD, and if he does not pay back then a suit for recovery may be filed agsjnst him
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
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449 Consultations
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If the landlord is arrogant and refusing to return the deposit amount despite being told in advance and are ready to comply with the notice period, you may issue a legal notice demanding the refund  mentioning the clause in the rental  agreement, failing which you may take up the matter with the civil court by filing a suit for recovery of amount along with interest. 

Consult a local advocate and proceed as per his further advise on the subject matter. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
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1) there is no such rule that you have to pay one month rentals if you terminate agreement within 6 months . Only if there is such a clause can landlord deduct one month rent 

2) yiu cannot recover 15 per cent interest if there is no such clause in rent agreement 


3) intetest  if any can be recovered only from date of receipt iof notice 

4) criminal cases take years to be disposed of 

5) in summary suit you would get interim orders with one year 

6) legal fees vary deoending  upon lawyer engaged by you 


Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23364 Answers
1222 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1.  Is there any unwritten rule that I've to pay one months compensation to landlord if I terminate the rent agreement within 6 months time, even though such a clause is not mentioned in my rent agreement

If there is no such clause in the rental agreement then the demand by the landlord is illegal, he can be sued for illegal demands and also can file a recovery suit for the dues to you.






2.  You'll mentioned earlier that if landlord does not return security deposit, he is liable to pay 15% interest from the day I have served notice. There is no such clause of 15% interest mentioned in rent agreement, would landlord still be liable to pay interest if he defaults in paying security deposit?Is the 15% interest simple interest on monthly basis or yearly basis?

The rate of interest is always per annum until there is a specific mention about monthly rate.
You can in your recovery suit claim interest from the date of notice.




3.  You'll mentioned in case landlord refuses to pay SD, that I need to send a notice through an advocate, and if required file a "summary suit for recovery" along with police complaint for breach of trust/contract and cheating. Ideally how much time/duration does it take for the courts to come to a logical conclusion/close the case? 

The time taken for disposal of such cases cannot be predicted, in an ordinary situation it may take at least 2 years. 






4. Ideally, on an average how much will I've to spend in filing a summary suit and pursuing it through a lawyer/advocate? 

The court fee differs from one state to another across the country and likewise the lawyer fee depends on the lawyer you may engage.






5.  It was an unfurnished flat, so while vacating the flat with my belonging, do I need to inform the society about the day I am leaving, so there are no hassles later on while moving out with my goods?

It becomes your duty to inform about vacating the house to the society and properly handover possession of the house property to the owner.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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