• Feud with landlord over security deposit

Hi,  
We have a feud over the security deposit refund with my ex landlord. The clause from the agreement are as below:
1. 	It is hereby agreed by and between the parties that notwithstanding anything herein contained, either party shall after the expiry of 24 (Twenty Four) months have the right to terminate this agreement without assigning any reason whatsoever by giving the other party a 2 (Two) months written notice. 

Query- does this clause means that tenant would have to pay notice period of 2 months even before the expiry of agreement.  We gave a written notice of 33 days to landlord but he says that the notice to be served is 2 months.  

2. The LICENSEE shall use the premises with due care and caution and shall keep and maintain the LICENSOR fixtures, fittings, furniture, electrical equipment, colour, plumbing & sanitary therein and the interior of the said premises in good condition. In the event of any damage to abovementioned items the LICENSEE will set right and will repair/replace the above mentioned items at their own cost before handing over possession in clean and good condition.
At the time of the LICENSEE vacating the said Premises, the LICENSEE shall be entitled to remove all items  of  furniture  except furniture,  fixtures  and  fittings belonging to the LICENSOR and amenities provided by the LICENSOR as contained in the Schedule hereunder. The security deposit as  provided  in  Clause  No.4 herein will be  returned   to  the  LICENSEE  on the handing over vacant possession of  the  said premises to the LICENSOR/or earlier determination in clean and good condition.  The deposit will be returned only after LICENSEE hand over possession in condition mentioned herein above after LICENSEE settles all payments towards monthly compensation, electricity bills, Telephone bills, cable charges, etc.  It is agreed by and between the parties hereto that the LICENSOR is entitled to deduct the cost of damages/replacement from the interest free Security Deposit of the LICENSEE lying with the LICENSOR, without recourse to the LICENSEE, incase any damage is caused to the interior, furniture, fittings, items, equipments etc. which are provided by the LICENSOR to the LICENSEE for use.

Query- our landlord has deducted around 9k for general repairs and 40k for painting of the house.  He says that the nails in the house has spoiled the walls and has caused damages whereas during the stay of 4 years he has never done any painting/ wear and tear repair of the house. I feel that nails and walls becoming dirty during 4 years is normal wear under the law and tear and he would have to anyways repaint the house and give on rent again.. But he is not agreeing to this and deducted from our security deposit. Does the agreement clause clearly specify that we have to pay for painting of the house or can we fight over the same against the landlord under rent control act Maharashtra 1999.

Reply awaited eagerly.   Thank you
Asked 19 days ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
1) landlord cannot deduct painting charges . there is no clause in the contract that painting charges have to be borne by the licencee . you are entitled to refund of Rs 40000  towards painting charges 

2) only Rs 9,000 towards general repairs would be deductible 

3)you can aterminate agreement by  notice period  of  2 months only after expiry of 24 months 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
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1224 Consultations
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t is, necessary  to clearly specify in the agreement as to how and in what circumstances the agreement can be terminated.

2)  One month and three month notice period are most common in India although sometimes parties can insist on an even longer notice period.

3) if agrement is silent on n otice period then licencee cannot terminate the agrement before expiry of 24 months 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23370 Answers
1224 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Is there a lock in period prescribed in the agreement? The clause is silent on how the tenancy is to be brought to premature end before the expiry of 24 months. This clause cannot be read in isolation. If no lock in period is laid down in the agreement then the agreement can be terminated by a simple one month notice either way.

2. It has become a practice in India for the landlords to deduct a substantial part of the security deposit for the alleged repairs and painting which never takes place once the tenant makes an exit. You could have adjusted the monthly rent for the last month against the refundable security deposit, but now that you have lost this opportunity you can file a suit for recovery of money in the civil court against him. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
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449 Consultations
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Query- does this clause means that tenant would have to pay notice period of 2 months even before the expiry of agreement.  We gave a written notice of 33 days to landlord but he says that the notice to be served is 2 months.  

The condition says that even after the expiry of 24 months either party have to give two months notice, so it is naturally applicable under the circumstances where the agreement period has not come to an end.  You will be required to give 2 months notice to terminate the lease agreement as per the conditions what you have mentioned here.






Query- our landlord has deducted around 9k for general repairs and 40k for painting of the house.  He says that the nails in the house has spoiled the walls and has caused damages whereas during the stay of 4 years he has never done any painting/ wear and tear repair of the house. I feel that nails and walls becoming dirty during 4 years is normal wear under the law and tear and he would have to anyways repaint the house and give on rent again.. But he is not agreeing to this and deducted from our security deposit. Does the agreement clause clearly specify that we have to pay for painting of the house or can we fight over the same against the landlord under rent control act Maharashtra 1999.

It becomes the duty of the tenant to hand over the rented premises in a good condition while handing over vacant possession of the premises to the landlord.
The cost of painting may be higher or even the repair costs may be on a higher side, but that will not give an exemption to the tenant to avoid paying the painting an repair charges.
It becomes the  duty of the tenant to maintain the house properly during the tenure of his tenancy and cannot expect the landlord to repair or white wash the premises during the tenancy period. 
I my opinion the demand made by the landlord may not be out of law except the higher cost or demand by the landlord in this regard. 


T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
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For the notice period query 1-- the agreement is silent over the notice period before expiry.  In that case is our 30 days suffice as per rent contact and law.? Can he claim that the notice period is 2 months whenever we terminate the agreement? He is disputing that we vacated early by a month.

The notice period before expiry of the agreement shall be more effective.
Actually in my opinion, the clause should have been 
notwithstanding anything herein contained, either party shall before the expiry of 24 (Twenty Four) months have the right to terminate this agreement without assigning any reason whatsoever by giving the other party a 2 (Two) months written notice. 

instead of 

notwithstanding anything herein contained, either party shall after the expiry of 24 (Twenty Four) months have the right to terminate this agreement without assigning any reason whatsoever by giving the other party a 2 (Two) months written notice. 

So you may confirm it, however please be aware that the notice period mentioned has to be complied if the agreement was by a registered document. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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