11 Month Agreement - some interesting angles
I rented a roof top tin shed, while it was still under construction, with a few stipulations about cross ventilation and other specifications. I paid the security deposit. This is an eleven month agreement, with specific stipulations about notice period on both sides; as well as exclusive use of the open terrace.
Observed some construction defects, brought it to the attention of the landlord; his refusal to rectify defects led to breakdown of the relationship.
All this is documented. When I sent a letter suggesting that we seek legal redress he flew into a rage, assaulted me and evicted me on the spot with the threat of throwing my belongings out, and further threat to life and limb.
I employed a caretaker, left the house in his care and found alternate temporary accommodation, while continuing to pay the rent without clearing my chattels or actually living in the house for fear of violence.
Brought suit in the Consumer Forum on the basis of deficient service (the landlord only became a landlord at the commencement of tenancy. Prior to that he was a service provider who was building the shed to my specification). This suit progresses in the Forum.
Is it true that an eleven month contract does not come within the ambit of the Rent Control Act of (in this case Tamil Nadu).
I now propose to bring suit for illegal attempt to evict, landlord harassment and non issuance of rent receipts.
Which is the correct law under which I should bring action - the Building Lease and Rent Control Act or under the Easement Act (in normal circumstances I suppose it should be the latter).
The following make a difference because, it would be a modified Leave and License, more akin to a Lease:
During construction I provided a stainless steel kitchen sink, which may arguably be construed as a permanent improvement. I also installed a thatched shed on the terrace; all of which on the verbal assurance that there would be no problem to stay for as long as I wanted to and the 11 month tenure was only a formality. Further, I ensured that I have exclusive use of the terrace, which is written into the rental agreement, as well as right of way through the rest of the building.
Additionally, I propose to petition the Rent Controller (in this case the District Munsif) to fix "fair rent" for the premises.
Do you think I am on the right track? What are the pitfalls?