Tenancy Issues with Landlady
I am a resident of Bangalore, 33 years old and employed in a private firm, living in one portion of an 2-story independent house, as a tenant to one Ms. Sahu. The landlady (approximately 70-year-old, widower, and unaccompanied) stays in the upper floor of the same building whereas my family occupies the ground floor.
We have a 11-month tenancy contract, signed by both parties, that was issued on June 01, 2014, due to expire on April 30, 2015. Issues are:
1. The landlady has been charging us Rs. 1000 per month towards water charges and has never produced any bills to us. The premises are inhabited by the tenant (approximately 70-year-old, widower, and living unaccompanied), myself, my wife, and one 4-year-old child only.
2. The water charges were mentioned in the contract with verbal reasoning that there may be water shortage from government supplies and may need her to call private water delivery services and that Cauvery water levied charges by the government are high. However, very recently i found out that water charges, at maximum, should not exceed Rs. 200 to 250 for the amount that would be used in a normal household like ours with said number of residents.
3. There is no separate line within our portion distinguishing Cauvery and Borewell water in this house (a usual provision for most house in Bangalore especially where they charge you for water separately). The tap that has a direct connection to Cauvery water delivery line in this house's premises has been kept out of our reach by the means of a iron gate and lock/key, citing her personal security reasons.
4. She is an extremely ill-behaved lady and would not even entertain any conversation, so producing bills upon our questioning is out of question. Our neighbors who have known her for several years corroborate this fact and she has reportedly had issues with her last tenant as well, by her own admission to us verbally.
5. Additionally, we paid an advance of 1 lac to her while occupying the house and the contact mentions that painting charges equivalent to a month's rent will be deducted during vacating (Rs. 16000 currently). Issue is, i have credible reasons to believe that she is planning not to extend our contract and wants us to vacate the house by end of April, though she has not directly communicated this to us. I am in no position (financial and otherwise) to go through the trouble of looking for another house, undo my belongings once again in a matter of 11 months only, pay movers and packers, bear physical damages of furniture, bring about yet another change of address for all my banking activities, child's school etc. as well as shell out Rs. 16000 to the landlady, even though the flat hardly has a scratch. The change of address may also work against my wife's passport renewal which is due in few months.
6. She has been uncooperative throughout, does not respond well verbally, avoids phone calls and has not provided any receipts for the rents or water charges paid towards her (through cheque month on month, inclusive of water charges Rs. 16000 + Rs. 1000 = Rs. 17000 and i have bank transactions as evidence).
7. Throughout the course of last 9 months, we have always maintained the house's sanctity and cleanliness, never indulged in a lifestyle that causes disturbance to neighbors, and have not caused any permanent or even temporary damages, defacing, or disfiguring.
I feel me and my family has been thoroughly cheated here by our landlady regarding water charges and that this tenancy was created in the first place with the sole intention of evicting us after 11 months, so that the flat can remain painted and well maintained at our labor and cost. This is causing stress and mental harassment to me and my family and I want some advice on what legal options do i have here to prevent me from such apparently falsified overcharging, ill behavior and forcible eviction when I am not ready to.