Rented property: Landlord & tenant disputes
Disputes between landlords and tenants are unfortunately all too common. It therefore pays, on both sides, to make sure the relationship starts off on a solid footing, legally speaking, so that later disputes can be dealt with more easily.
Tenants should spend a few hundred rupees on getting a lawyer of your own to draft and vet your leave and licence agreement with your landlord to ensure that things like eviction, notice requirements and major obligations don't remain entirely within the control of your landlord.
Also make sure there are some repair or maintenance obligations on the landlord, a requirements to give fair notice of any eviction and to make sure to reduce the risk of one-sided eviction if a landlord is upset with you.
Landlords need to protect their property from illegal possession of a tenant, and need to be ready to establish right on the property at all times by having as many documents ready as possible.
Particularly Important are title deeds, jamabandis, mutation or intkal, copy of the Will (if any) if the property has been inherited by way of a Will, the original purchase agreement or sale deed, electricity bills, water bills and telephone bills and such other proofs of maintaining the house.
The first step after buying a property or being gifted or having inherited or bequeathed one, is to get all the revenue records mutations done in your favour. If you've inherited the property or have been named for it in a will and the title deed is not in your custody because it is lost or untraceable, please immediately lodge a formal police complaint about it.
Next, insert a public notice in at least two local newspapers about the ownership rights over that particular property and obtain certified copies of all ownership documents from the concerned registering authority or revenue offices.
Paying all outgoings and liabilities like municipality, panchayat and property tax to the authorities in time is equally important.
Property owners who don't live at the place of their property: please be in touch with your neighbours so that they can alert you in case they notice any activity of encroachment and squatting. You must also keep checking on the property, through friends and relatives, at periodic intervals so that encroachers know that the property is not a soft target.