Sunday, June 29, 2014

Help! My landlord sold my apartment while I was still leasing it!

To continue along the vein of "Something about Everything", here is a post about the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999!

Have you faced the following situation?

  • You are leasing an apartment (with a legal Leave and License Agreement);
  • Your landlord decides to sell the apartment;
  • You are unsure how this affects you?
I'm facing somewhat of a similar situation, and the question foremost on my mind is, can the new landlord evict me if he chooses?

I did some Googling and didn't find anything specific to India (of course, I did find a lot of Yahoo Answers without any reference). So I did a little "light reading" (ha!).

Here's the link (PDF) to the rather long Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 which governs pretty-much everything concerning leases. (If the link is dead, try googling for the phrase "Maharashtra Rent Control Act".)

  • I am not a lawyer; just a stressed-out tenant trying to make sense of it all;
  • I have tried to interpret the rent-control laws as best as I can. If you think I am wrong, please leave a comment!

The relevant portion is in Chapter V, Sub-Section (2), Clause (3). If you can't find it, search for the word "purchase". There are luckily only two matches, both in the same paragraph.

To cut to the chase, here's what the relevant paragraph says (copied verbatim):

Explanation.- A landlord or his successor-in-interest by inheritance or otherwise shall not
be entitled to recover possession under this section from the tenant or his successor-in interest by transmission, where the landlord has acquired the property by purchase, gift,
exchange or otherwise (but excluding acquisition by inheritance or succession or in the
case of premises in a Co-operative Housing Society, by acquisition of a share or right and
interest in such premises by nomination), and where, at the time of acquisition, by
purchase gift, exchange or otherwise the premises had been in the occupation of the
tenant or his predecessor-in-interest from whom the tenancy has been transmitted and
notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, decree or order of the court or
anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, the
provisions of this explanation shall always be deemed to have applied to such a case, and
the landlord shall not be entitled to recover possession in any such case,

What does this mean?
  • "A landlord or his successor-in-interest" - refers to the landlord; let's leave out the "successor-in-interest" part, for simplicity
  • "shall not be entitled to recover possession under this section" - means that he/she cannot evict you, the tenant
  • "from the tenant or his successor-in interest by transmission" - means you the tenant; again, let's leave out the "successor-in-interest" part for simplicity
  • "where the landlord has acquired the property by purchase, gift, exchange or otherwise" - i.e where the landlord has purchased this property from someone
So, to summarize:
"The landlord cannot evict you if he/she has purchased the property from someone else."

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