In property law, owning something means that a person can enforce legal rights concerning it. It is not very difficult to identify the basic categories of rights that come with property ownership. Possessing property basically means intentionally exercising physical control over it. If a person owns real property, they have the right to occupy the land and structures on it. Similarly, the right to possess personal property is the right to physically control it. In other words, the person can handle it and take it places.

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What rights does the homeowner have?

When buying a property, it is important to note that there are certain rights that are automatically granted on the purchase of the property. Any infringement or discrimination that homeowners may face with respect to the rights that they possess gives them an opportunity to use their legal rights in order to approach the law enforcement authorities or the court.  The following are a few basic rights that homeowners have –

  • Right of possession
  • Right of admission
  • Right of control
  • Right of exclusion
  • Right to sell the property

Does the homeowner require notice to enter a property?

The landlord is the actual owner of the property in which the tenant stays. The tenant takes the property on rent/lease for a specific period of time. There is a right to privacy that tenants are entitled to.

It is to be noted that a landlord cannot enter the premises of the property without any prior notice. Even in situations such as carrying out repairs, checking the conditions of the property, or any other reasons that may be stated in the rental agreement, the owner of the property cannot enter the premises without giving a 24-hour notice to the tenants.

They must inform the tenants of their arrival beforehand and cannot conduct a surprise check of the property. This is regardless of who the tenants are, whether a family or a group of bachelors. The Model Tenancy Act provides the timings in which the owner is allowed to enter the premises. It states that entry must be between 7 am and 8 pm.

Can the house owner let himself into the tenants’ house?

Before renting the property to tenants, it is important to have a written contract between the parties in order to safeguard their respective interests. An oral agreement between the parties cannot be held valid in an event of a dispute.

The following are a few rights that the house owner has in order to let himself into the tenant’s property –

  • Right of eviction –

Being the owner of a property, the landlord must have the right to evict an unsuitable tenant. However, with the Rent Control Act applicable only on tenants of over 12 months, property owners faced many problems in evicting tenants occupying their properties.

  • Right to temporary possession of the property –

The landlord of a property is well within his/her rights to get the tenant evicted for the purpose of repair and maintenance works. If the landlord deems it necessary that the repair, construction, alterations or additions, etc. cannot be carried out without the eviction of the occupant, it is his/her right to ask the tenant to vacate. The premises can be rented to the tenant after the repair works are over.

  • Right to be advised of repairs –

It is both duty and obligation of the property owner to keep the premises in a rentable form. He reserves the right to get the premises repaired and to be informed of the pending works. Minor repairs can be carried out by the tenants themselves. However, all reimbursements, prior permissions, etc. must be obtained from the landlord in writing

Can homeowners enter the property without permission?

Once the rent agreement is signed, the flat belongs to the tenant and the homeowner cannot enter the flat without the permission of the tenant. If the homeowner does so, then the tenant can take legal action against him. In case the visit is made by the landlord in order to check the flat or undertake repairs or fittings, he has to give the tenant prior notice for the same. The tenant has the right to peace of living and the landlord cannot simply walk into the rented premises without any prior communication.

Before renting the property to tenants, it is important to have a written contract between the parties in order to safeguard their respective interests. An oral agreement between the parties cannot be held valid in an event of a dispute.

There is an inherent right of privacy that is present to each person who is a tenant in the property which is owned by another person. This right to privacy is the reason why homeowners cannot enter the premises without permission from the tenant. By obtaining the property on rent/lease for a specific period of time, the tenant has the right to enjoy the comfort of the property without any intrusions made by the property owner.

However, it is to be noted that there are a few circumstances in which the property owner can enter the premises without any permission. If the property owner is under the assumption that the tenant is using the premises for storing or for carrying out illegal activities, he can enter the premises without any prior permission.

The property owner can also enter the premises in order to ensure that there is no damage that is caused to the property by the tenants, that the manner in which they stay does not cause damage to the property.

What are the process steps to issue a legal notice?

A legal notice is a notice that is sent by an advocate on behalf of his client. A person can send a legal notice on his own without the assistance of an advocate. A legal notice is issued to the other party to either accept the settlement or to reject it altogether. Rejection of the notice further leads to availing other legal remedies.

Procedure to be followed for the eviction of a tenant –

  • Sending a notice – it is mandatory to send a notice if the tenant is being evicted. The landlord can give the tenant a last chance after sending the notice. The notice has to be sent 30 days before the eviction of the tenant.
  • Filing an eviction suit – if the party refuses to vacate the premises even after receiving a legal notice, an eviction suit can be filed by the landlord.
  • Final statement – after listening to the arguments of both the parties, the court will give a judgment in favor of either of the parties.

Format of a legal notice –


What are the different types of legal notices that are given?

By signing a lease agreement, the tenant agrees to follow the terms and conditions of the lease. If the tenant commits an act that is said to go against the terms of the lease, the landlord may first issue a notice to the tenant regarding the breach of the lease. If the tenant continues to commit acts which are prohibited by the lease, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant from the rental premises. There are many reasons to why a landlord may have to send a notice to the tenant. The following are a few types of notices that the landlord may issue to the tenant –

  • Notice to Pay –

This notice is sent when a tenant is late with the rent (including any grace period). This is the first step in the eviction process.

  • Notice to stop actions –

This notice is sent when the tenant does acts that violate the lease agreement. For example, getting a pet when the lease specifies no pets are allowed.

  • Notice of Rent Increase –

A landlord cannot raise the rent to be paid while the tenancy is still going on. This notice is often sent with an offer of renewal of the lease. This notice provides the percentage of the increase, the new rent amount, and the start date.

  • Notice of Repairs/Renovations/Outages –

This notice is usually sent when the landlord has to make certain renovations to the rental property. the notice includes the time taken for the renovations and if any outages are expected.

  • Notice of Transfer of Ownership/Management –

This type of notice is given to the tenant when the owner of the property sells the rental property to another. A lease doesn’t automatically terminate upon the sale of the property unless specifically stated in the lease. If this isn’t in the lease agreement, then the new owner becomes the landlord for the duration of the lease. This notice states the change in the ownership of the rental property.

In summation, the rights of a landlord and the tenants must be protected actively. The proposed Model Tenancy Act is a step in the right direction. Expediting the passage of the Model Tenancy Act, and its diligent execution will pave the way for a synergized rental market across India.