A homeowner who has entered into a tenancy agreement with a tenant or one who has let out his or her house to a tenant for rent is called a landlord. The landlord by detaching certain rights to vest in the tenants in return for rent encumbers his or her ownership rights and thus the tenants is entitled to certain rights on the residential property under the tenancy transaction. 

The landlord and tenants are two parties who have rights on the residential property which is the subject matter of their transaction. While the tenant’s rights on the property are subservient to the landlord’s ownership rights on the property, they can be clearly outlined in a rental agreement between the parties to prevent or resolve disputes. Even in the absence of an agreement, there are statutory provisions that regulate the transaction between tenants and landlords.

Be it Central or State legislation, there are provisions that clearly state the rights and obligations of the party in a tenancy transaction. This article seeks to highlight certain significant rights enjoyed by tenants under the tenancy transaction.

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Can the landlord move the tenant’s belongings out of the property without the latter’s permission?

A tenancy has certain rights under a tenancy transaction that permits him or her to use the rented property and enjoy its quiet possession for as long as the tenancy lasts. 

  • The tenants by extension of enjoying possession of the property also enjoy the right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of the property.
  • These rights restrict access to the rented property to the landlord. Take note that the word “restrict” is used instead of “prevent”.
  • A landlord can enter the rented premises if s/he gives prior notice to the tenants either verbally or in writing. 
  • Due to the right to privacy enjoyed by the tenants, the landlord cannot move the belongings of the tenants without his or her permission. 
  • If the landlord was to move the belongings of the tenants without his or her permission, this would constitute a breach of the tenant’s rights. 
  • However, if the tenant has illegal goods or goods used for illegal or criminal purposes, the landlord can get rid of the goods without the permission of the tenant. However, the landlord will have to take the assistance of the authorities. 
  • Also, if you have abandoned the premises and have left behind your belongings, the landlord is duty-bound to give you notice and an opportunity to come back and take your things. If however, you reject the offer or do not respond within a reasonable period of time, the landlord has the right to dispose of the goods or sell them off.   

Can the house owner stop the tenant from having guests?

The landlord cannot stop the tenant from having guests. This is a breach of the tenant’s rights as under the tenancy transaction and such action is not valid if the tenant is in legal possession and occupancy of the house.

  • However, if the tenant’s guests are a public nuisance or trespass into premises that are not let out to the tenant, then the landlord can have such guests evicted to protect his or her rights and interests in the property. 
  • Also, if the tenant and his or her guests are involved in illegal practices or are doing anything illegal or criminal, then the landlord can have the guests removed from the premises. 

What can a landlord do if a tenant refuses to let him/her into the rental property?

If a tenant refuses to allow the landlord entry into the rental property, this definitely constitutes a violation of the rental agreement if such terms as the landlord’s right to inspect the rental property, enter the property to conduct repairs or get possession of the property to conduct structural repairs or modifications etc. 

  • If this happens, a landlord can take measures to have the tenant evicted for violation of the tenancy or rental agreement. 
  • The landlord can approach the Court of Law or the State’s Competent Authority for seeking action or order against the tenant for eviction. 
  • A landlord cannot forcefully enter the premises on his or her own as this could escalate the situation gravely and could be considered illegal. 

Why should the landlord not enter the rental premises against the tenant’s wishes?

In a tenancy transaction, the landlord gives certain rights to the tenant like:

  • Right to possession of the property
  • Right to occupy the property
  • Right to privacy and quiet use of the property

These property rights in a residential property let out by the landlord are given to the tenant by the landlord for monetary consideration called rent received on a monthly or quarterly basis.

  • Thus, if a tenant is paying rent on time and uses the property according to the terms and conditions stated in the rental agreement between the landlord and tenant, then the tenant is entitled to the property rights vested in him or her.
  • If the landlord were to under these circumstances enter the rental premises without the permission of the tenant or against the tenant’s wishes, such an act would constitute a violation or breach of the tenant’s rights.  

What are the remedies available to tenants and landlords if rights are not honored?

Some of the remedies that are available to the tenants are:

  • The right to terminate the tenancy if the breach is on the material aspects of the tenancy agreement.
  • The right to abate the rent.
  • They can claim a rent reduction.
  • Claim compensation or monetary damages. 

Some of the remedies that are available to the landlord are:

  • Termination
  • Eviction
  • Lawsuit for rent and damages
  • Landlord’s lien on the rented property
  • Can claim the security deposit


In a tenancy transaction, a tenant is a party who receives some property rights in the rental property from the landlord for which the tenant gives monetary consideration in the form of rent on a monthly or quarterly basis. As such, a tenant is entitled to the full exercise of these property rights and the use of the rental property subject to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Even in the absence of an agreement, there are statutory provisions for the protection of the tenant’s rights in a tenancy transaction.

However, if a tenant is to misuse the rental property or cause grave damage to the property or has rental dues or violate the rental agreement, this gives the landlord reasons to evict the tenant. The tenant has rights and corresponding obligations towards the rental property and the rental agreement can clearly outline these for preventing or resolving disputes between the landlord and tenant and protecting the parties’ interests.