By Shehrin Hossain
80% of the citizens of Dhaka live in rented apartments or flats. However, despite such a large number of flat-dwellers, a surprising amount of tenants are unaware of their own rights when it comes to the terms of their tenancy. If you live in a flat or apartment, especially alone, you may often be subjected to the whims of your landlord who banks on your ignorance to get away with certain things. Therefore, before setting out to find the perfect flat for rent in Dhaka, acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of a legally sound tenancy, as mandated by the 1991 Premises Rent Control Act.
Insist on a Written Contract
Your potential landlord may be unwilling to provide a contract for the term of your tenancy, as it may trap them in a situation that will make it difficult for them to impose new rules that may be unfavorable to you. The landlord might try to make you settle for an oral contract. However, it is your right as a tenant to demand a structured written contract that will be law-enforceable. Your contract must include such terms as regarding the agreed-upon rent, additional facilities such as running water, electricity and gas, and the specified duration of your tenancy, among a few others.
Ask for a Receipt
When the time comes each month for you to pay your rent to your landlord, ask them to provide you with a receipt as proof of your payment. Make sure to keep a careful record of these receipts, as they may prove to be useful in various situations you may suddenly find yourself in, such as a random and unwarranted increase in the rent, or even eviction. It is important to note that should your landlord willfully fail or refuse to provide a receipt, they can be fined. That’s right!
Disagree to Spontaneous Increments in Rent
Landlords across Dhaka city are notorious for suddenly demanding higher rents from their tenants with no apparent legitimate cause. Section 7 of the Act restricts this specifically, making such a move on your landlord’s part unlawful, and further making you eligible to sue them for a fine. This is where both your contract and your receipts come into play. Should you decide to take the matter to civil court, these documents will undoubtedly come in handy as proof.
Not Bound to Pay for Extra Costs
A lot of the time, a landlord may saddle their tenants with a momentarily higher rent in the name of financing improvements or extensions on their buildings. You should be aware that it is not your responsibility to fund such developments; your written contract should also include this term. Furthermore, when looking for houses for rent in Dhaka, it’s important to issue your dealings through a Dhaka real estate agent who will help you in locating already finished apartment buildings.
No Eviction without Prior Notice
Another disheartening tendency of several Dhaka landlords is to evict tenants at will and according to their own convenience. Not only is this strongly prohibited in the Act, it is required for the landlord to provide 3 months’ notice if they require you to leave the premises.
For more information check out https://www.lamudi.com.bd/