Posted December 17, 2013 by advocateguru in Learning Centre

Rent Legislation in India

Rent laws are the outcome of the scarcity of land caused post Second World War as people moved from one city to another, causing problems for people to get shelter. In such a situation the rent of the buildings, houses etc were hiked; the tenants were evicted without reasonable notice or cause. In short the landlords exploited the tenants. Hence Rent Control Act was formulated to serve two fold objective of:

  1. Prevention of unreasonable eviction and

  2. Controlling of rent.1

Further the Supreme Court held that “The temptation to evict or rack-rent under scarcity conditions is an irresistible evil in our economic order and it is an all India phenomenon that the social conscience of the State Legislatures has responded to this large scale threat by effective control measures.”2

The objective of the Rent Control Acts was clarified by the Supreme Court in the case of Nagindas Ramdas v Dalpatram Ichharam3. The Honourable Court held that “The strain of the last World War, Industrial Revolution, the large scale exodus of the working people to urban areas and the social and political changes brought in their wake social problems of considerable magnitude and complexity and their concomitant evils. The country was faced with spiralling inflation, soaring cost of living, increasing urban population and scarcity of accommodation. Rack renting and large scale eviction of tenants under the guise of the ordinary law, exacerbated those conditions making the economic life of the community unstable and insecure. To tackle these problems and curb these evils, the Legislatures of the States in India enacted Rent Control legislations.”

At first the rent control legislation was temporary policy but later on it became a continued policy matter and was put in the State list under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India.

1P.J. Irani v State of Madras, AIR 1961 SC 1731


2B. Banerjee v Anita Pan, 1975 (1) SCC 166


31974 AIR 471