The rental laws have become part of the constitution of Pakistan back in the 1950s. The main purpose of introducing these laws is to define the rights and responsibilities of renters and landlords. The laws are almost identical for all provinces of the country including Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan with few additional clauses due to the territorial differences. However, despite these differences, these laws ensure that a tenancy agreement protects the rights and interests of both parties in every aspect without violating the law.
So, if you’re a renter or planning to rent out your property to sign a tenancy agreement in Karachi, Hyderabad, or any other part of Sindh, today we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the rights and obligations of both parties as per the provincial laws.
RENTAL LAWS IN SINDH
In Sindh, tenancy laws are under the umbrella of Sindh Rented Premises Ordinance 1979. This ordinance defined the regulations on rental agreements in order to protect and interest of tenants and landlords for almost all situations to avoid any disputes and conflicts.
So, let’s explore what our law covers about the official documentation and matters pertaining to rental agreements in Sindh.
RENTAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN LANDLORD AND TENANT
The tenancy agreement between a property owner and tenant must be done in written form. The agreement should be signed by either party and it must be attested with an official stamp of the relevant authority associated with the jurisdiction where the property is situated. You can also get this document attested by First Class Magistrate or by any Civil Judge. These are the necessary conditions for the validity of a tenancy agreement.
As per the law, the tenancy agreement should be renewed on annual basis else it would be considered invalid in the court of law. The landlord has the right to revise the terms of tenancy (within legal boundaries) and monthly rent upon the renewal of the contract.
About the terms related to Rental Payment
The landlord is bound to charge the rental amount that has been mutually decided by either party and has been clearly mentioned in the agreement. Although there’s no specific date as the deadline of rental dues, however, as per general practice, tenants are expected to pay rents maximum by the 10th of every month in Sindh.
The rental laws in Sindh ensure that the rent prices would be fair for tenants as well as for landlords. The laws protect the rights of both parties. As per the laws in Sindh, the rent of property cannot be increased beyond 10% each year in any case. Furthermore, if the fair rent has been determined, it cannot be increased for a span of three years.
Here are some of the major points on the basis of which fair rent of any particular property is determined.
- The rough analysis of the monthly rental charges for similar properties situated in the same or adjoining vicinity.
- The increase in construction costs, repairs, and maintenance expenses.
- If there’s any new tax imposed after the commencement of the tenancy contract.
- Increase in the value of the rented property based on the government levied property taxes.
The landlord cannot discontinue amenities and services
The law doesn’t allow the landlord to discontinue any of the services and amenities including but not limited to utility connections such as electricity, gas, or water unless giving prior notice and decided with the renter. However, the utility service providers can discontinue such facilities based on their organization policy. Other concerned authorities can also discontinue these amenities and facilities under any specific circumstance.
Repairs and maintenance of the rented property are the responsibility of the landlord. However, in case, the owner is unable to do due to any reason, the tenant has the right to get done the needed maintenance work.
In such a case, the landlord is liable to pay the maintenance costs. The tenant can deduct it from rental charges if mutually agreed. However, the renter is liable to pay documented proof of expenditures incurred for the reimbursement.
Eviction Laws in Sindh
After the successful completion of the tenancy agreement, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant on basis of legal eviction terms. Eviction terms are almost identical throughout Pakistan. However, Sindh Rented Premises Ordinance 1979 has a few additional clauses and requirements that must be met to avoid legal complications. The central idea of the additional clauses are listed below:
- The ownership of the rented property has been transferred or sold to another person.
- If the renter is causing significant damage to the property, which may impact its real estate worth.
- If the major renovation has become necessary for the premises or reconstructing has been enforced by the modifications in the construction bylaws. However, once the reconstruction is completed, the tenant can request again for the possessions.
- If the landlord and their legal heirs want to utilize the premises for their personal use, they have the right to free up the property after consulting the legal authorities.
- In case the owner of the rented premises is a widow or an orphaned minor or a senior citizen who is above the age of 60. And this fact was evident when the property was rented out, the aforementioned clause for eviction becomes invalid.
- Always remember that whatever the reason for eviction may be, whenever a property owner wants to evict tenants, they need to write an application to the concerned authorities according to the law.