If you live in a rental flat in Dhaka, you fall under the 80% of the city dwellers. This scenario is not just common in the capital. In other major cities, hardly people live in their own apartments/houses as cost of living is really high in Bangladesh. Although being a significant portion of the population, landlords always have leverage over their tenants. In most cases, they are harassed or forced to pay the increased rent without saying a word. Sometimes, they demand advance rent payments of 3 or 4 months. At worst, tenants are evicted without any prior notice. Though it may seem that there are no tenancy laws in Bangladesh or regulatory authority to protect tenants from such situations actually, there is one. Premises Rent Control Act, 1991.
As per the law, the following things you must know as a tenant so that in future if ever occurred, you can counter with such situations.
Firstly, A Written Tenancy Contract
The most important requirement to enforce the law is a written tenancy contract. Without this, the tenant will be deprived of the benefits s/he is entitled to as per the law. Although, the present scenario says that 90% of the landlords are too reluctant to provide one. So, both of them rely on the verbal contract and landlord enjoys the benefits of ‘not having a contract.’ However, the property contract is beneficial for both parties and is a great way of ensuring security. So, if you are a landlord, you must provide your tenant with a contract and if you are a tenant, make sure you ask for it.
Tenancy Laws requires Mandatory Rent Receipt
Second most important thing is the rent receipt. It is an obligation of a landlord to provide a signed rent receipt to tenants upon every payment made. As a tenant, that way you can keep a record and provide evidence on how much you have paid for your rent. If your landlord refuses to provide a rent receipt, then s/he can be fined a certain amount that does not exceed double the amount quoted according to the section 27 of the act.
Restriction On Sudden Increase of Rent
As per section 7 of the act, a landlord cannot increase the rent without any proper cause. The law says that there should be standard rent fixed on the rental premises and is not bound by the law to increase the amount that exceeds it. This is where the rental receipt comes into play if you want to prove the wrongdoing. Therefore, keep this thing in your mind as well.
Lastly, this act also protects you from eviction without any prior notice. Now, if you are a tenant in Bangladesh, you know what your right is and if you are a landlord, you know your duties and responsibilities. Therefore, if both parties cooperate in implementing the tenancy laws, neither of you would have to suffer from this again.