If you were to calculate, you’d probably find that most people around the world live in a rental home. This is a result of rapid urbanization. For many, renting is the only option. According to one statistic, approximately 15 million people live in rental homes just in the Dhaka metropolitan area which will continue to grow as more and more people move to the city. And due to the insufficient supply of rental properties, disputes between tenants and landlords are becoming more common. Tenants complain of unreasonable rent increase and are forced to accept it. There’s also extreme advance on rent, landlords refusing to fix broken items, evicting without notice, and many other complaints from tenants. However, there’s tenancy law in Bangladesh to tackle these issues that many aren’t aware of, the Premises Rent Control Act, 1991. It details all things related to renting property in its 36 sections.

Written Rental Agreement

writing on a paper with pen
Make sure to receive a written tenancy agreement before moving in

According to the tenancy law in Bangladesh, it is mandatory to have a written rental agreement between the tenant and the landlord. It details all the conditions of rent and responsibility for both parties and can also be upheld in court. So as a tenant, make sure you get a rental agreement paper from the landlord. Having a written rental agreement is the responsibility of not just the tenant, but also of the landlord. It will also be very useful if there’s a disagreement between both parties. Sometimes the landlord provides a photocopy of the rental agreement to the tenant, keeping the original to themselves. However, be careful of that. Only the original copy can be produced in the court, so ask for the original and store it.

Rent Receipt

Man giving a receipt
Ask for the rent receipt every month when paying the rent

Did you know that landlords are mandated by the law to provide a rent receipt to the tenant every month? It is proof that you’ve regularly paid rent and should be stored by both parties. The receipt is especially important to landlords. According to the 27th amendment of the tenancy law in Bangladesh, refusing to provide a receipt is punishable by the law.

Rule for Setting Rent

a pen and a calculator
There’s a strict rule on how and when to increase the rent

‘What is the appropriate amount of rent for my home?’ It is one of the fundamental questions that need to be answered when renting out property. Almost everyone thinks that area is the main determinant for setting rent; but is that correct? According to the prevalent tenancy law in Bangladesh, location is not the ideal standard. The first standard should be the building cost of the property and 15% of the value of the land. Only after those things can location, property size, market value is considered. Unfortunately, most of the landlords don’t know about this rule, and even if they did, don’t follow it.

Paying Advance on Rent

Legal hammer and book
Learn what law says about an advance on rent

Many complain about not being able to move into a place due to extreme advance on rent even after liking a property. Asking to pay 2 or 3 months of rent in advance is quite common nowadays even though it’s against the law to ask for advance rent of more than 1 month. And even after paying an advance on rent, the tenant needs to pay rent on time every month. Failure to do so will result in court issued 15-day eviction notice.

Increasing Rent

Man rolling stone uphill
Tenants are forced to bear the burden of increased rent

This is probably the biggest complain tenants make. Landlords often increase rent without any prior notice. Some research found even more astonishing information; rent in Dhaka has increased over 200% over the last 20-25 years, which would’ve been impossible if the Premises Rent Control Act, 1991 was properly followed. According to the tenancy law, landlords can’t increase rent unless they make massive renovations to the property. And even if renovation of that level takes place, the increase shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of the previous rent. The reality, however, is completely different. Rent is unreasonably being increased regularly. As such, now is the time to become more vigilant and conscious about tenant rights.

Introducing law and regulation is always a positive sign and following it leads to a better life for all. However, even if a law is introduced, problems arise when it’s time to implement them. That is why we must become more aware of the existing tenancy law in Bangladesh. Otherwise, there will always be problems no matter if you want to rent a property or rent out.

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