Rent Law – Object Of

The object of rent law is to balance the competing claims of the landlord on the one hand to recover possession of building let out to the tenant and of the tenant to be protected against arbitrary increase of rent or arbitrary eviction, when there is acute shortage of accommodation. Though, it is for the legislature to resolve such competing claims in terms of statutory provisions.
In Malpe Vishwanath Acharya v. State of Maharashtra, (1998) 2 SCC 1, the Hon’ble Supreme Court emphasized the need of social legislations like the Rent Control Act striking a balance between rival interests so as to be just to law. The law ought not to be unjust to one and give a disproportionate benefit or protection to another section of the society. While the shortage of accommodation makes it necessary to protect the tenants to save them from exploitation but at the same time the need to protect tenants is coupled with an obligation to ensure that the tenants are not conferred with a benefit disproportionately larger than the one needed. Socially progressive legislation must have a holistic perception and not a short sighted parochial approach.
In Arjun Khiamal Makhijani v. Jamnadas C. Tuliani, (1989) 4 SCC 612, it was observed that provisions contained in such legislations are capable of being categorized into two: those beneficial to the tenants and those beneficial to the landlord. As to a legislative provision beneficial to the landlord, an assertion that even with regard to such provision an effort should be made to interpret it in favour of the tenant, is a negation of the very principle of interpretation of a beneficial legislation. Sidhharth Vyas v. Ravi Nath Misra, (2015) 2 SCC 701.

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