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Key things to know if renting a home in Pakistan

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Feb 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Key things to know if renting a home in Pakistan

Artwork: Obair Khan/Samaa Digital

It was almost bedtime and the residents of a middle-class Karachi neighbourhood were about to go to sleep when screaming and shouting came from one of the houses with a portion.

It was a classic tenant-landlord fight. The landowner, out of anger, had thrown the family out after first threatening to lock them inside the house.

Both parties went to the police and after hours of fighting agreed to three things:

  • The renters/tenants will be given a written eviction letter before being asked to leave the house.
  • They will vacate the home but not before the month ended.
  • The owner could bring a potential tenant to check out the house but only in the last week of the month.

This problem could have been avoided had the landowner known the laws that protect people who rent: The Sindh Rented Premises Ordinance 1979, Punjab Rented Premises Act 2009 and West Pakistan Urban Rent Restriction Ordinance, 1959 that covers entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa except Tribal areas.

Eviction possibilities
A tenant can be evicted over following conditions:

  • Not paying rent for three consecutive months.
  • Subletting or leasing the place without informing the owner.
  • Putting it to a use different from the one for which it was leased out, without the permission of the landlord.
  • Damaging the place or impairing its value.
  • Making any construction without the landlord’s permission.
  • When the owner needs the premises genuinely for his own use or for his family or wants to reconstruct the place.
  • The landlord dies or retires.

The tenants will be given a full month to vacate the place, except if the tenant has not paid rent for the last three months, then only 15 days are given.

Rent payment
The rent is supposed to be paid by the date mentioned in the tenancy agreement. If there’s no particular date agreed upon, it is to be paid before the 10th of the month.

Tip: For each time you give the rent money, ask the owner to sign a receipt.

Increasing the rent
Both parties can choose one of the two options: either hike it by 10% of the actual rent after a year or by 25% after three years.

Other options can also be considered if both parties agree to it and mention it in the tenancy agreement.

House repairs and taxes
The landlord is responsible for house repairs that include electric, water, sanitary fittings, painting, taxes and white-washing.

If he/she fails to do so, the tenant can do it and the amount spent in the process can be deducted from the rent.

Duration of tenancy
The standard duration of an agreement lasts for a year. However, there’s no hard and fast rule. The duration can be reduced or increased if both parties agree.

In case any law is violated, the matter can be taken to rent controllers. They are government officers who will assess the case and if they find someone at fault, will go to a district court.

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Karachi, Sindh, Punjab, KP, Pakistan, tenants, landlords,
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