CHAPTER III- Repairs of Premises, Section 19 - Duties of landlord

1. Subject to any contract in writing to the contrary, every landlord is bound to keep the premises in good and tenantable repairs in relation to matters falling under Part A of Schedule III.

‘Good and tenantable repairs’ under this section and section 20 mean such repairs that keep the premises in the same condition in which they were let out, except for the normal wear and tear.

2. There could be cases where the landlord fails to carry out repairs within three months after a tenant’s written notice, as per Part A of Schedule III. This may render the premises inhabitable. The tenant may then apply to the Rent Authority for permission to make such repairs himself and may submit to the Rent Authority an estimate of the cost of such repairs. Thereupon, the Rent Authority gives the landlord an opportunity of being heard. After  considering the estimate of the cost and making such inquiries as it may consider necessary, the Authority permits the tenant to make such repairs at such cost as may be specified in the written order. The tenant may then make such repairs himself and deduct the cost thereof, which shall in no case exceed the amount so specified, from the rent or otherwise recover it from the landlord. However, the amount so deducted or recoverable from rent in any year should not exceed one-half of the rent payable by the tenant for that year. Any amount not recovered in that year has to be deducted or recovered from rent in the subsequent years at the rate of not more than twenty-five per cent of the rent for a month. Also, where there are more than one premises owned by a landlord in a building, the tenants thereof may jointly carry out the repairs and share the expenses proportionately.