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Is it legal for a landlord to ask for additional charges apart from rent and security deposit in India?

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Beyond rent and security, discover legalities of additional charges. Know your rights and obligations!

In India, it is generally not legal for a landlord to ask for additional charges apart from rent and security deposit, unless specified and mutually agreed upon in the rental agreement. It's important to be aware of your rights and understand the permissible charges that can be imposed by the landlord. Here's a brief overview:


Rent is the primary amount paid by the tenant to the landlord for occupying the rental property. The rent amount should be clearly mentioned in the rental agreement and should be paid as per the agreed-upon terms, such as monthly or quarterly.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the landlord as a form of security against any potential damages or unpaid rent. The maximum security deposit amount is typically limited to two to three months' rent, as per the local state laws. The deposit should be refundable at the end of the tenancy, subject to any deductions for legitimate damages.

Maintenance Charges

In certain cases, landlords may charge maintenance fees or common area charges if the property is part of a housing society or apartment complex. However, these charges should be reasonable, clearly mentioned in the rental agreement, and should be for specific services or facilities provided by the landlord.

Electricity, Water, and Utility Bills

Tenants are generally responsible for paying their own utility bills, such as electricity, water, and gas. These charges are separate from the rent and are directly payable to the respective utility providers.

It is important to note that any additional charges apart from rent, security deposit, and mutually agreed-upon maintenance charges may not be legally enforceable. Landlords cannot impose arbitrary fees or charges that are not specified in the rental agreement or permitted by law. If you believe that the landlord is requesting illegal or excessive charges, you can consult with a legal professional or a tenant rights organization for guidance and support.

Remember, understanding your rights as a tenant and being aware of the permissible charges can help you make informed decisions and protect yourself from unfair practices.