Lawfarm Team
in Property Law
Asked May 25, 2016

Tenancy for Agricultural Land

  • 2 Answers

What are the risks involved in getting a tenant for an agricultural property? EDIT: I am more concerned with tenants powers than mine or landlords. Powers like lawful kabza or ownership under legal provisions. What are those provisions that empower tenants under agri n forest use of land.

Answers 2

Before explaining the legal requirements, I will try to identify certain general problems faced by landlords.  It is often seen that landlord resides in a faraway place from the land and has very little idea about the land prices and agricultural practices of the region on the contrary the tenant is always a local resident and is well aware of these facts. He might use this information to take unjust advantage and misinform you about the basic aspects like local land rates and agricultural practices. Therefore it is advised that you can get the value of your property assessed by the collector in whose jurisdiction your land is, in presence of your tenant and thus decide a fair and just rent. As per Section 9 (1) of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act, 1948 the rent can remain the same for a period of five years after which it will again be assessed by the collector. In between these five years rent of the land can also be deducted for any year in which the rent is exceeding one sixth of the total production value. If the tenant has failed to pay his rents for three successive years even after warnings then the landlord is entitled to terminate his tenancy according to section 14 (1) of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act, 1948. In addition to this if the tenant has done something destructive and permanently injurious to land then also his tenancy can be terminated as of Sec. 14 (2) of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act, 1948. Tenancy can also be terminated if the tenant is not cultivating the land personally and giving it further on rent. Finally if he uses the rented agricultural land for any purpose other than agricultural then the tenancy will be terminable at the option of landlord. According to Sec. 31 of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act, 1948 the landlord can take back possession of his land requires the land for cultivating or for any other non-agricultural activities but he should serve notices to both collector and the tenant prior to such repossession.   Researcher - Rahul Singh 
Agree Comment 0 Agrees over 5 years ago

Provisions which empowers tenants to gain lawful ownership of land rented The Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act contains no such provisions which lets tenants gain lawful kabza on the land rented but the act does provide certain special powers to tenants: Section 4A of the act grants tenant recognition as “Protected Tenants” if the tenant has held that land continuously for a period of six years and more and has cultivated that land personally during his tenancy as mentioned in Section 3 of Bombay Tenancy Act (available here). Protected Tenants are given certain special rights in addition to all the general rights which are given to any private tenant.  Some of these special rights are:
  • After the death of a protected tenant tenancy can pass on to his/her family.
  • Evictions of protected tenants are not as simple as private tenants. Merely serving a notice of eviction will not do. The Landlord needs to convince court that there is a reasonable ground to issue a possession order.
  • According to section 19 of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act if the tenant has planted any tree on land rented to him during his tenancy he is entitled to wood and produce of those trees and if evicted he must be compensated for them. Also, the landlord cannot ask for more rent because of the new tree. Rent will be calculated without taking the tree into consideration.
  • Further a tenant can purchase the entire land or any part of the land from landlord after one year from the time when his tenancy begins (section 32O), and the purchase price must not be more than 20 times of annual rent paid by the tenant(according to section 17A).
  • Tenants also have the right to exchange their tenancy with other tenants by giving a notice to the collector on a specified form but this exchange will not affect the original rules and conditions of their initial tenancy. (Section 33)
Agree Comment 0 Agrees over 5 years ago

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