Why Police Verification Of Tenants Is Must & How It's Done
Renting as a concept is in vogue these days because of the changing dynamics of India's real estate. As a result of this, finding tenants and making your investment profitable is not as difficult as it must have been earlier. If you are the owner of a prime property, you may be lucky enough to have a beeline outside of your premises.
However, as a landlord, you must be careful while selecting tenants since the profitability of your investments depends entirely on the kind of tenant you have selected for your property. Police verification of your tenants is an integral part of this screening process which must be duly followed for you own security. In case you rent your property without going through this process, trouble may hit you in future, officially, too.
Delhi's southwest district police recently registered 46 first information reports (FIRs) against landlords who failed to comply with tenant-verification rules. The move is part of the special security drive that is being run ahead of the Republic Day celebration.
The law makes it mandatory for landlords to carry out police verification of their tenants. Any failure in this regard may invite a jail term or a monetary penalty. Under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which pertains to disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant, an offender may be "punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month" or with a fine which may "extend to Rs 200".
Since the monetary penalty is paltry, due care is often not taken to follow the rules. By the look of it, the tenant seems fine to you and the trouble to follow the procedure could well be avoided, you think. What harm could the tenant cause you or the system? Even if everything is alright, a landlord could still be booked.
“It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm,” reads Section 188.
"Several awareness campaigns have been undertaken, but landlords have not yet understood the significance of tenant verification. It is a must especially in the capital, which is high on the target of terror outfits," said Milind Mahadeo Dumbere, deputy commissioner of police (southwest), told PTI.
Are you landlord planning a police verification of your tenant? Here is how you can go about it:
There are two ways to verify the credential of your tenants. You could do it yourself or hire the services of a professional to do that. This background check would ensure you know everything a landlord has to know about his tenant ─ his financial position (since yours is primarily a monetary contract) and his past record (since safety is a key concern). A large part of this background check would be done as soon as the police verification of the tenant is over.
To do that, you can approach the police station in your area personally and ask for tenant verification forms. The duly filled documents that would have all the details of you and your would-be tenants should be submitted with the police.
On the website of most police stations, you could download the form. In national capital Delhi, for instance, you will have to download and fill this application form for tenant verification. To fill online tenant verification form in Pune, click here.
An acknowledge receipt will be issued to you after the form is submitted.
The Uttar Pradesh Police in 2016 launched UP Police Citizen Service, an app for verification of tenants and domestic helps. This two-megabyte app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Once you place your request, the police will do a background check of your tenant from the police station concerned, and get in touch with you with the findings. Additionally, you could also log on to the official website of the police to apply for police verification of your tenants.
The Uttarakhand Police had launched a similar app, Uttarakhand Police App, in 2015.