Pakistan’s Landlord & Tenant law based upon justice and fair play. It appears to lean towards the
tenant, but in reality, does not do so. There are four main laws dealing with rent restriction, which
cover the following areas of Pakistan.
Islamabad Capital Territory
Punjab (NWFP) / Baluchistan
Can landlord and tenant freely agree rents in Pakistan?
In Islamabad Capital Territory rents can be freely agreed between landlord and tenant. The rental
agreement must be registered with the Rent Controller within a week of signing the agreement. The
rent of a building is automatically increased at the end of every three years of the tenancy by 25% of
the rent already being paid by the tenant, unless the landlord and tenant agree to increase the rent
by an agreement in writing.
In the five other areas of Pakistan covered by distinctive provincial legislation, the Rent Controller is
empowered to fix a fair rent, on application by the tenant or landlord.
These five other areas are:
The following factors are considered in deciding on a fair rent:
The rent of the same building or similar accommodation in the locality at the time, and during the 12
months prior to the application;
The rise in the cost of construction, repairing charges, and taxes;
The rental value of the building in the Property Tax Assessment Register of the Taxation Department
(or the assessment list of the Cantonment Board) in the Cantonment areas.
In the Cantonment areas, and in Punjab/NWFP/Baluchistan, if the fair rent exceeds the rent being
paid by the tenant on the date of filing the application, the maximum rent increase is 25%.
In Sindh, where a fair rent has been fixed, no increase may be affected for three years. In any event,
the increase in rent may not exceed 10% per annum on the existing rent.
In Islamabad Capital Territory and the Cantonment areas, if the rent has been determined by
agreement between the landlord and tenant, no further increase is permissible during the tenancy if
it is less than three years, except where some addition alteration or improvement has been carried
out at the landlord’s expense and at the request of the tenant. The rent so increased may not
exceed the fair rent payable for a similar building or rented land in the same locality, and is not
chargeable until the improvement or alteration has been completed.
In Islamabad no tenancy shall be valid beyond such period as the landlord and tenant may fix, by
mutual agreement, before or after the commencement of the tenancy. If no period is fixed, the
tenancy shall not be valid after six months from the date of receipt by the tenant from the landlord
of a notice in writing terminating the tenancy.
transferred his right under the lease or sublet the entire building or rented land or any portion
used the building or rented land for purpose other than that for which it was leased or has infringed
any conditions of the tenure on which the building or rented land is held by the landlord; or
The tenant has committed such acts as are likely to impair materially the value or utility of the
building or rented land; or
The tenant indulged in activities as are causing nuisance to the neighbours; or
Where the building is situated in a place other than a hill station, the tenant has ceased to occupy
the building for a continues period of four months without reasonable cause. (not applicable in
the landlord has rented out the building after he has retired or has attained the age of sixty years or,
as the case may be, has become a widow or orphan, or
where he is in occupation of a building owned by him in any locality.
A tenancy may be also brought to an end, by application to the Controller, if:
the tenant has failed to pay rent in respect of the premises in his possession within fifteen days after
the expiry of the mutually agreed period, or in the absence of such agreement, within sixty days
after the rent has become due (if the application made by the landlord is on the sole ground
mentioned in this clause and the tenant on the first day of hearing admits his liability to pay the rent
claimed from him, the Controller must, if he is satisfied that the tenant has not made such default on
any previous occasion and the default is not exceeding six months, direct the tenant to pay all the
rent claimed from him on or before the date to be fixed for the purpose and upon such payment, he
shall reject the application)
the tenant has, without the written consent of the landlord:
handed over the possession of the premises to some other person;
used the premises for the purpose other than that for which it was let out;
infringed the conditions on which the premises was let out;
the tenant has committed such acts are likely to impair the material value or utility of the premises;
the tenant has indulged in such activities as are causing nuisance to the neighbours;
the premises is required by the landlord for reconstruction or erection of a new building at the site
and landlord has obtained necessary sanction for such reconstruction or erection from the authority
competent under any law for the time being in force to give such sanction (provided that where the
landlord fails to demolish the building within six months of the taking over possession of the
premises or, as the case may be, commence the erection of the new building within two years of the
taking over the possession of the premises, the tenant will be entitled to be put back into
where the landlord constructs the building as aforesaid the tenant who was evicted from the old
building may, before the completion of new building and its occupation by another person, apply to
the Controller for an order directing that he be put in possession of such area in the new building as
does not exceed the area of the old building of which he was in occupation and the Controller shall
make an order accordingly in respect of the area applied for or such smaller area, as considering the
location and type of the new building and the needs of the tenant, he deem just and on payment of
rent to be determined by him on the basis of rent of similar accommodation in the locality.
the landlord requires the premises in good faith for his own occupation or use or for occupation or
use for his spouse or any of his children.In Cantonment areas the situation is again slightly different.
Here a notice in writing may generally be given:
Where the landlord has died,
or is a salaried employee and has retired or is due to retire within a period of six months.
A landlord who seeks to evict his tenant shall apply to the Controller for an order in that behalf, and
the Controller may, after giving the tenant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the
application, make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession, if he is satisfied
the tenant has not paid or tendered the rent to the landlord within fifteen days of the expiry of the
time fixed in the agreement of tenancy for payment of rent, or in the absence of such agreement,
within sixty days following the period for which the rent in due; or
the tenant has, without the written consent of the landlord,
transferred his right under the lease or sublet the building or any portion thereof, or
used the building for a purpose other than that for which it was leased; or
The tenant has committed such acts as are likely to materially impair the value, look or utility of the
The acts and conduct of the tenant have been a nuisance to the occupiers of buildings in the
Where the building is situated in a place other than a hill station, the tenant has ceased to occupy
the building for a continuous period of four months without reasonable cause; or
The landlord intends to demolish the building for constructing a new building on the same site and
as already obtained the necessary sanction for such construction from the Cantonment Board:
The Controller may give the tenant a reasonable time for putting the landlord in possession of the
building, and may extend such time so as not to exceed three months in the aggregate.
A landlord may also apply to the Controller for an eviction order of a tenant if he requires the
premises in good faith for his own occupation or for his family members.
Where the tenancy is for a specified period agreed between the landlord and the tenant, the
landlord shall not be entitled to apply before the expiry of such period for eviction of tenant to the
Controller on the above grounds.
Any amount of security deposit and rental deposit is legal, in all provinces and areas of Pakistan.
The chief legal instrument is the Constitution of 1973. It establishes the relationship between the
Federation and the four provinces. Legislative powers are distributed between the Federation and
provinces by means of legislative lists. The Constitution contains the Federal Legislative List as well
as the Concurrent Legislative List. Matters included in the Concurrent List are covered by Federal as
well and Provincial Legislation. Matters not included in either of the two lists are within the exclusive
domain of the provinces. However, no Provincial Statute may be drafted which is in conflict with a
Federal Statute. The Concurrent List specifies property related matters and other civil claims as
being within the legislative scope of provincial legislature.
There are four main laws dealing with rent restrictions. They are as follows:
The Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance, 2001 (for the Federal Capital).
The Punjab/NWFP/Baluchistan Rent Restriction Ordinance, 1959 (regulates tenancies in these three
Sindh Rented Premises Ordinance, 1979 (regulates tenancies in this province)
Cantonments Rent Restriction Act, 1963 (regulates tenancies in these areas, which are declared as
cantonment areas by the Federal Government through notification in the official gazette and in
which any part of the armed forces of Pakistan is quartered or where Defence installation or
Defence production units are located or which, being in the vicinity of any such place or places, are
required for the service of such forces)
Although the provisions of all these laws are for the most part similar, there are certain crucial
differences. The legal system generally, and in relation to rent matters particularly, is very effective,
if a little slow. The rights of the parties are strictly enforced and the rules are fairly consistently
interpreted and applied.
Any rent agreement executed on yearly basis or for any term exceeding one year or reserving a
yearly rent are registerable under section 17 of the Registration Act 1908. Failure to register
invalidates the agreement.
Brief history: Recent changes in Pakistani landlord and tenant law
No new legislation, or amendment to the existing legislation, is anticipated in the near future nor has
there been any recent radical de-regulation or re-regulation in this area.
Although the law may seem pro-tenant, and indeed although the preambles to these various
legislations state: `it is expedient in the public interest to restrict the increase of rent of certain
premises within (the specified) limits and the eviction of tenants there from` in fact the courts have
held that these laws are not only confined to their preamble object (to restrict increase of rent and
the eviction of tenants), but are also aimed at protecting and regulating the interests of both tenants
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