Can Right To Information Help Track Tenants Who Fled Without Paying Rent?

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Can Right To Information Help Track Tenants Who Fled Without Paying Rent?

RTI filed for tenant’s address who vacated without paying rent, but…

When a person rents a property to a tenant, an agreement is signed between the two, which states the terms and conditions under which the property is being leased.

If a tenant refuses or fails to pay the monthly rent, the landlord can approach the court seeking the tenant’s eviction from the house. These property disputes are quite common, and several such cases are brought to court.

However, what happens if the tenant vacates the property without paying the due rent to the landlord?

Do you think there is a way the landlord can know the current address of the tenant and recover the unpaid amount?

A recent ruling by the Central Information Commission (CIC) has shed some light on the question.

In a dispute, a landlord named V Venkatapathy sought information about the new address of a tenant who got away without paying the rent.

The owner of the property filed a Right to Information (RTI) application before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), Tamil Nadu, in a bid to get details about the tenant’s residential address, reported The Financial Express.

The landlord claimed that the tenant, who works as a LIC Star Agent, vacated the property without informing him and did not settle the dues.

However, the report added that the CPIO rejected the owner’s application citing Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act 2005.

According to Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act, the “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.”

The landlord then approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA) and filed another plea on November 23, 2020. But the FAA, too, dismissed the appeal and upheld CPIO’s order.

Following this, the owner filed a second appeal before the CIC, stating that the information sought was not provided to him, according to the report.

In its order dated October 3, 2022, the CIC said that since the dispute is regarding non-payment of rent, the grievance cannot be resolved under the RTI Act.

The CIC upheld the CPIO’s ruling and stated that the details about the tenant’s residential address could not be disclosed as it comes under their personal information.

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