The Responsibilities of Tenants & Landlords in Malaysia

by | i-Stories

In the vibrant real estate landscape of Malaysia, tenancy agreements play a pivotal role in defining the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

These agreements, governed by a comprehensive legal framework, are essential for maintaining harmony and ensuring a fair deal for both parties involved.

This article aims to explain further the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords under Malaysian law, providing clarity and guidance for those navigating the rental market.

The Legal Framework Governing Tenancy Agreements in Malaysia

Malaysia’s tenancy agreements are underpinned by a robust legal framework, primarily constituted by the Contracts Act 1950 and the National Land Code 1965.

These legislative pillars establish the standards for rental agreements, ensuring they are fair and legally binding.

This framework not only delineates the parameters of tenancy agreements but also safeguards the interests of both tenants and landlords, providing legal recourse in case of disputes.

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants in Malaysia

In Malaysia, tenants can afford specific rights protected under the law, ensuring a balanced and fair tenancy agreement. These rights contribute to a harmonious living environment:

1. Right to Peaceful Enjoyment

This fundamental right allows tenants to use the rented property without unwarranted interference from the landlord.

It ensures that the landlord cannot invade the tenant’s privacy or disrupt their daily life without giving proper notice.

For instance, landlords must schedule property inspections and repairs in a manner that respects the tenant’s privacy and convenience.

2. Right to a Safe and Habitable Property

Tenants have the right to a living environment that is safe and in good condition. This encompasses the landlord’s duty to:

  • Maintain structural integrity
  • Ensure functioning utilities
  • Adhere to health and safety regulations.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to promptly address any issues that compromise the property’s habitability.

3. Timely Rent Payment

This is a primary tenant obligation. Paying rent on time as per the agreement terms is essential for maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Late payments or consistent failure to pay rent can lead to legal actions and possible eviction.

4. Property Maintenance

While major repairs are typically the landlord’s responsibility, tenants are expected to:

  • Keep the property clean
  • Conduct minor maintenance
  • Avoid causing any damage beyond normal wear and tear

Additionally, reporting significant issues to the landlord promptly is also part of this responsibility.

Read More: Rental Operating Expenses in Malaysia: What Are They?

What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords in Malaysia

Landlords in Malaysia enjoy certain rights that help them manage their properties effectively, balanced by duties ensuring tenant welfare:

1. Right to Timely Rent and Property Inspection

Landlords are entitled to receive rent payments as per the agreed schedule. They also have the right to inspect the property, which is crucial for ensuring its proper maintenance.

However, these inspections must be conducted at reasonable times and with prior notice to respect the tenant’s privacy.

2. Lease Enforcement

Landlords have the legal right to enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement.

If tenants violate the terms, landlords can seek legal remedies, which may include actions for breach of contract or even eviction proceedings in severe cases.

3. Providing a Safe and Habitable Property

It is the landlord’s legal duty to ensure that the property is in good condition and meets all safety and health standards.

This includes timely repairs, regular maintenance, and ensuring that the property’s infrastructure and facilities comply with relevant regulations.

4. Respecting Tenant’s Privacy

Landlords must acknowledge and respect the tenant’s right to privacy. This means avoiding unannounced visits and ensuring that entry into the property is prearranged and conducted at a reasonable time.

What are Common Issues Landlords and Tenants in Malaysia Face

Despite the clarity provided by laws and regulations, disputes between tenants and landlords can arise. Common points of contention include:

Maintenance and Repairs: Disagreements over who is responsible for certain repairs and maintenance can lead to disputes.

Rent and Security Deposit Issues: Disputes may arise over rent increases, late payments, or the return of security deposits.

Lease Terms: Conflicts regarding the interpretation or enforcement of lease terms can be contentious.

Eviction: Disputes regarding eviction, especially if the tenant perceives it as unjust, can be particularly challenging.

Resolving these disputes often requires a combination of negotiation, compromise, and sometimes legal action.

Mediation can be a helpful tool in finding a middle ground. In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, the matter might need to be settled in court.

Understanding and adhering to the outlined rights and responsibilities can significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of such disputes.

Read More: Rental Income Tax Malaysia: What Landlords Should Know

Streamline Your Tenancy Agreement with Rumah-i’s Digital Tenancy

Ultimately, the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords were created to ensure safety and security for both sides.

A clear grasp of these aspects not only fosters a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship but also guarantees a fair and legally compliant tenancy.

Are you a renter or homeowner looking for a reliable and simple rental process? Rumah-i has developed the first digital tenancy app in Malaysia that could do just that!

The app provides a sustainable, legally secure tenancy agreement process. Download Rumah-i’s Home Renting App, available for free on Google Play and the App Store now!


- Entitle ONE time rental collection service for free

- Rental collection service for free is limited to FIRST 1,000 properties which engage the service and is for pre-launch registered owners only.

- Tenancy agreement must be prepared by Rumah-i.