Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 2
For the regulation of rent and to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, the UT Administration will adopt the Model Tenancy Act approved by the Union Cabinet today.
With the implementation of the Act, a Rent Authority will be established for regulating renting out of premises and to balance the interests of the owner and the tenant by establishing adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and a Rent Court and a Rent Tribunal will be established to hear appeals and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Rent Authority will have exclusive jurisdiction over tenancy issues. All rent agreements will have to be submitted to this authority. The landowner and the tenant will have to separately file the particulars within a month of signing the agreement. At present, these can be registered at the Sub-Registrar’s office.
The authority will adjudicate all disputes between the landlord and the tenant. At present, rent-related disputes are resolved by civil courts, where the pendency rate is high. Appeals against the orders of the authority will be made in the Rent Court, headed by a senior judicial officer, and the case will have to be disposed of within 60 days. Against a Rent Court order, an appeal can be filed with the Rent Tribunal.
No person shall, after the commencement of this Act, let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing, which shall be informed to the Rent Authority by the land owner and tenant jointly within a period of two months from the date of agreement.
Where the land owner and the tenant fail to jointly present a copy of the tenancy agreement, such land owner and the tenant shall separately file the particulars about the tenancy agreement within a period of one month.
Revision of rent between the land owner and the tenant shall be as per the terms set out in the Tenancy Agreement.
In case the premises has been let for a fixed term, rent may not be increased during the tenancy period unless the amount of increase or method of working out the increase is expressly set out in the Tenancy Agreement.
No land owner or property manager or tenant either by himself or through any person shall cut-off or withhold any essential supply or service in the premises occupied by the tenant or the landowner.
A land owner is entitled to get compensation of double of the monthly rent for two months and four times of the monthly rent thereafter, for the use and occupation of a premise by a tenant who does not vacate the premises a after his tenancy has been terminated by order, notice or as per agreement.
A tenant shall not be evicted during the continuance of tenancy agreement except in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2).
Objecting to the creation of the Rent Authority, Advocates SK Jain and Vikas Jain said the eviction order passed without any judicial officer is totally arbitrary, unreasonable, oppressive, harsh and unconstitutional and contrary to the doctrine of the rule of law. “If this power is given to the District Magistrate, this will widely abuse the process of law in the hands of executive authorities,” they remarked.
Moreover, if the landlord-tenant dispute is allowed to be settled by the District Magistrate without judicial background, it will cause extreme hardship and will be tyrannical quasi judicial power of the magistrate concerned, they added.
“The eviction of the tenant to settle disputes between the landlord and the tenant without appreciating the evidence will be ultra virus to the Model Tenancy Act, 2020,” they submitted.
- After commencement of the Model Tenancy Act, no premises to be rented out except by a written agreement on mutually agreed terms
- The Act to be applicable to residential and commercial tenancies
- It will be applicable to the entire UT — urban and rural areas
- Rent to be fixed by mutual agreement between landlord (lessor) and tenant (lessee)
- Act to provide for a fast-track quasi judicial mechanism for adjudication of disputes
- It will be applicable to all tenancies with no monetary threshold
- The terms of agreement shall be binding upon successors of landlord as well as tenant for the remaining period of the tenancy agreement
- Sub-letting is not permitted without execution of supplementary agreement between landlord and tenant
- If the term of tenancy ends at the time when locality (where rented premises is situated) experiences any force majeure event, the landlord shall allow the tenant to continue possession of the premises for one month from the cessation of such force majeure event on the same terms of the prevailing tenancy agreement
- Security deposit for residential premises shall not exceed two months’ rent and in case of non-residential premises, it shall be as per the terms of the tenancy agreement subject to a maximum of six-month rent.
- Security deposit shall be refunded by the landlord at the time of taking over vacant possession of the premises, after making due deductions, if any
- n Recovery of possession of the premises by the landlord on certain grounds
- Landlord is entitled for double the monthly rent for the first two months and thereafter, four times of the monthly rent in case of default by the tenant to vacate the premises after the termination of tenancy
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