Centre proposes model tenancy law to help address rent-related issues

The Centre has proposed a “model tenancy law” under which landowners will be required to provide tenants with written notice three months before revising rent, a move aimed at regulating renting of premises in the country.

The proposed law also advocates appointing district collector as rent authority and heavy penalty on tenants for overstaying.

According to it, tenants overstaying will have to pay double the rent for two times and four times thereafter.

The security deposit to be paid by the tenant in advance will be a maximum of two months’ rent.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has put the draft of ‘The Model Tenancy Act, 2019’ in public and sought comments from people and other stakeholders till August 1.

It states that both landlord and tenant will have to submit a copy of rent agreement to the district Rent Authority which will also have the power to revise or fix rent following a request either by landlord or tenant.

States, which will be free to adopt the law owing to land being state subject, will be required to constitute rent courts and rent tribunal, it stated.

This proposed law will be applicable prospectively and will not affect the existing tenancies.

“In the event of tenant’s refusal to carry out scheduled or agreed repairs, the landowner shall get the repairs done and deduct the amount from the security deposit,” it also stated.

If the landowner refuses to carry out the required repairs, the tenant can get the work done and deduct the same from periodic rent.

It also stated that a landowner cannot enter the rented premises without 24-hour prior notice to carry out repairs or replacement.

According to the proposed law, a landowner cannot cut power and water supply in case of a dispute with the tenant.

“The Rent Authority may direct for compensation on the person responsible for cutting off or withholding the essential supply.

“The Rent Authority may levy a penalty be paid to the landowner or tenant if it finds that the application was made frivolously or vexatiously,” it stated.

It also stated, “Within two months of executing rental agreement, both landowner and tenant will be required to intimate the Rent Authority about the agreement and within seven days, a unique identification number will be issued by the Rent Authority to both the parties.” Later, the HUA ministry issued a statement, saying as per the Census 2011, nearly 1.1 crore houses were lying vacant in the country and making them available on rent will complement the vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.