08 Jun Model Tenancy Act
Posted at 08 Jun 2021 in Current Affairs 0 Comments
(GS PAPER-2, GOVERNANCE AND POLICY INTERVENTION
Recently The Union Cabinet has approved the Model Tenancy Act to be sent to the States and Union Territories to enact legislation or amend laws on rental properties. The draft act had been published by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2019.
- Written Agreement is Mandatory- Mandatory for there to be a written agreement between the property owner and the tenant.
- Establishes Independent Authority and Rent Court- Establishes an independent authority in every state and UT for registration of tenancy agreements and even a separate court to take up tenancy-related disputes.
- Maximum Limit for Security Deposit- Limit the tenant’s advance security deposit to a maximum of two months rent for residential purposes and to a maximum of six months for non-residential purposes.
- Describes Rights and Obligations of Landlord and Tenant- The landlord will be responsible for structural repairs, except those necessitated by damage caused by the tenant, whitewashing of walls, and painting of doors and windows, etc. The tenant will be responsible for drain cleaning, switches, and socket repairs, kitchen fixtures repairs, replacement of glass panels in windows, doors, and maintenance of gardens and open spaces, among others.
- 24-hour Prior Notice by the Landlord: A landowner will have to give 24-hour prior notice before entering the rented premises to carry out repairs or replacement.
- The mechanism for Vacating the Premises: If a landlord has fulfilled all the conditions stated in the rent agreement – giving notice, etc.- and the tenant fails to vacate the premises on the expiration of the period of tenancy or termination of tenancy, the landlord is entitled to double the monthly rent for two months and four times after that.
It will apply to premises let out for residential, commercial, or educational use, but not for industrial use. It also won’t cover hotels, lodging houses, inns, etc. It will be applied prospectively and will not affect existing tenancies.
Significance of the scheme-
- The authority will provide a speedy mechanism in resolving disputes and other related matters.
- It will help overhaul the legal framework for rental housing across the country.
- It will enable the creation of adequate rental housing stock for all the income groups, thereby addressing homelessness.
- It will enable the institutionalization of rental housing by gradually shifting it towards the formal market.
- It is expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing as a business model for addressing the huge housing shortage.
- The Act is not binding on the states as land and urban development remain state subjects.
- Like in the case with RERA (Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act), the fear is that states may choose not to follow guidelines, diluting the essence of the Model Act.