Model Tenancy Act 2019 expected to end disputes between landowners and tenants


Model Tenancy Act 2019 expected to end disputes between landowners and tenants

G Plus News | July 20, 2019 14:08 hrs

GUWAHATI: With the Central government releasing the draft Model Tenancy Act 2019, the tenants and landlords in Guwahati are still processing the same to understand it fully.

Some people are positive about the changes that the draft is expected to bring in, while some believe that the things will remain pretty much the same even after the draft, in its final form, comes into force.

The draft Model Tenancy Act 2019 was released by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MHUA) on July 10 with an aim to introduce several reformatory measures to promote rental housing across the country.

The draft, which has now been placed in public domain for suggestions and feedbacks, will perform as the model act for states and union territories (UTs) to regulate the rental housing sector.

“It would be good if the government brings in a law that helps protect our rights as landlords. I have so many bad experiences with the tenants to whom I rented out my house in the past. Even the police sometimes take the side of the tenant even if he or she is guilty. I have stopped renting out one of my houses for fear of not gaining repossession,” Sailen Das, a resident of Narengi told G Plus.

The tenants too are hopeful of the model act which seeks to establish an adjudicating mechanism for speedy redressal of disputes between tenants and landlords.

“We as tenants do not have a say of our own in most of the cases. I am not saying that all landlords are bad, but some of them are horrible in terms of providing the necessary facilities to the tenants. First they will charge you two to three months of rent as security deposit and when it’s time for them to return the same they just make too many excuses so that they don’t have to give the money back to us. Some of the landlords don’t even fix a small issue at the house and they just arbitrarily hike the rent without giving any prior notice,” said Arijit Sharma, who originally hails from Lakhimpur and is currently staying at a rented house in Jayanagar in Six Mile area of Guwahati.

Senior advocate Bhaskar Dev Konwar opines that the latest move of the central government was a long felt need to replace the antiquated rent control act. 

Konwar said, “The new model tenancy act will regulate to a large extent the rights and obligations of the land owner vis-a-vis the tenants. It is to be kept in mind that it is a draft law and suggestions are being invited from the public. Land being a state subject under the Constitution, therefore, the law has to be adopted by the state governments.”

However, some tenants consider that the model act will not bring any changes to their lives.

“I don’t know about the markets. But I think the new act will hardly bring any changes since the authority has always failed to implement an act in its true spirit,” said Biswajit Deka who has been staying in a rented house in Guwahati for the last ten years.

Proposals in Act include creation of adequate rental housing stock 

With the Model Tenancy Act, 2019, the government aims to help create adequate rental housing stock for various income segments of society such as migrants, formal and informal sector workers, professionals, students etc. 

The act also seeks to increase access to quality rented accommodation, enable gradual formalization of rental housing market.
Some of the proposals in the draft act are:

-    Establishment of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal as grievance redressal mechanisms. 

-    Cap the security deposit equal to a maximum of two months’ rent in case of residential properties and minimum of one month’s rent in case of non-residential property.

-    No person shall be allowed to let out or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing.

-    Landowner and tenant are required to intimate to the Rent Authority about their agreement within two months of signing the deal, while Rent Authority will issue a unique identification number to both the parties within seven days.

-    Establishment of a digital platform in local vernacular language of the state for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents.

MHUA has shared a copy of the draft act with the states and UTs for seeking their views and comments. Once the draft is finalized, the model act will be sent to the states and UTs for adoption. 

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