South Mumbai MP and Congress leader Milind Deora has opposed the Model Residential Tenancy Act, 2011, that allows landlords to charge rent on the basis of prevailing market rates and evict tenants if they are unwilling to pay.
Deora has urged chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to ensure that tenants especially those in Mumbai are not ousted from their present homes in the process of balancing the interests of the landlords and the tenants. In a letter written to the CM, Deora has urged him not to adopt the Centre’s Act and protect tenants in the state, especially in Mumbai.
The Union housing and urban development ministry has suggested the model Act to various state governments. Based on the provisions in the model act, landlords will be permitted to claim rents from the tenants at prevailing market rates and if they fail to pay, landlords will be entitled to evict the latter. If the state accepts these provisions, tenants in the island city will no longer enjoy the protection provided to them against possible eviction by the landlords under the provisions of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999. The tenants will also lose the privilege of paying fixed rent on their houses.
There are lakhs of tenants in old buildings of south and south central Mumbai, who have been staying in these buildings for decades and paying their rents as per the old rates. Since most of these tenants are from lower middle and middle class, the government protected their tenancy rights under its rent control legislation.
“The model Act if implemented, will result in lakhs of tenants located all over Maharashtra, especially in cities such as Mumbai from being evicted. While it is necessary to balance the interests of the tenants and landlords, any solution which results in imposition of rents at market rates cannot be adopted in the state,” Deora said in his letter.