A heavy fine has been imposed on the leaseholders of Colaba’s Metro House, which houses the iconic Café Mondegar, for violating certain provisions in the lease agreement.
They will also have to pay the pending rent, after the Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) decision to increase rent with retrospective effect from October 2012.
The MbPT board recently approved a hike in the rent for its properties, as 6% of the ready-reckoner rates.
“We have decided to increase the rent, based on orders from the Supreme Court. We will inform the leaseholders,” said MbPT chairman Ram Parmar. “Although an eviction notice will be served to Metro House, it will have to pay the new rent with retrospective effect from October 2012. We have found several violations, for which a fine will be charged,” Parmar said.
Metro House’s spokesperson could not be reached for a comment. There will be legal action initiated against other leaseholders as well, if they do not accept the new rent structure. “Despite the hike, the new rent will still be around 10 to 15 times lower than market rates. We will have to resort to legal action if they [leaseholders] do not pay rent according to the new structure,” Parmar said.
MbPT had served the eviction notice to Metro House on November 19, 2014. According to the notice, the lessee of the building, Metro House Pvt Ltd, has flouted every possible term of the lease, including multiple instances of illegal subletting and alterations, unauthorised constructions of mezzanine floors, lofts and installation of mobile towers, apart from unpaid rent, service tax and interest.