Chandigarh to adopt Centre’s Model Tenancy Act
Admn invites suggestions from residents; the law aimed at to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including fast adjudication process for resolution of disputesUpdated: Oct 02, 2020, 00:30 IST
Speedy resolution of the tenant-landlord conflicts will soon be possible in the city with the UT administration deciding to go with the centre’s Model Tenancy Act 2020. The administration has sought suggestions from the public on the model Act.
The Model Tenancy Act proposes to establish a framework for the regulation of tenancy matters (residential and commercial) and to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including fast adjudication process for resolution of disputes.
Once implemented, all tenant-landlord conflicts will be taken up by a rent court and not by a civil court. The draft states, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, in the areas to which this Act extends, only the rent court and no civil court shall have jurisdiction, to hear and decide the applications relating to disputes between landowner and tenant.”
Confirming the development, additional secretary (estates) Uma Shankar Gupta said, “The administration has already given concurrence to the model Act. After taking suggestions, it will be sent to the central government for final approval, and then implemented in the city.”
More than 50% of population in the city lives in rented accommodation, as per the Economic Survey 2018.
Stating that the new Tenancy Act will overhaul this relationship, Gupta said, “All disputes between tenants and landlords will be decided in a time-bound manner — within three months — by the Rent Authority. Here, simplified procedure will also ensure speedy relief to people.”
The existing tenancy provisions of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act 1949 are outdated, said Ajay Jagga, a city-based advocate. “It urgently requires changes which are in tune with the changed times. It will facilitate greater supply of rented accommodation and lowering of rents. ”
Procedural changes on the cards
A rent authority will have to be set up, which will exclusive jurisdiction over tenancy issues.
All the rent agreements will have to be submitted to the rent authority constituted under the Act. The landowner and the tenant will have to separately file the particulars about the tenancy agreement within a month of the agreement. Currently, these can be registered at the sub-registrar’s office.
After reviewing the agreements, the authority will give registration numbers. It will publish online information and registration numbers of all tenancies.
The authority will adjudicate the disputes between a landlord and tenant. Currently, rent-related disputes are resolved by civil courts, where the pendency rate is high.
Appeals against authority’s orders will be made in the rent court, headed by a senior judicial officer, and the case will have to be dispose of within 60 days. Against a rent court order, an appeal can be filed with the rent tribunal.
Landlord vs Tenant
A landlord will be entitled to compensation of double the monthly rent for use and occupation of a premise by a tenant who does not vacate the unit after his tenancy has been terminated by order, notice or agreement.
No tenant will be allowed to sublet the rented building without prior permission from the landlord.
The landlord cannot increase the rent amount within the time period stated in the agreement. The landlord will have to give a written three-month notice before revising the rent.
Under the model Act, the landlord or the property manager appointed by him must give the tenant a notice of 24 hours in advance to enter the premises.
Both tenant and landlord are responsible for maintenance under the model Act. The rent agreement will define responsibility of both.
Both can charge or deduct the amount from rent or security deposit, as the case be, for repairs done on behalf of the other.