According to the Model Tenant Act, after its enactment, all the existing Rent Control Acts will be deemed repealed. (HT file photo. Representative image)
According to the Model Tenant Act, after its enactment, all the existing Rent Control Acts will be deemed repealed. (HT file photo. Representative image)

Don’t implement Tenancy Act: Sena leaders tell CM Thackeray

The tenancy Act has always been a controversial issue in Mumbai as about 600,000 tenants living in old dilapidated buildings and chawls have been resisting any changes to the existing Rent Control Act.
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2021 08:17 AM IST

Shiv Sena leaders on Wednesday urged chief minister Uddhav Thackeray not to implement the Centre’s Model Tenancy Act in the state. Sena functionaries Anil Desai, Arvind Sawant, Anil Parab, Sunil Prabhu and three others wrote to the CM, saying the rent control is the prerogative of the state government and that the Act passed by the Centre is not beneficial for tenants.

The tenancy Act has always been a controversial issue in Mumbai as about 600,000 tenants living in old dilapidated buildings and chawls have been resisting any changes to the existing Rent Control Act. Their contention is any change will result in massive hike in rentals and make their eviction from the premises easier. The state is at liberty to not adopt or partially adopt the Act, which was passed by the Centre last week.

The letter signed by party secretary and five vibhag pramukhs (divisional heads) of Mumbai stated there is no need for a new law for Mumbai and that the Bombay Rent Act and Maharashtra Rent Control Act are enough. It also said that the new law does not provide any “protection” to the tenants.

According to the Model Tenant Act, after its enactment, all the existing Rent Control Acts will be deemed repealed, in short, if the law is passed, more than 2.5 million people will become homeless, the letter stated.

A large chunk of these buildings and chawls that could get affected with the new law are in central and south Mumbai. With the civic election coming up in February 2022, the Shiv Sena has taken a pro-tenant stance. “In Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra, many houses are vacant and so there is no point in introducing a new rent control law. There is no need for a new fare control law for Mumbai. The Bombay Rent Act and the Maharashtra Rent Control Act are competent and adequate for this. In any law made for tenants, they would be protected because the landlord has unlimited control over his land and is ready to grab the land by expelling the tenant. Therefore, the Rent Act should be a tenant’s charge. In contrast, the Centre’s law is the opposite,” the letter stated.

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