All You Want To Know About The Model Tenancy Act 2019
The government has drafted the Model Tenancy Act to establish the Rent Authority for regulating renting of premises in an efficient and transparent manner and to balance the interests of owner and tenant by establishing adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and to establish Rent Court and Rent Tribunal to hear appeals and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Under section 4, the Act makes it mandatory for every tenancy to take place under a written agreement which will have to be registered with the Rent Authority within 2 months jointly by both the parties. The Rent Authority will then provide a unique identification number to the parties and upload the details of tenancy agreement on its website compulsorily in local vernacular or State language within 7 days.
As per section 7, the tenant cannot sublet the premises without the prior consent of the landowner. The consent has to be obtained after giving the landowner all the information about such subletting.
Sections 8-11 deal with issues related to rent. The fixing and revision of rent will be governed by the tenancy agreement. If not stipulated in the said agreement, the notice of revision of rent has to be given to the tenant at least three months prior to the date on which it becomes due. The landowner can also increase the rent if he has incurred any expenditure on the improvement of the premises with the consent of the tenant. The security deposit to be paid by the tenant shall be determined by the agreement subject to a maximum of two months' rent in case of residential property and, a minimum of one month's rent in case of non-residential property.
Sections 12-20 have bestowed the following obligations on the tenant and the landowner :
1. The landowner has to give an original signed copy of the agreement to the tenant within 15 days after its execution
2. Tenant is entitled to a receipt for every payment made by him under the agreement. If the landowner doesn't accept the rent within two months, the same has to be deposited to the Rent Authority which will investigate the matter and pass an order
3. In the event of tenant's refusal to carry out scheduled or agreed repairs the landowner shall get the repairs done and deduct the amount from the security deposit
4. In case the landowner refuses to carry out the scheduled or agreed repairs, the tenant can get the work done and deduct the same from the rent
5. In case the premises becomes uninhabitable and the landowner has refused to carry out the required repairs, after being called upon to get the repairs done in writing by the tenant, the tenant will have the right to vacate the premises, after giving landowner fifteen days' notice in writing or with the permission of the Rent Authority.
6. If the Landowner has engaged a Property Manager to act on his behalf, he has to inform the tenant about the same.
7. No landowner or property manager or tenant either by himself or through any person shall cut-off or withhold any essential supply or service in the premises occupied by the tenant or the landowner. Rent Authority may pass an order for compensation against such person after making due inquiry.
Landowner can make an application before the Rent Court for repossession of the premises during the tenancy period on any of the grounds stipulated in section 21. Moreover, under section 22, a landowner is entitled to get compensation of double of the rent for two months and four times of the monthly rent thereafter, for the use and occupation of the premises by a tenant who does not vacate the premises after his tenancy has been terminated by order, notice or as per agreement.
Chapters VII and VII of the Act stipulate constitution of Rent Authority, Rent Courts and Rent Tribunals. Rent Authority shall be appointed by the District Collector in consonance with the state government. Appeals from the orders of the Rent Authority can be preferred to the Rent Court within 30 days. The Rent Tribunal shall be headed by a Principal Appellate Member and comprise of two other Members appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court. The Act excludes the jurisdiction of the civil courts, and confers such powers on the Rent Court and the Rent Tribunal. Moreover, the Rent Court give due regard to the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Indian Contract Act, 1872 or any other substantive law applicable while deciding matters.