Union Cabinet Approves Model Tenancy Act
The Union Cabinet approved the Model Tenancy Act for circulation to all State/Union Territories for adaptation by way of enacting fresh legislation or amending existing rental laws suitably. The act will help overhaul the legal framework with respect to rental housing across the country and the move will boost real estate growth.
The government clearing the model tenancy act (MTA), is a major step towards institutionalisation of rental housing in India. The development comes at a time when the country faces shortage of proper rental housing facilities, especially for the lower-income groups and migrant workers, while there are over 1 crore flats vacant in urban areas.
The Union Cabinet approved the MTA for adoption and enactment by states and UTs to promote rental housing in India, ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA), said adding, “Making 1.1 crore vacant houses available on rent will complement the vision of Housing for All by 2022”.
“The Model Tenancy Act aims at creating a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive rental housing market in the country. It will enable creation of adequate rental housing stock for all the income groups thereby addressing the issue of homelessness,” the government said.
Real estate experts say that clear-cut incentives to boost rental housing via a sound policy will positively help the government to further strengthen its Housing for All initiative. To ensure speedy redressal of disputes, the Act calls for establishing a separate Rent Court and Rent Tribunal in every state/UTs to hear appeals for matters connected to rental housing.
It also seeks to establish an independent authority in every state and Union Territory for registration of tenancy agreements. Only the rent court and no civil court will have the jurisdiction to hear and decide the applications relating to disputes between landowner and tenant and matters connected with it. It calls for disposal of complaints and appeals by the Rent Court and Rent Tribunals within 60 days.
Under the Model Tenancy Act, unless otherwise agreed in the tenancy agreement, the landlord will be responsible for activities like structural repairs except those necessitated by damage caused by the tenant, whitewashing of walls and painting of doors and windows, changing and plumbing pipes when necessary and internal and external electrical wiring and related maintenance when necessary.
On his part, tenant will be responsible for drain cleaning, switches and socket repairs, kitchen fixtures repairs, replacement of glass panels in windows, doors and maintenance of gardens and open spaces, among others.