The government has given its seal of approval to the Model Tenancy Act by enacting fresh legislation for suitably amending the existing property rental laws. The first draft of the act was release in 2019 and the primary objective of this act is to strengthen the trust factor between landlords and tenants by clearly defining their rights and obligations. The clauses of this act will have a significant impact on the rental housing sector and facilitate unlocking of vacant houses by their owners for rental purposes. In this article, we will share the salient features of the Model Tenancy Act. godrej river hills mahalunge

Tenancy details will be uploaded on the rent authority website

Both the landlord and the tenant will have to inform the rent authority in writing in the specified form not later than 2 months from the date of the tenancy agreement. The rent authority shall then assign a unique identification number to the both parties and upload the details of the tenancy on its website in the local language of the State or Union Territory. godrej river hills pune

Capping on Security Deposit

The act has put a cap of 2 months rent to the security deposit amount payable by the tenant of a residential premises and maximum 6 months rent by the tenant of a non-residential premises.

Withholding  of essential supply or service prohibited

The act expressly prohibits the withholding of any essential supply or service by the landlord to the tenant. If this happens, the tenant can appeal to the rent authority, which will duly pass an interim order restoring the essential supply or service that has been withheld by the landlord. However, if the tenant makes any frivolous application, then the authority will levy a penalty on the tenant, which shall not be more than twice the monthly rent amount.

Successor’s Rights and Obligations

The MTA states that the terms of the tenancy agreement shall be expressly binding on the successors and legal heirs of both the landlord and tenant. For the tenancy’s remaining period, both shall continue to have the same obligations and rights.

Sub-letting by tenant is prohibited

The MTA expressly states that the tenant shall have no power to sub-let in part or whole, the premises in which he resides as a tenant defined by the tenancy agreement. If the tenant wishes to do so, both the tenant and the landlord will jointly have to inform the rent authority of the sub-tenancy not later than 2 months from the execution date of the sub-tenancy agreement.

Establishment of rent courts and rent tribunals

For ensuring speedy redressal of disputes and fast tracking landlord-tenant grievances, the MTA mandates the setting up of exclusive rent courts and rent tribunals, which will have the sole and exclusive power to regulate their own grievance redressal procedures. Any order which the rent court passes shall be executable as a civil court decree, as the act gives the rent court powers equal to the civil court.  These powers include:

  • Summoning any person and examining them on oath
  • Ordering discovery and production of all related documents
  • Examination of witnesses and documents
  • Ordering local investigation and admitting affidavits of evidence
  • Execution of orders under MTA without any reference to civil courts
  • Reviewing its own decisions and orders

Right to appeal

If any party is aggrieved by the order duly passed by the rent court, they have the right to appeal to the jurisdictional rent tribunal within the local limits of the said property, not later than 30 days from date of the order passing. The rent tribunal will have to fix a hearing within 30 days from the appeal notice and dispose the appeal within 60 days from the date of hearing.