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Cabinet okays Model Tenancy Act

Govt says it will help overhaul legal framework

Cabinet okays Model Tenancy Act

Cabinet okays Model Tenancy Act

New Delhi The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Model Tenancy Act, aiming to bring about wide-ranging reforms, including setting up of separate rent authorities, courts and tribunals in every district to protect the interest of both the owner and tenant.

For residential premises, tenants will have to submit security deposit of maximum two months' rent, while incase of commercial property, six months' rent will have to be deposited. States and union territories can adopt the Model Tenancy Act by enacting fresh legislation or they can amend their existing rental laws suitably.

The Act mandates for written agreement for all new tenancies, which will have to be submitted to concerned district 'Rent Authority'. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the move will help overhaul the legal framework with respect to rental housing across the country. The government said that the MTA will be applicable prospectively and will not affect existing tenancies. Rent and duration of tenancy will be fixed by mutual consent between owner and tenant through a written agreement.

The Act says that no landlord or property manager can withhold any essential supply to the premises occupied by the tenant. According to the ministry, tenant will not be evicted during the continuance of tenancy agreement unless otherwise agreed to in writing by both the parties.

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.

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