Model Tenancy Act 2020: Key Features
Updated: Aug 22
Model Tenancy Act is an act to establish Rent Authority to regulate renting of premises and to protect the interests of landlords and tenants, provide speedy adjudication mechanism for resolution of disputes and matters. The Act mandates for written agreement for all new tenancies, dispute resolution by rent authority, court, tribunal, time period for the rent deposit, and other areas.
In the case of any disputes, between landlord and tenant, the parties would first approach the rent authority for a solution.
In case the disputing parties are not satisfied with the order of the rent authority, they could approach the Rent Court or Rent tribunal to seek relief. These courts would have to pass an order within 60 days of receiving a complaint.
The Act mandates for written agreement for all new tenancies, which will have to be submitted to the concerned district Rent Authority.
The Rent Authority shall, after receiving information about the execution of the tenancy agreement along with the documents specified in the First Schedule, provide a unique identification number to the parties, and upload details of the tenancy agreement on its website in the local vernacular language or the language of the State/Union territory,
The tenancy agreement shall be signed in duplicate by both the landlord and tenant and one each of such original signed tenancy agreement shall be retained by the landlord and tenant.
The security deposit to be paid by the tenant in advance should not exceed two months rent, in case of residential premises; and not exceed six months rent, in case of non-residential premises.
The security deposit shall be refunded to the tenant on the date of taking over vacant possession of the premises from the tenant, after making due deduction of any liability of the tenant.
Restrictions in terms of sub-let:
The tenant cannot sublet a part of or the whole property to someone else. or transfer or assign his rights in the tenancy agreement. Until a supplementary agreement has been executed into the existing tenancy agreement.
Revision of rent:
The revision of rent between the landlord and the tenant shall be in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.
In case of any dispute between landlord and tenant regarding revision of rent, the Rent Authority may, on an application made by the landlord or tenant, determine the revised rent and other charges payable by the tenant and also fix the date from which such revised rent becomes payable.
Entry into premises:
Every landlord or the property manager may enter the premises let out on rent after serving a notice, in writing or through electronic mode, to the tenant at least twenty four hours before the time of entry under the following circumstances, namely: (a) to carry out repairs or replacement or to do or to get work done in the premises; (b) to carry out an inspection of the premises for the purpose of determining whether the premises are in a habitable state; (c) for any other reasonable cause for an entry specified in the tenancy agreement.
Provided that no person shall enter the premises before sunrise and after sunset. Provided further that nothing contained in this section shall prevent the landlord from entering into the premises let out on rent without prior notice to the tenant in case of emergent situations like war, flood, fire, cyclone, earthquake, or any other natural calamity, which may affect that premises.
Responsibilities of the Landlord in terms of Repairs:
The landlord shall be responsible for repairs relating to matters such as structural repairs except those caused due to damage by tenant, Whitewashing of walls, and painting of doors and windows, Changing and plumbing pipes when necessary, Internal and external electrical wiring, and related maintenance when necessary.
Periodic repairs to be got done by tenant:
Changing of tap washers and taps, Drain Cleaning, Water closet repairs, Wash Basin repairs, Bathtub repairs, Geyser repairs, Circuit breaker repairs, Switches and socket repairs, Repairs, and replacement of electrical equipment except for major internal and external wiring changes, Kitchen fixtures repairs, Replacement of knobs and locks of doors, cupboard, windows etc, Replacement of fly-nets, Replacement of glass panels in windows, doors etc, Maintenance of gardens and open spaces let out to or used by the tenant.
Withholding essential supply or service:
No landlord or property manager shall, either by himself or through any other person, withhold any essential supply or service in the premises occupied by the tenant.
Failure to vacate by the tenant:
Where the tenant fails to vacate the premises let out on rent in accordance with the tenancy agreement on the expiration of the period of tenancy or termination of tenancy by an order or notice under the provisions of this Act, such tenant shall be liable to pay the landlord –– twice the monthly rent for the first two months; and four times the monthly rent thereafter till the tenant continues to occupy the said premises.
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