The Indian rental market has long been run by an unorganized system. With the Model Tenancy Act the government for the first time has given rental housing its due attention.
India’s urban population has to struggle to find decent rented accommodation, even as millions of properties lie vacant across major markets. The Model Tenancy Act 2019 might be able to change this paradoxical situation. Provisions announced in the model law would make renting a viable option for tenants as well as property owners, if states show the willingness to adopt it in letter and spirit.
The salient features are:
- Security deposit is capped to a maximum of two months’ rent in case of residential property and a minimum of one month’s rent in the case of nonresidential property.
- The landlord cannot indulge in a midterm hike in rentals.
- A landlord cannot cut off or withhold essential supplies or services (electricity, water, etc.).
- It is the landlord’s responsibility to rectify structural damages and undertake measures like whitewashing walls and painting doors and windows.
- The property owner must give prior notice of three months before revising the rent value.
- The tenant cannot sublet a part of or the whole property to someone else.
- The landlord is entitled to get a compensation of double of the monthly rent for two months and four times of the monthly rent thereafter if a tenant does not vacate the premises after tenancy has been terminated by order, notice or as per agreement