HT Chandigarh Our Take: A tenancy authority for Chandigarh

Given the large number of residential units rented out in Chandigarh, the administration appears to be on the right track by drawing up the draft Tenancy Act 2020, which has now been sent to the Centre for approval.

The Act proposes to establish a framework for the regulation of tenancy matters (residential and commercial) and to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including fast adjudication process for resolution of disputes.

The key provision of the proposed Act is setting up of a rent authority which will have exclusive jurisdiction over tenancy issues. All rent agreements will have to be submitted to this authority instead of the sub-registrar’s office as is done now. The landowner and the tenant will have to separately file the particulars within a month of signing the agreement.

The authority will adjudicate all disputes between a landlord and tenant instead of the civil courts. This is significant as the pendency rate is currently very high.

The good thing is that appeals against authority’s orders will be made in the rent court, headed by a senior judicial officer, and the case will have to be disposed of within 60 days. Against a rent court order, an appeal can be filed with the rent tribunal.

Lawyers, bodies, it has been learnt, have objected to the creation of the rent authority having exclusive adjudication powers over tenancy disputes and issues. The body suggested that the tenancy issues should be kept under the purview of civil courts only, a senior official in the administration has said.

Commenting on the suggestion of lawyers, the administration has responded that the rent authority’s adjudication powers are necessitated as it would speed up the resolution of tenancy related disputes, and it is central to the creation of the new Tenancy Act. “All disputes between tenants and landlords will be decided in a timebound manner — within three months — by the Rent Authority. Here, simplified procedure will also ensure speedy relief to people,” it was stated.

The Commercial Tenants’ Association in its objections to the draft Act had stated that the creation of a rent authority and rent court to be presided over by an executive officer was totally in contravention of the already existing procedure and adjudication of litigation.

The proposed Act stipulates: “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, in the areas to which this Act extends, only the rent court and no civil court shall have jurisdiction, to hear and decide the applications relating to disputes between landowner and tenant.”

The proposed Act is only prospective in nature and will cover tenancy agreements that have taken place after its implementation.

To Let

Does Chandigarh need a rent authority?

The UT Administration has sent the draft Tenancy Act 2020 to the Centre for approval. Does Chandigarh need a rent authority? Send your responses with your photograph to [email protected] by November 27.

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