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Published on 2/19/2018 2:00:59 PM
Model tenancy act in limbo as traders seek status quo
More than three years have passed since the housing and urban affairs ministry came out with the draft model tenancy act to bring relief to thousands of commercial property owners in Delhi, Mumbai and other major cities. But there has not been much progress as traders' lobby in big cities are in favour of status quo.

Housing ministry officials said the proposal is in the works, though the draft was brought out in 2014 to replace the Rent Control Act of 1948 aimed at addressing the difficulties of landlords and tenants. The proposed outcomes include mutual fixing and revising of rent between the landlord and tenant, unlocking the existing properties which can be rented out and faster adjudication. Currently, majority of the commercial property owners in prime locations get rents fixed way back in 1960s.

TOI has learnt that though the government had announced to take the proposal forward, it has been opposed by the traders.

Once the model act is enforced the property owners can expect revision of rents after signing new agreement with tenants. But there is an apprehension that government may not take any decision soon considering that traders may take any such decision as another burden after roll out of demonetisation, GST and sealing drive in Delhi, in particular.

Sources said finalising the model tenancy act and the rental housing scheme (policy to enable cities to provide houses on rent to migrant workers) would help utilisation of huge stock of vacant houses in urban areas.

According to the Economic Survey, about 12.4% of built houses are lying vacant in urban India. While Maharashtra has the highest number of vacant houses (slightly more than 20 lakh), Gujarat has about 12 lakh such houses. More than 11 million houses were lying vacant, according to the 2011 census. The Economic Survey mentions that among states, Gujarat has the highest share of vacant houses to the total residential stock (18.5%), followed by Rajasthan (17.3%) and Maharashtra (16.39%).