The leasing of homes are governed by the Rent Control Act, and each state has its own version of the act. The Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, which is the new Act in Maharashtra has made many changes in the Bombay Rent Control Act and the changes are applicable to the entire state.
It was during the Bombay Presidency in 1915 that the first rent law in India was passed and later in 1939. Later on, the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 replaced this act. In a bid to regulate the rental housing market in the state, all the former acts were replaced by the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 199 which was the final act. Both tenants and landlords are benefited from the Maharashtra Rent Act. The aim of this act is to provide affordable temporary accommodation to the residents of the state which ensures a transparent relationship between both parties. The Maharashtra Rent Control Bill, 1999, was passed by the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, with some amendments that were aimed to unify the three different rent control laws in the state. The premises that rightfully belong to the Government or a local authority, the premises let or sublet to banks, any public sector undertakings or any Corporation established by the centre or the State Act is not applied to this act. maintaining the entire residential or commercial building, and seeking amendments thereof are the sole responsibility of a landlord.
Now let us try to understand the duties of the landlord and tenant under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act.
The Duties of the Landlord and Tenant Under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act:
The duties of both the landlord and the tenant are specified by the Maharashtra Rent Control Bill, 1999.
Rent Conditions –
The right to decide the rent and increase it at the rate of four per cent per annum from the date of the commencement of the Act is maintained by the landlord. If 70% of the tenants provide written consent, the landlord has the right to increase the rent at the rate of 15% per annum for any improvements and alterations. In the case of specific structural repair, which is exclusive of any repairs carried out under the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) Act, the landlord can further increase the rent by 25% per annum. The rent can be increased by the landlord if the taxes increase during that period.
Eviction Conditions –
Section 16 (1) of the Act allows the landlord to recover possession that is subject to provisions under Section 25. As stated in Section 25, a landlord is entitled to recover possession of any premises if the court is satisfied that the premises are reasonable and authentic. If the tenant raises any permanent structure on the premises without the permission of the landlord, the landlord can recover the possession of the property. The landlord can recover possession of the tenant, his agent, servant, or people claiming under the tenant or anyone residing with the tenant is found guilty of conduct that is an annoyance or nuisance to the neighbouring houses. Also, if the tenant is accountable and has been convicted of using the premises or allowing the premises to be used for illegal or another unauthentic purpose, the landlord can recover possession of the house. Hence it is important that the tenant rules and regulations are followed strictly by the tenant and the tenants abide by the prerequisites defined by the landlord.
Rules for Rebuilding –
Various conditions for rebuilding purposes are to be met by the landlords. As mentioned in sub-section 6, certain undertakings are required to be carried out which are as follows:
- Securing sufficient funds in order to carry out the work.
- The concerned municipal authorities must prepare and approve the planning for the proposed building.
- The number of residential units in the old building should be less than the number of residential units in the new building.
- It should take not more than three months to complete the demolition work of the old building. And it should not take more than 15 months thereafter for the new building.
- The carpet area of both the old building and the new building should be the same.
- The premises in the new building will be offered to the tenants of the old building if an undertaking is given by the landlord stating that the carpet area of the premises allowed in the new building is the same as was in the old building.
Responsibility for the repair of the premises –
According to the act, it is mandatory for the landlord to keep the premises of the property in good condition. A notice of 15 days can be served by the tenant if the repairs are neglected by the landlord. As per the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, the tenant can make the repairs themselves and deduct the expenses of the repairs incurred by the tenant from the rent that they pay if the landlord refuses to comply with the notice. Not more than one-fourth of the recoverable amount should be exceeded of the rent payable by the tenant for that year.
These are some of the major points with regards to the Maharashtra Rent Control Act. And it is extremely important for the landlords and tenants to be aware of the rules and regulations of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act.