Rent act change is in builders’ interest: Congress

he Congress on May 18 lent its muscle to tenants protesting against the proposed changes to the Rent Control Act in draft of new housing policy; the BJP led government has sought to change the age-old rent system and give a more reasonable rent to landlord. Rents, especially in the island city, are abysmally lower than market rates. 


But the Congress alleged that it's the second disaster after the DP fiasco and stated that the government trying to help big builders through the changes. However, expert stated that its unbelievable significant and must needed step taken by the government. 


Since decades, tenants living in old and cessed buildings have been protected under the Rent Control Act. They pay extremely low rents (a couple of hundred rupees a month). After changes in the act, tenant of bigger houses and shop will have to pay rent to their landlord according to the market rate. 


"The changes in the draft housing policy made two months ago under the influence of builders. Initially there was no any proposal to amend the act. We want that they should not make any change in the rent act as its going to affect common man badly" said city Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam. 


The draft housing policy stated that the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, has provided for little incentive to the landlords to maintain and preserve the building. So the government decided to amend the act to ensure that landlord gets rent par with the market rate and they should be held liable to maintain the property. 


Under the draft policy, the act will be amended and all commercial establishments tenant occupying more than 46.5 sq.mtrs and residents occupying more than 80 sq.mtrs area will not get benefit of old policy. 


Once the draft police implement, these tenants need to pay market 50 % of market rate rent for the first three years and 100% of the market rent from the fourth year onwards to avoid eviction from landlord. For senior citizens, the rent could be 50 % of the market rent or 15% of their annual income whichever will be lower.. 



"Its bitter pill significant. Suggested changes are very serious and must needed for the city's development. The changes will streamline the renting housing scheme and encourage landlord to maintain the buildings" said Pankaj Joshi, executive director, Urban Design Research Institution (UDRI). 


Nirupam said, "We want development but not after creating troubles to citizen. Instead of protecting tenants' interest, the government helping builders who has stakes in most of such buildings." 


Source: The Times of India dated May 19, 2015