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MODEL TENANCY ACT

In the preceding months, as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, multiple  lockdowns, the guidelines set by the government to control the spread of the deadly virus, many people living away from their family found themselves moving back to stay and be with their families during the difficult period. This resulted in many tenants vacating their houses and other people looking for new houses to rent, raising questions like
• How much security deposit can the owner/property manager charge me?
• What happens if I stay in a house post your rental agreement?
• When can a landlord/property manager enter the premises that have been rented out to you?
These are just some of the questions the Model Tenancy Act will answer.
 “The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession. One of the potential measures to unlock the vacant house is to bringing transparency and accountability in the existing system of renting of premises and to balance the interests of both the property owner and tenant in a judicious manner,” says the new Act, piloted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
The MTA sets a ceiling on the amount of security deposit an owner/landlord can collect from a tenant i.e. not more than two months rent in the case of residential premises and 6 months for non residential properties.
If a tenant continues to reside in the rented property after the rental agreement has come to an end, the owner/landlord is entailed to double the rent for a period of two months and charge four times the rent beyond that.
It is not an uncommon practice for owners/property managers to want to visit the house premises to ensure the property is being maintained well. The MTA lays out a protocol that must be followed by the owner/landlord/property manager before making such visits.  The owner/landlord/property manager may enter the premises only after issuing a notice, in writing or electronically, to the tenant not less than 24 hours before entering the premises.  

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