With close to 3 lakh vacant houses in Bengaluru, Karnataka looks at new model tenancy act as saviour | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The state government, in an effort to boost the Covid-hit real estate market and to increase the confidence of people to secure tenants without the teething problems of long drawn litigations, has decided to implement the newly-passed central government act of model tenancy, which was approved last month.
The Karnataka version of the act will be brought to the cabinet in the next 15 days.
On Thursday, speaking to the media, revenue minister R Ashoka said the government was looking to resolve a large housing crisis in the state, especially in Bengaluru, where landlords are scared to rent out their properties for fear of legal headaches.
“As per our estimates, there are 2 to 3 lakh vacant houses in Bengaluru which are not being rented out due to litigation concerns by the landlords. The model tenancy act will go a long way in putting their minds at ease,” said Ashoka.
The Union government has placed the extent of vacant houses in Karnataka at 7.6 lakh as per the 2011 census and ranked fourth among the top five states in the country.
As per the plans of the state government, customising it for Karnataka, the new act provisions will see minimal interference by the state and a legal agreement between the landlords and tenants at a set amount will be final.
The provisions also suggest that deposits collected by the landlord cannot exceed that of two months rent in advance for residential properties and six months advance for commercial properties.
“The agreements signed by both the parties will then be uploaded on the revenue department website and be available for both the parties to see,” said Ashoka.
According to officials, once the agreements are uploaded, they will also be a backup for the state government to intervene in case of disputes as provided under the act.
Under the act, the government will have to appoint a rent authority who should not be below the rank of deputy collector.
In Karnataka, this would mean an officer of additional commissioner rank in urban areas and the assistant commissioners in rural parts.
The government will also be setting up rent courts (not below the rank of the additional collector/magistrate) and rent tribunals (not below the rank of a district judge or additional district judge).
The entire litigation process, if any arises, will have to be disposed of by all the three levels of redressal system within 60 days or two months.
As per the plans, the state government now repeal the existing rent control act of 1999, which is applicable for housing with rents below Rs 3,500 in the state, and bring the new act in the next legislature session.

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Sagar Biswas

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