Things To Know About The Delhi Rent Control Act Of 1958
In 2013, the then Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath had introduced the Delhi Rent (Repeal) Bill, 2013, seeking to repeal the Delhi Rent Act, 1995. Interestingly, the Act in question was not even notified while attempts were being made to repeal it. Earlier in 1997, amendments were proposed in the said Act that aimed to initiate stricter rules in the national capital's thriving rental market. However, with the 11th Lok Sabha getting dissolved, these amendments could not be incorporated. The 2013 Bill is still pending in the Rajya Sabha, and this means the oldest set of rules on renting — Delhi Rent Control Act 1958 — are still in force in the capital.
While the current government introduced the Draft Model Tenancy Act, 2015, the rules lack constitutional backing and remain only a model policy. This, too, signifies 1958 rules are pretty much in place.
Also Read: 5 Best Places To Rent A Home In Delhi
Let us look at the key provisions of the archaic law which still rules one of the most crucial segments of housing in Delhi and is cited as the reason for landlords of prime properties in key areas earning pittance as rent:
- Under the Act, a tenant in the absence of a written contract can pay the rent by the 15th of a month and could demand a written receipt for the same.
- The Act has a key focus on the term “standard” with reference to rent amount. On the other hand, ironically, this law is cited as the reason why prime commercial properties in Delhi's central localities don't yield good rentals.
- Provisions of the Act make it hard for a landlord to force eviction on a tenant if the latter has been punctual in paying the “standard” monthly rent. Due to these provisions, landlords in Delhi have failed to evict tenants who pay negligible in the name of rent.
- The Act provides for “the control of rents and eviction, and of rates of hotels and lodging houses, and for the lease of vacant premises to the government, in certain areas” in Delhi. The areas covered under this act include the limits of municipal corporations of the city, the New Delhi Municipal Committee and the Delhi Cantonment Board.
- Under the Act, residential premises include units rented out for public hospitals, educational institutions, public library or reading room and orphanages.
- Section 7 (1) of the Act says a landlord can hike the annual standard rent if he has done any renovations on the rented premises. This amount should, however, not exceed seven and half per cent of the cost incurred. This rule discourages landlord from renovating their dilapidated properties. There are no incentives for carrying out such works as far as landlords are concerned.
- According to the Act, sub-letting, too, is legal. Provisions of the law make it difficult for landlords to object to tenants subletting the rented premises.