Home >News >India >In boost to rental housing, government clears Model Tenancy Act

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI : The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the Model Tenancy Act (MTA), which is aimed at overhauling and growing the legal framework for home renting.

The model Act will be circulated to all states and Union territories for adoption in a bid to boost private participation in rental housing and plug an acute housing shortage.

The approval came two years after the draft bill of the model law was floated by the housing and urban affairs ministry in 2019. According to the government, the MTA will help make available vacant houses for renting.

“It is expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing as a business model for addressing the huge housing shortage," the government said in a press note.

Property analysts said it is expected that the provisions in the MTA would make renting a viable option for tenants and owners if states show the willingness to adopt it in letter and spirit.

Under this Act, the rent authority, rent court and rent tribunal would fast-track resolution of disputes within 60 days, said Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri. It will also limit security deposits for residential premises to a maximum of two months’ rent and to a maximum of six months for non-residential purposes.

Various stakeholders said that the move is in line with the government’s aim to provide housing for all by 2025 and to stabilize and formalize India’s fragmented rental market.

“While tenancy in the commercial real estate segment has been a well-established tenet of the market model, the fractured landlord-tenant relationship in case of the housing segment has discouraged the development of a market model and obstructed institutionalization of a rental housing market," said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India.

The Act has provisions to regulate the rights and duties of both the landlord and tenant and is expected to balance the scale between both parties.

As part of India’s ambitious playbook for electric mobility and green energy storage, the Union cabinet also approved an agreement to be signed between India and Argentina for mineral resources cooperation.

This memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be inked between the two nations is aimed at facilitating India’s energy security goals and involves setting up joint ventures for strategic minerals and future investments.

This assumes significance given that Chinese state-owned firms have already secured lithium mine concessions in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, which forms the so-called lithium triangle.

Securing supplies of lithium, a key raw material for making batteries, follows the Asian majors’ quest for buying oil and gas fields overseas, which saw a resource race in geographies such as Africa. In this backdrop, Indian strategic experts believe India and China are locked in a geopolitical race to sew up much of the world’s next-generation natural resources such as lithium.

“The Union cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, has approved the MoU to be signed between the ministry of mines and the secretariat of mining policy of the ministry of productive development of Argentina," the government said in a statement.

“The objectives of the MoU are to strengthen the activities involved like cooperation for encouraging minerals exploration and development, including extraction and mining of lithium; possibilities of forming joint ventures in the field of base metals, critical and strategic minerals for mutual benefit; exchange of technical and scientific information and interchange of ideas and knowledge; training and capacity building; and promotion of investment and development in the area of mining activities to serve the objective of innovation," the statement added.

In other decisions, the Union cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for signing and ratification of a “cooperation in the field of mass media" agreement between the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation group members.

“The agreement shall promote equal and mutually beneficial cooperation among associations in the field of mass media. Each side shall, on the basis of reciprocity, facilitate the activities, thereby ensuring equity," the government said.

The Union cabinet also approved an MoU signed between the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) and Maldives’ national planning, housing and infrastructure ministry on cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development in areas such as planning, smart cities, affordable housing and green mobility, among others.

It also approved the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the MoHUA and Japan’s land, infrastructure, transport and tourism ministry on sustainable urban development.

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