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CIVIL.02   ---   Improving resolution of rent/eviction related disputes

DRAFT-1 (to be passed in the Assembly)
Section   1   :   Preamble
  The Act is to create laws/procedures, by which citizens can reduce disputes related to inheritance and improve fairness/speed in resolving them in case they do occur.

The Act only on rent lease of buildings/flats and will apply ONLY if the duration is less than 36 months. The Act will apply only on the leases given AFTER passing of this act. The older Rrent Act, with its modifications, will apply on the leases made before passing of this Act.

Section   2   : Registration of lease contract
2.1 The CM will appoint a Rental Officer for every Tahsil, who register the rental contracts, will resolve disputes if any using Jury and will carry out eviction using force of the need be.
2.2 The citizens can expel/fine the Rental Officer using "Jury Trial over State Govt Staff" Act.
2.3 If it is established a owner had rented or leased the property without registering the contract with Rental Officer for a duration longer than 30 days, the Rental Officer, after permission of the Jurors may impose a fine of upto Rs 20000. The tenant may be evicted eimmidiately, or within duration as decided by the Jurors.
2.4 Before the owners can rent a flat, they must carry out the following formalities :
  1. They must register the flat with Land Record Officer and obtain a flat ID
  2. They must open a rental account with Rental Officer or with any bank. To open such an account, the owners will need to specify their bank account numbers. The bank or Rental Officer will obtain the %-ownership from the Land Record Officer. Only the tenants can deposit the money in this account, and upon deposit, the bank will deposit the money in owners' account in the ratio of their %-ownership.
The Rental Officer will NOT allow rent of a flat unless flat-ID is opened. If the rent amount is above Rs 2000/- or if the value of flat is above Rs 500,000 rental account will be compulsory.
2.4 At the time of Registration of the contract, the tenant and owners, will specify following items
  1. Property-ID as given by District Land Record Officer
  2. Bank account number associated with property
  3. Tenant's tax-ID. If the rent is above Rs 2000/mo, the tenant must have a tax-ID unless he is a foreginer, in which case his passport number and visa number will be used instead of tax-ID.
  4. Monthly rent (Rent HAS TO be monthly, and cannot be any other period)
  5. Deposit : The deposit shall stay with Rental Officer and has to be at least 2 months rent, and will fetch interest equalto interest given the State Bank in which Rental Officer keeps the account.
  6. Rent payment dates : will be 20th to 25th of previous month, or else specified.
  7. Late payment charge : At least 1/10th prime lending rate declared by RBI multipled by rent plus 1/50th prime lending rate multipled by rent per day.
  8. Notice period : 1 month for tenant, 3 months for owners
  9. Lease duration : 36 months if not specified, or as specified by the owners/tenants.
  10. Increase in rent : Indexation as disclosed by income tax dept if not specified, or any rate as specified by owners/tenants.
The Rental Officer will charge a registration fee for registering rent aggrement which will 5% of the rent, plus
  1. additional 5% of the rent is tax-ID of tenant is NOT specified or if person is foreigner and does not have tax-ID.
  2. additional 1% of rent is rental date is other than 20th to 25th of previous month
  3. additional 1% of rent if notice period is other than 1 month for tenant and 3 months for owners.
  4. additional 1% if lease duration is different from 36 months
  5. additional 1% if rent increase rate is different from indexation rate
In addition, The Rental Officer will charge 2% of rent as monthly charge.

2.5 The tenants from their bank accounts, will tranfer the payment to the rental account for the flat. The bank will pay 2% of the rent to the Rental Officer and may keep at most 0.5% as processing fee, transmit the rest of rent to the owners' accounts in the ratio of their ownership.
2.6 If the tenant want to evacuate the flat, they must give notice to the Rental Officer, who will communicate it to the owners. If the owners want tenant to evacuate the apartment, they must give notice to the Rental Officer who will forward it to the tenant. Upon eviction, the tenant will inform the Rental Officer, and submit the key if the owner does NOT come to collect the key.
2.7 If the tenant does not evacuate the flat within 3 months or notice period as stated in contract, whicever is more, the Rental Officer will summon the tenant within 30 days before a Jury who will decide the fine, which may be upto 12 rents.

Section   3   : Responsibilities
  1. The owner shall pay the society's maintainance charge, and responsibility cannot be shifted on to the tenant.
  2. The owner shall pay the Municipality tax, and all property/wealth tax, and the responsibility cannot be shifted it to the tenant
  3. The tenant shall pay the electricity bill, water bill and phones charges, and cannot be shifted on to the owners

Section   4   : Resolving disputes 4.1 If there is any dispute between owners and tenants, the Rental Officer, or an officer appointed by him will draft the verdict. If eighter party refuses to accept the verdict, the Rental Officer will call a Jury of 12 citizens to decide by simple majority. The verdict of Jurors will be equivalent to the verdict of the District Court, and will be binding unless stayed by a Higher Court.

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