The Model Tenancy Act is in advance stages with the template having been shared with the state governments and is likely to be cleared by March, housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra has said.
“It is in advance stages and we have sent the template to the state governments. Within a month we will be taking it to the cabinet. It should definitely be through by March,” he told reporters.
“We have also been holding consultations with the public on the Model Tenancy Act and we have received their views. The law has been translated in almost all the languages - Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Assamese, Punjabi, Gujarati among others and we have again sought their opinion. In some cases received no comments from the states but we have gone in for consultations,” he said at the annual press conference of the ministry.
The housing and urban affairs ministry had floated the draft model tenancy law in July 2019. It proposes to establish an independent authority in every state and Union Territory for registration of tenancy agreements and even a separate court to take up all tenancy-related disputes.
The draft model tenancy law has proposed limiting the advance security deposits to two months’ rent, and has also suggested heavy penalties for tenants who decide to overstay. Those who do may have to shell out double the rent for two months and even four times.
On Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERA), Mishra said that the housing ministry was working on finalizing some changes to the Act, the difficulties faced by RERA while implementing orders.
Housing Minister Hardeep Puri said that RERA had “demonstrated its effectiveness”.
So far, 34 States/UTs have notified rules under RERA while the state of Nagaland is under process to notify the rules. West Bengal has enacted its own legislation which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Around 60,000 real estate projects and 46,000 real estate agents have registered under RERA across the country. Around 60,000 complaints have been disposed-off by the Real Estate Regulatory Authorities across the country, the ministry statement said.
Following COVID-19, MoHUA issued an advisory to all states/UTs and their Real Estate Regulatory Authorities for issue of orders to invoke force majeure clause and extend the completion date ‘suo moto’ or revise or extend completion dates for all real estate projects registered under RERA for a period of six months, where completion date expires on or after 25th March, 2020 and further for a period up to three months, if the situation arising out of COVID-19 so demands.
In so far as the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme which is a sub scheme under PMAY-U is concerned, it was approved to provide ease of living to urban migrants/poor in industrial sector as well as in non-formal urban economy to get access to dignified affordable rental housing close to their workplace, the secretary said.
So far, 29 states/UTs have signed MoA (Memorandum of Agreement) for implementation of ARHCs. Gujarat and UT of Chandigarh have become first movers by identifying existing Government vacant houses and furthering allotment processes. The UT of Chandigarh has identified 2195 such houses, out of which 1703 have been already allotted to urban poor families. In Gujarat, RFPs have been issued for Rajkot and Ahmedabad whereas concessionaire has been selected for Surat, the ministry said.
The Union Cabinet on July 8, 2020 had approved the ARHC scheme for urban migrants employed in the industries, service sector and manufacturing sector close to their workplace in industrial as well as in non-formal urban sectors.
The scheme was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
With regard to the PMAY (Urban) scheme, the ministry said that there were over 1.09 crore houses sanctioned under PMAY so far and that construction was in different stages in more than 70 lakh houses. As many as 40 lakh houses have been delivered.
It said that extension of CLSS for MIG would benefit 2.5 lakh middle income families mobilising an investment of Rs 70,000 crores in financial year 2020-21.
The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for Middle Income Group (MIG) under PMAY-U was extended to March 31, 2021 as a measure to ensure that homebuyers do not suffer due to any delay in completion of housing projects in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.