The new Act emerging from Tamil Nadu has made the written agreement mandatory to grant legal status for all rental agreements, which covers all residential and commercial agreements, with an exception of premises registered under the Factories Act, 1948. The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act, 2017 (TNRRRL Tenancy Act, 2017) is introduced with an aim of regularizing the rental sector in Tamil Nadu’s Municipal Corporation, Municipality, and the Town Panchayat.
The law mandating registration of rental agreements were first made in Section 107 of Transfer of Property Act 1882. This law made it compulsory to register all lease agreements on immovable properties which exceeded the duration of one year in writing. It, however, allowed oral agreements where the duration agreed upon to lease was less than one year. This was reiterated again in Section 17 of Registration Act, 1908.
Since only the agreements for durations above one year needed to be registered, many people began drawing 11-month contracts to escape the need to register the agreements. Also, the issue of ambiguity in oral contracts had posed challenges to the courts in settling litigations.
To address these challenges, the Union Government drafted Model tenancy Act, which recommended registering all rental agreements in written form, irrespective of the duration, compulsory.
The TNRRRL Tenancy Act, 2017, modeled on the center’s Model Tenancy Act, is intended to uphold the interests of tenants and landlords, by bringing in the structure into the existing rental agreements. The new law dictates that all the new rental agreements, irrespective of the duration of the tenancy, must be registered in writing.
To ensure this, the state government has unveiled an online portal to carry out the registration formality at the convenience of the citizens. Concerned citizens may log in to the online portal to create their tenancy registration number as dictated by the new act.
TNRRRL Tenancy Act Changes
The following are the major changes that The TNRRRL Tenancy Act, 2017 is bringing in to the landscape of rental agreement registrations:
- Written agreements mandated for all rental agreements irrespective of the tenancy duration. This will bring in a large pool of agreements into the legal fold, which did not come under the Rent Control Act earlier.
- The landlords are mandated to provide a written receipt as an acknowledgment of rent paid without fail.
- The Act mandates setting up of Rent Courts and Rent Tribunals to address the legal disputes between tenants and landlords.
Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants
The Act also lucidly explains the rights and responsibilities of the landlords and tenants, such as:
- Landlords cannot impose compensation on structural repairs, whitewashing and painting walls, maintenance cost incurred in plumbing, and maintenance related to internal and external wiring. Landlords must bear the cost of these structural changes and these are not to be transferred on the tenants.
- The costs to be borne by the tenants are – maintenance of items such as geysers, wash basins, tap washers, knobs, cupboards, windows, doors, gas panels, and electrical maintenance other than the major internal and external wiring.
- The Act prohibits tenants from subletting the property or transferring rights to others without written consent from the landlord.
- The Act mandates landlords to give a written notice three months prior to the revision of rent.
- Under the new law, the landlords cannot evict the tenants during the continuance of tenancy.
TNRRRL Tenancy Act has made mandates to set up Rent Courts in order to provide quick redressal to the concerned parties. Along with the Rent Courts, the Act has also recommended the setting up of Rent Tribunals to oversee the larger operations in the concerned region. Establishing these legal bodies will help in the settling of legal disputes between the concerned parties in a shorter period of time.
All tenancy agreements must be registered with the rent authority within 90 days, from the date of the execution as per the mandate of the TNRRRL Tenancy Act. The Act will also be applicable to agreements that were entered before its commencement as well. The old agreements are also given 90 days to get registered in writing within the stipulated time period.
To help you out in this process, Legaldesk.com offers ready-to-use templates of the rent agreement, which would help you finish the process with ease. Furthermore, the agreement will be printed and delivered to your preferred address.