The Object of the Amendment

According to the Draft Housing Policy, the freezing of rents under the Rent Act is “one of the key factors leading to dilapidation of old and cessed buildings.” The Policy indicates that this amendment is made with a view to incentivize landlords “to maintain and preserve buildings”.

This stated object does not stand up to scrutiny.

In fact, it is buildings with smaller premises and non-cessed buildings that are dilapidated and collapsing due to non-maintenance and neglect. Buildings with larger premises, which the amendment targets, are generally structurally sound & not dilapidated under the present repairs framework.

Structural repairs of cessed buildings are the responsibility of the Repair Board under MHADA, for which all tenants of cessed buildings pay a Repair Cess (collected along with Property Tax by the Municipal Corporation). Landlords are relieved of the responsibility of structural repairs of these buildings.

Instead of addressing the serious issue of dilapidation of non-cessed buildings  and buildings with smaller premises (both of which the policy is silent on), the amendment instead gifts landlords property worth lakhs of crores under guise of providing for maintenance and repairs.

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4 thoughts on “The Object of the Amendment

  1. Congratulations on forming Action committee for the protection of tenants rights on right time. We should stand united and fight to prevent the present government to amend rent act in Mumbai.

    Please inform me in advance for any future meeting. I came to know very late about todays meeting on 28th instant and hence could not make it. But next time I will not miss.

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  2. SINISTER AND WELL PLANNED MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MAHARASHTRA AT THE BEHEST OF POWEFUL BUILDERS AND LANDLORD LOBBIES

    Why is the State Government of Maharashtra headed by BJP is keen and in a deadly hurry to impose market rents (under the pretext of giving incentive to landlords to repair) in respect of residential premises over 80 meters and commercial premises over 500 square feet and in the process removing such premises from the ambit and protection of MHADA?

    The cat is out of the bag! The answer is simple!

    The powerful builders and landlords lobby in collaboration with vested interest in the government and assisted by the corrupt politicians and babus is eyeing the tenanted buildings in Mumbai, especially in south Mumbai, as a big source of land for the construction of luxury houses, offices and malls. Their strategy is long term and well planned.

    Firstly make it impossible for the tenants to pay market rents and upon default evict them and get vacant possession of the premises. Even if the tenants manage to somehow pay the market rent, go for the construction of new luxury structures as no NOC from tenants, 70% or otherwise, would be required as MHADA Act would not apply.

    Secondly construct luxury structures with huge FSI under the new DC Rules and make huge profits running into lacs of crores.

    Thirdly with this amendment to the Maharashtra Rent Act already having been carried out the matter in the Supreme Court will be held in favour of the Landlords and the Supreme Court Act will strike down the Act and all rental premises, residential or commercial, irrespective of the size, will attract market rents and in the process bring more crores in the pockets of the builders and landlords.
    It is pertinent to note that as the Rent Act matter is pending before the Supreme Court for past some years and the same is to be heard by a Division Bench of 9 Judges (as and when formed) the impatient powerful builders and landlords lobby in collaboration with vested interest in the government and assisted by the corrupt politicians and babus has come up with the said sinister Rent Act amendment proposal.

    Sadly the present BJP Government is very obliging and doing this in the name of “giving shelters to all”.
    Where do you go when your own government is blatantly and shamelessly colluding wearing the fig leaf of “incentive for repairs”?

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  3. Most of the tenanted properties in south Mumbai are sold by original landlords to the new modern age, powerful builders (having net worth and land assets in thousands of Crores of rupees across India) at the peak of the real estate boom era in Mumbai during the years 2007-2008.

    The original landlords have made their fortunes by selling their properties at hefty price running into Crores of rupees to these powerful builders during the real estate boom time. The original landlords are no longer in picture for whom the present government is trying to amend the act to enable them to maintain their properties by collecting the rent at market rate. what a joke….

    These new builders/new landlords have all their money and muscle power at their disposal and are spending lakhs of Rupees on security staffs to guard their new bought properties. These new powerful builders/new landlords intentions are to construct sprawling bungalows or residential towers on the purchased properties using extra FSIs and to make windfall profit at the cost of by evicting the tenants using the proposed amendment to rent act.

    Most of the old tenants who inherited their residential flats are not in the positions to pay the rent at the market rates. Where they will go? on footpaths???

    Sadly we all supported and voted BJP govt. at the centre and in Maharashtra for “Achhe Din”.
    Are these “Ache dins” we deserve as a citizen of Mumbai who are born and brought up and spent their entire life and generations in this great city.

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  4. The sinister and mischievous proposal to amend the Rent Act adversely affecting millions of tenants is now being scrapped at the instance of wiser elements in the ruling party BJP. The proposal was intended to divide the tenants and then dis-house those having residential and commercial areas above the threshold mentioned in the proposal as they would not be able to pay exorbitant market rents. This was mooted at the behest of the powerful builders lobby in connivance with certain MLAs who themselves are builders or are associated with builders as partners.

    Tenants should not relax and go off-guard upon the scrapping of the said proposal. They will have to be ever vigilant to ensure that the builders and their politician supporters do not do similar mischief again.

    As is well known the builders are eyeing the prime land parcels on which majority of the tenanted buildings in Mumbai exist. This is more so as the mill lands are now all but exhausted. To grab these prime land parcels having huge FSI potential it would be necessary to oust tenants by diluting the Rent Act and ultimately remove it altogether. Tenants will have to constantly keep a vigil against all moves of the builders/politician lobby to dilute and then kill the Rent Act.

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