Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to bring in a new rent control law that will include a provision to increase rent by 20% once every three years.
The previous UDF government had in 2014 decided to amend the existing 1965 law, but the proposal was not presented in the assembly.
The new Bill, which will soon be put up for the cabinet’s approval, modifies several of the proposals made in 2014.
Under the provisions being considered now, all rental agreements must be registered.
Such agreements are usually made for 11 months at present, but could be for any period under the proposed law.
Currently, rental agreements need to be registered within a month. Under the proposed rule, the landlord and tenant must sign a new agreement and get it registered within a year.
Under the new law in the works, the landlord could increase the rent by up to 15% if he provides special facilities to the tenant.
He would have the right to increase rent by 10% after carrying out repairs. If the building’s structure is changed, the hike could be as much as 30%.
A tenant could be asked to vacate for the repair and renovation of the building. But the same tenant would get the first preference when it is rented out again.
If no specific date is mentioned in the agreement, the rent should be paid by the 15th of the following month. The landlord could levy a 12% interest for any delay.
The landlord must issue a receipt against the rent paid. If not, the tenant should pay the rent directly to the landlord’s bank account.
A tenant would have no right to sublease the property.
A two-month notice must be given to evict a tenant.
The landlord could evict a tenant during the agreement period if no rent was paid for two months or the premises was not used for six months.
Tenants who misbehave with neighbors and those who faced legal action over immoral activities could also be evicted.
If the landlord is an armed forces personnel or government employee and wants to use the place after retirement, the tenant must vacate it.
Also, if the owner has no other place to stay, the tenant must vacate it.
If the landlord dies, his heirs become the owners of the property.
Hindu and Christian succession laws will not apply on these provisions. Therefore, the Bill will need the approval of the President to become law.