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FAQ’s- Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenants Act

Introduction

  • The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act 2017 has been enacted on the lines of model Tenancy Act indicated by the Government of India.
  • The Act repeals the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960.
  • The new legislation aims to regulate the tenancy of buildings as per the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement executed by the land lords and the tenants and also to safe guard the interest of the land lords and the tenants in case of disputes.
  • As per the provisions of this law, all tenancy agreements should be written agreements and shall be compulsorily register with the Rent Authority.
  • The registration of the tenancy agreement with the rent authority is independent of the registration requirement of the tenancy agreement under the Registration Act, 1908.
  • Since, most of the transactions are done through the tenancy registration portal with minimum interface of the Rent Authority.
  • The tenancy registration portal eases the process of registration of the tenancy agreement with much convenience to the general public.
  • Tamil Nadu is the most urbanized State in India having an urban population of about 3.5 crores which is 48.44 percentage of the total population of 7.2 crores as per 2011 census.
  • The growth rate of urban population in the last decade has been 27.16 percentage. With rapid pace of urbanization, one of the biggest challenges is the availability of affordable housing in urban areas. As per 2011 census, Tamil Nadu is having 23.4 percentage of rental housing.
  • In order to regulate the rental housing stock, the Government has enacted the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act 2017, to facilitate Landowners and Tenants and to provide affordable Housing for All.
  • The said Act is come into force wef 22 Feb 2019

When did the Act come into force?

The Act shall come into force on such date as the Government may, by notification appoint. That is, the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby appoints the 22nd February 2019 as the date on which the said Act shall come into force.

Does the Act cover both residential and commercial tenancies?

Yes, the Act covers both residential and commercial tenancies; including the use of premises for educational use but does not include the premises registered under the Factories Act, 1948.

Pursuant to notification of this law, can there a tenancy without an agreement in writing?

As per Section 4 of the Act, all tenancies shall be effected only by way of an agreement in writing.

What is the timeline for the registration of tenancy agreements executed after commencement of the Act?

The tenancy agreements executed subsequent to the commencement of the Act shall be registered with the Rent Authority within 90 days from the date of such execution.

Whether registration is required for tenancies executed prior to the commencement of the Act?

Yes, the tenancy agreements executed prior to the enactment of this law has to be mandatorily registered with the Rent Authority within 90 days from the date of notification of the Rules as prescribed under sub-rule 4 of Rule 3. The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Rules, 2019 comes into effect from 22nd Feb 2019. Therefore, the timeline for the registration of tenancy agreements executed prior to the commencement of is on or before 23rd May 2019, that is, 90 days from the date of notification of the Rules

What would be the status of a tenancy created without a written contract prior to enactment of this law?

In respect of oral tenancies created before the commencement of the Act, the parties shall reduce the terms of the tenancy in writing within 90 days from the date of notification of Section 4 of the Act. Consequently, the tenancy agreement has to be registered with the Rent Authority within 90 days from the date of such execution.

Whether tenancy agreements for a term less than 12 months is required to be registered under this tenancy law?

Yes, all tenancy agreements have to be registered with the Rent Authority, irrespective of the term of the tenancy.

Whether sub-lease is required to be registered under this law?

Yes, sub-lease is treated as an agreement for tenancy and is required to be independently registered under Section 4 of the Act.

Whether registration is required under this law for tenancy agreements duly registered with the jurisdictional Sub-Registrar under “The Registration Act, 1908”?

Yes, the registration required under the Act is independent of the registration of the tenancy agreement with the jurisdictional Sub-Registrar under ‘The Registration Act, 1908’.

What would be the consequences of non-registration of tenancy agreement with the Rent Authority?

As per Section 4-A of the Act, if the tenancy agreement is not registered with the Rent Authority, then the agreement shall not affect any immovable property comprised therein, or confer any power to adopt, or be received as evidence of any transaction affecting such property or conferring any right.

Who can apply for registration of the tenancy agreement with the Rent Authority?

The application can be applied by the landlord / tenant / property manager (if duly appointed). However, the applicant has to duly fill in the details; including the corresponding address and contact numbers of the other party.

What is the procedure to be followed for registering the tenancy agreement?

The application for registration can be applied online at www.tenancy.tn.gov.in. Upon scrutiny of the application, the Rent Authority shall notify the applicant for presenting the tenancy agreement with supporting documents for verification. Upon verification of the tenancy agreement, the Rent Authority shall issue the certificate for registration of tenancy agreement.

What is the fee applicable for the registration of tenancy agreement?

As on date, there is no fee prescribed for the registration of the tenancy agreement. However, a service charge of Rs.100 is levied by the service provider for providing the online registration service.

What is the stamp duty applicable on tenancy agreement?

As per Article 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 [Amended vide Tamil Nadu Act 31 of 2004], the stamp duty payable on the tenancy agreement, including a sub-lease agreement shall be as provided here in below:
Where the period of tenancy / lease is below thirty years – one rupee for every Rs.100 or part thereof of the amount of rent, fine, premium or advance, if any, payable;
Where the period of tenancy / lease is thirty years and above up to ninety-nine years – four rupees for every Rs.100 or part thereof of the amount of rent, fine, premium or advance, if any, payable;
Where the period of tenancy / lease is above ninety-nine years – seven rupees for every Rs.100 or part thereof of the amount of rent, fine, premium or advance, if any, payable:

Whether stamp duty has to be paid for a tenancy agreement executed for a term less than 12 months?

Yes, all tenancy agreements are to be stamped as per Article 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899.

Kindly clarify what constitutes “Aggregate Rent Payable” in the application for registration of tenancy?

The ‘Aggregate Rent Payable’ shall be the total sum of the rent, fine, premium or advance (if any) payable under the tenancy agreement by the Tenant to the Landlord.

Should the expiry / termination of the tenancy agreement be reported to the Rent Authority?

Yes, as per Rule 5 of TNRRR Rules, the parties shall inform the expiry or termination of tenancy agreement in the prescribed form to the Rent Authority within 15 days from the date of such expiry or termination.

Whether renewal of the tenancy requires fresh registration?

Yes. The agreement for renewal of tenancy shall be treated as a new tenancy agreement and hence, it is required to be registered with the Rent Authority as prescribed under Section 4.

What would be the status of the litigations pending under the provisions of repealed Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960?

The proceedings pending under the provisions of Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 shall be continued and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the said Act. However, the plaintiff, shall be entitled to withdraw any suit or appeal or any other proceeding pending under the repealed Act within a period of 180 days of coming into force of this Act, with liberty to file fresh application in respect of the subject matter of such suit or appeal or any other proceeding under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and for the purposes of limitation, such application, if it is filed within a period of 270 days from the commencement of this Act be deemed to have been filed on the date of filing of the suit which was withdrawn and in case of withdrawal of appeal or other proceedings on the date on which the suit was filed out of which such appeal or proceeding originated; as prescribed under Section 47.

Does the Act cover “Leave & License” or “License Agreements”?

Registration under this Act is mandated for tenancy / lease agreements. Even if the agreement is titled ‘license’ or ‘leave & license’ and if the terms of the agreement creates any right in the immovable property, then such agreement has to be registered under this Act. The ‘terms’ of the contract will determine the nature of the agreement not the ‘title’ given to such contract.

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