Real Estate

Demystifying the Model Tenancy Act: A Comprehensive Guide for Tenants and Landlords

Model Tenancy Act
March 4, 2024
Market of India


In this blog, we will delve into the aspects of the Model Tenancy Act and the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant, offering a concise overview of the rental agreements. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the complexities of renting under the Model Tenancy Act. Read through the blog for a smooth and successful tenancy experience and garner valuable tips and insights. 

About Model Tenancy Act.

What is the legislation governing Tenancy Relations in India?

Model Tenancy Act 2021

The Model Tenancy Act 2021 was enacted to establish rent authorities for systematically regulating premises renting. Its main goal is to protect the interests of parties involved in the tenancy agreement, provide quick adjudication for resolving tenancy law disputes promptly, and safeguard the interests of both lessor and lessees under the tenancy agreement and matters related to the agreement. 

The Model Act sets up a quasi-judicial dispute resolution system with three tiers:

  • (i) Rent Authority,
  • (ii) Rent Court, and
  • (iii) Rent Tribunal

Matters related to the provisions of the Model Act will not fall under the jurisdiction of any civil court.

This act covers various aspects of tenancy law, which will be detailed in this blog post. 

Latest Updates on the Tenancy Act

Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed the Lok Sabha that the tenancy laws of only four states, namely Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Assam, have been amended by the model tenancy law shared by the Union government in 2021.

What are the Rights Vested to Both the Lessor and Lessee?

Chapter 4 of the Model Tenancy Act states several provisions and rights vested for the lessor and lessee. Both parties have the right to retain the original tenant agreement, where both the lessor and lessee must sign the tenancy agreement in duplicate, with each party keeping a copy for their records.

What are the Rights of the Lessor/Landlord? 

 The landlord can eliminate structures and withhold payment if repairs are refused. Suppose the tenant declines or neglects to complete necessary repairs. In that case, the landlord is permitted to conduct repairs on any additional structures built by the tenant and subtract the corresponding costs from the security deposit held under the tenant agreement.

What are the Rights of the Lessee/Tenant?

The lessee must be provided with a receipt of payment made by them to the landlord, which holds due importance as documentation or evidence in case of any dispute between the parties. A bank acknowledgement may be a concrete proof of receipt for an electronic payment. 

Suppose the landlord neglects or does not complete necessary repairs after being formally requested to do so in writing by the tenant, and these repairs are essential for the premises to be livable. In that case, the tenant has the right to vacate the premises after giving a fifteen-day notice.

Right to assign interest: The lessee can sublet the property or assign their lease rights to a third party. Nevertheless, if the lease agreement imposes limitations on such actions, the lessee must comply with the contract terms. Even after the transfer, the lessee retains the responsibility of fulfilling all obligations related to the lease.

What are the Legal Grounds for Evicting Tenants in India?

In numerous legal jurisdictions, landlords can remove tenants from their premises due to non-payment of rent or other fees. Here is a more detailed explanation of each scenario:

1. Tenant refuses to pay the agreed-upon rent: This situation arises when the tenant declines to pay the predetermined rental amount. In such cases, the landlord can serve the tenant with a notice requesting payment of the rent within a specific timeframe. If the tenant fails to comply, the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings.

2. Tenant fails to pay outstanding rent or other charges in full: This scenario occurs when the tenant needs to catch up on rent payments or pay additional charges outlined in the lease agreement, such as utilities or maintenance fees. Similar to the first circumstance, the landlord would typically issue a notice to the tenant, allowing them to settle the outstanding amount within a specified period. If the tenant fails to fulfil their obligations, the landlord may proceed with eviction.

What Steps Should be Taken if the Landlord Evicts the Tenant without Prior Notice?

 The Tenancy Law requires the property manager to inform the lessee through a notice about the termination of the lease. However, the most essential protection for the lessee is the right to be shielded from unjust and unfair evictions. Per the specific grounds outlined in each State Rent Control Act, a landlord can evict a tenant. It is not considered appropriate to evict a tenant for reasons other than those mentioned in the State Acts. Moreover, the State Acts discussed above provide the tenant with the right to legal protection if the landlord forcibly evicted them for reasons not covered by the Act.

What is a Rent Court under the Model Tenancy Act? 

According to the Model Tenancy Act 2021, there is a three-tier quasi-judicial setup, which includes the Rent Authority, Rent Court, and Rent Tribunal. Section 33 of the Model Tenancy Act 2021 establishes the ‘Rent Court’, where an Additional Collector, Additional District Magistrate, or an officer of equivalent rank appointed by the State Government/Union Territory Administration, the District Collector, or District Magistrate will preside over rent disputes. Complaints brought before the Rent Court must be resolved within 60 days.

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Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the Model Tenancy Act represents a significant step towards ensuring transparency and fairness in the rental market. By familiarizing yourself with the provisions, rights and responsibilities, you can gain valuable insights for a smooth tenancy experience and foster a healthy relationship with all parties involved. 


1. Does the Model Tenancy Act allow a landlord to raise rent at will?

No, since the Model Tenancy Act outlines guidelines and limits on rent increases, it guarantees that they are fair and reasonable.

2. If the landlord declines to return the security deposit, what options does the tenant have?

By the terms of the Model Tenancy Act, the tenant may request the restoration of the security deposit by contacting the Rent Authority or Rent Court.

3. Can the landlord evict the tenant without prior notice under the Model Tenancy Act? 

Under the Model Tenancy Act, the landlord must provide a valid reason with prior notice before initiating the eviction proceedings.

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