CHENNAI: Rent authorities, constituted to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants, are clueless about their functions. While a section of the authorities was unaware about their responsibilities, many underscored that they were ignorant about the procedures.
This has resulted in adjudicating officers, who are revenue department officials above the rank of deputy collectors, performing the role of the authorities facilitating tenancy registrations. The rules of the ambitious Tenancy Act that came into force in February brought the curtains down on rent control courts, making rent authorities the first layer in the legal mechanism to resolve disputes over rental issues.
A cross-section of rent authorities said lack of training has limited their role with regard to the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenants (Amendment) Act, 2018. A rent authority in north Chennai said that as of now, it is functioning as registration officers generating tenancy registration for the applications. In some parts of the city, the respective of the authorities have not started the process of issuing the tenancy registration number.
The Chennai collector had in May appointed eight rent authorities covering the 16 taluks in the city with each authority, headed by officers above the rank of deputy collector, being assigned two taluks. According to official sources, the authorities have not received any complaints from registered applicants.
A rent authority official claims that there is absolutely no awareness about the act that mandates registration of all rental and lease agreements among the public. The authorities can only ask the complainants to approach the rent courts to redress their grievances, due to our lack of training.
T Sadagopan, president of Tamil Nadu Progressive Consumer Centre, said the rent authority is the first legal body for redressal of rental and lease issues. Only appeals can be made in rent courts, he added. The housing and urban development department could not be reached for comments.
Source: ET Realty