Tenants of properties in Vizag, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, are to be asked to pay up to 50 per cent more in rents if they take legal action to end a land-for-sale dispute, according to a notification by the state government.
The notification comes two days after the Supreme Court gave a clear signal to landlords that the courts will not accept the complaints of tenants against them.
The notification clarifies that the rent may be increased to the maximum of the rent the tenant can reasonably be expected to pay, and the landlord must take steps to resolve the dispute.
A letter was sent to landlords in two residential complexes in the city on March 22 by the civil servants of the state, asking them to immediately cease selling or renting any properties to tenants.
The letter asked them to inform the Civil Development Department (CBD) of any property sale or rental of more than two years that is not registered under the provisions of the Rent and Housing Act, 1992.
The tenants, however, are being advised to take legal recourse in the courts if they want to get the rent paid.
The tenants have filed a case with the CBDT alleging that the owners of the properties are evading the law by selling their properties without registering the properties under the RHA.
They have also alleged that the property has been sold to a company run by an agent of the agent, which has also been registered as a commercial entity under the RTI Act.
The CBDT officials have said that the properties were sold on behalf of the owners for Rs. 25 crore.
“If a dispute arises over the sale of properties, it is mandatory that the owner and agent of each sale take legal and reasonable steps to settle the dispute between them,” the CBDE officials said in the notification.
According to the notification, the CB DT has also instructed that landlords and agents must immediately cease and desist from selling properties for rental to tenants in the specified period of time.
The officials said that if a dispute is not resolved within 30 days, the tenant may file a case before the CBDA against the owner of the property.
If the dispute continues, the tenants can file a complaint before the court.
Meanwhile, the owner, who has not been named, has been asked to immediately surrender the properties and refund the money to the tenants.