Embarrassment with House Rent Control Act: A Brief Analysis
Shahriar Islam Shovon: On March 20, some students locked the house and went to their village house. No one could revert to Dhaka due to lockdown began immediately for Covid-19. Therefore, the landlord has discarded all their belongings. They were suffering mentally perturbed by losing their essentials documents like certificates, admit cards, awards, etc. without any notice. Additionally, landlords are increasing the amount of house rent by their wish at any time. There is no surveillance for monitoring their activities. Although there is a law to control house rent, it is not being implemented. No one is following the list of DCC. In maximum cases, there is no contractual agreement between the tenant and landlord. The Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 also remain silent about the house rent. As a result, the owner of the house is arbitrarily collecting rent and increases the rent whenever and how much they wish.
According to the House Rent Control Act, 1991 the amount of the rent of the house cannot be increased before two years. In the event of a conflict, the regulator may reschedule the approved rent every two years based on the owner’s or tenant’s application. If the owner collects additional rent from the tenant, he will be fined up to twice the amount of the standard rent for the first offense and up to three times the amount for the next offense. Section 16 of the House Rent Control Act, 1991 states that if the tenant continues to pay the rent regularly and complies with the terms of the rent, the tenant cannot be evicted as long as the tenant continues to do so. According to the House Rent Control Act, 1991, Sections 10 and 23 states that the owner cannot accept any rent, security, premium, or salami from his tenant in advance in any way other than the written order of the house rent regulator. In that case, he will be punished according to section 23 of the Penal Code 1860. The Act requires the Owner to issue a rent receipt. Failure to provide the receipt will result in the Owner being fined double the amount collected based on the tenant’s complaint. The Act provides for signing a contract with the tenant, issuing a receipt for rent, not taking more than one month’s advance, not suddenly increasing the rent, and giving notice before leaving the house. But no one obeys the provisions. Even, the contractual procedure is not mentioned in the Act and for avoiding complexity both parties skip this matter.
Owners can evict tenants for several reasons. That is:
- If you change the design of the house without the permission of the owner or transfer the tenanted property to another person or sublet.
- If the rent is due.
- If you do any nuisance or harmful work.
According to House Rent Control Act, 1991 no landlord can force to leave the house without giving notice. When Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed a writ petition in 2010, the High Court issued a rule on May 18 of that year seeking to know why no directive would be issued to enforce the rules and regulations relating to rent control. The hearing ended in May 2013. The verdict came on July 1, 2015. However, even in 2020, it is seen that the order of the high court has not been implemented. After hearing the views concerning tenants and homeowners, the commission will determine the maximum and minimum rent in the area through a public hearing if necessary. Besides, the tenants and homeowners will identify various problems and recommend remedies. According to Section 3 of the House Rent Control Act, 1991, one regulator, one additional regulator, and one deputy regulator will have to be appointed in each ward to settle rent disputes. No such initiative has been taken yet.
This is mention-worthy here that, bachelors have to go through many difficulties in renting houses and flats. Most landlords are not interested to give rent a house to the bachelors. In many cases, if any bachelor goes against the opinion of the house owner, they have to get a notice to leave the house. Although a large part of our country is the tenants of rented houses, most of them do not know the existence of Act named the ‘House Rent Control Act, 1991’, but this Act does not say anything about renting a house to bachelors.
This Act is failed to cover all the essentials. The provision of this Act is not clear, the Act fails to meet the main aims and objectives of the concerned matter. In this regard, this Act should be amended which will be beneficial for both parties.
Shahriar Islam Shovon: Student; Department of Law & Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific