Azad Jammu & Kashmir Rent Restriction Act, 1986
(Act XIII of 1986)
An Act to restrict of rent of certain premises within limits of urban areas and the eviction of tenants there from in Azad Jammu, & Kashmir.
Whereas it is expedient in the public interest to restrict the increase of rent of certain premises within the limits of Urban Areas and the eviction of tenants there from in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the manner hereinafter appearing: –
It is hereby enacted as follows: —
1. Short title, extent and commencement. –
(1) This Act may be called the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Rent Restriction Act, 1986.
(2) It extends to all the urban areas in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to effect any evacuee property as defined in the Pakistan (Administration of Evacuee Property) Act, 1957 as adapted in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
(4) It shall come into force at once.
2. Definition. -In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context: –
(a) “Government” means the Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir;
(b) “Building” means any building or part of a building let for any purpose, whether being actually used for that purpose or not, including any land, godowns, outhouses, together with furniture let therewith but does not include a room in a “sarai”, hotel, hostel or boarding house;
(c) “Controller” means a judicial officer who is appointed by the Government to perform the functions of a Controller under this Act;
(d) “Landlord” means any person for the time being entitled to receive rent in respect of any building or rented land whether on his own account or on behalf or for the benefit of any other person, or as a trustee, guardian, receiver, executor or administrator for any other person, and includes a tenant who sublets any building or rented land in the manner hereinafter authorised and every person from time to time deriving title under a landlord;
(e) “non-residential building” means a building being used solely for the purpose of business or trade;
(f) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(g) “rented land” means any land let separately for the purpose of being used principally for business or trade;
(h) “residential building” means any building which is not a non-residential building;
(i) “Scheduled building” means a residential building which is being used by a person engaged in one of the professions specified in the Schedule to this Act, partly for his business and partly for his residence;
(j) “tenant” means any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for a building or rented land and includes (i) a tenant continuing in possession after the termination of the tenancy in his favour, and (ii) the wife and children of a deceased tenant, but does not include a person placed in occupation of a building or rented land by its tenant, unless with the consent in writing of the landlord, or person to whom the collection of rent or fees in a public market, cart-stand, or slaughter-house or of rents for shops has been framed out or leased by a municipal, town or notified area committee or by a Development Authority; and
(k) “Urban area” means any area administered by a Municipality, a municipal committee, a town committee or a notified area committee as defined above.
3. Government or any officer authorized by it in this behalf may direct by a notification published in the official Gazette that all or any of the provisions of this Act shall not apply to any particular building or rented land or any class of buildings or rented land.
4. (1) The Controller shall, on an application by the tenant or landlord of a building or rented land, fix fair rent for such building or rented land after holding such enquiry as the Controller thinks fit.
(2) The fair rent shall be fixed after taking into consideration the following factors:-
(a) the rent of the same building or similar accommodation in similar circumstances prevailing in the locality at the time of and during the period of twelve months prior to the date of making application;
(b) the rise in the cost of construction of and the repairing charges as well as the imposition of new taxes after the commencement of the tenancy; and
(c) the rental value of the building or rented land entered in the Property Tax Assessment Register of the Taxation Department or the local body relating to the period mentioned in clause (a), if any.
(3) The fair rent fixed under this section shall be payable by the tenant from a date to be fixed by the Controller not earlier than the date of filing the application.
(4) If the fair rent fixed under sub-section (2) exceeds the rent being paid by the tenant on the date of filing of the application under this section, the maximum increase of rent payable by the tenant shall not be more than 25% of the rent already being paid by him.
5. (1) When the fair rent of a building of rented land has been fixed under Section 4, or where the rent of any building or rented land has been determined by an agreement between the landlord and the tenant, no further increase in such fair rent shall, during the continuance of tenancy, be permissible within a period of three years from the date fixed by the Controller under sub-section (3) of Section 4, or from the date of agreement, as the case may be, except in crises where some addition, improvement or alteration has been carried out at the landlord”s expense, and at the request of the tenant.
(2) The fair rent as increased on grounds of some addition, improvement or alteration made permissible under this section shall not exceed the fair rent payable under this Act for a similar building or rented land in the same locality with such addition, improvement or alteration and it shall not be chargeable until such addition, improvement or alteration has been completed.
(3) Any dispute between the landlord and tenant in regard to any increase claimed on grounds of some addition, improvement or alteration made permissible under this section shall be decided by the Controller.
6. (1) Save as provided in Section 5, when the Controller has fixed fair rent of a building or rented land under Section 4: —
(a) the landlord shall not claim or receive any premium or other like sum in addition to fair rent or any rent in excess of such fair rent, but the landlord may stipulate for and receive in advance an amount not exceeding one month”s rent;
(b) any agreement for the payment of any sum in addition to rent or of rent in excess of such fair rent shall be null and void;
(c) any sum in excess of the fair rent paid in respect of any use or occupation of the building or rented land from the date of application for the fixation of fair rent shall be refunded to the person by whom it was paid or at the option of such person, otherwise adjusted.
(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to the recovery of any rent which became due before the 1st January, 1946.
7. (1) No landlord shall, in consideration of the grant, renewal or continuance of a tenancy of any building or rented land require the payment of any fine, premium or any other like sum in addition to the rent.
(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any payment under any subsisting agreement entered into before the 1st day of January, 1946.
8. (1) Where any sum has, before the date of publication of this Act been paid by the tenant, which sum is by reason of the provisions of this Act irrecoverable, such sum may, without prejudice to any other method of recovery be deducted by the tenant by whom it was paid, or by his legal representative, from any rent payable by him to such landlord or to his legal representative:
Provided that the tenant before making such deduction obtains the approval of the Controller by an application made to him within six months of the said date.
Explanation. In computing the said period of six months the time spent after the date of the payment, in the proceedings for determination of fair rent shall be excluded.
(2) In this section the expression “legal representative”, has the same meaning as in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and includes, in the case of joint family property, the joint family of which the deceased person was a member.
9. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act, a landlord shall, subject to the approval of the Controller, be entitled in increase the rent of building or rented land if after the commencement of this Act a fresh rate, cess or tax is levied in respect of the building or rented land by the Government or any local authority, or if there is an increase in the amount of such a rate, cess or tax being levied at the commencement of this Act:
Provided that the increase in rent shall not exceed one-half of the amount of any such rate, cess or tax or the amount of the increase in such rate, cess or tax, as the case may be.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any agreement, no landlord shall recover from his tenant the amount ,of any tax or any portion thereof in respect of any building or rented land occupied, by such tenant by any increase in any amount of the rent payable or otherwise save as provided in sub-section (1).
10. (1) No landlord or his contractor, workman, or servant shall without the previous consent of the Controller or save for the purpose of effecting repairs or complying with a requisition from a Municipal Committee willfully disturb any convenience or easement annexed to the premises or remove, destroy or render unserviceable anything provided for permanent use therewith or discontinue or cause to be discontinued any supply or service comprised in the fair rent.
(2) A tenant in occupation of a building or rented land may, if the landlord has contravened the provisions of this section, make an application to the Controller complaining of such contravention.
(3) If the Controller, on inquiry finds that the tenant has been in enjoyment of the amenities and that they were cut off or withheld by the landlord without just or sufficient cause, he shall make an order directing the landlord to restore such amenities.
11. No person shall convert a residential building into a non-residential building, except with the permission in writing of the Controller.
12. If a landlord fails to make the necessary repairs other than structural alterations, to a building, it shall be competent for the Controller to direct, on application by the tenant and after such inquiry as the Controller may think necessary that such repairs may be made by tenant, and that the cost thereof, may be deducted from the rent which is payable by him.
13. (1) Where a local authority, -in exercise of its functions under any law for the time being in force directs the owner of a building to make such repairs to the building as may be specified and on failure of the owner to comply with such direction, the tenant is directed to make the said repairs, the tenant may comply with the direction.
(2) The amount of the expenses incurred by the tenant under sub-section (1) shall be submitted to the local authority concerned, which shall after the due verifications, certify the cost of repairs and the tenant may thereon deduct the amount so certified from the rent payable by him.
14. (1) A tenant in possession of a building or rented land shall not be evicted therefrom in execution of a decree passed before or after the commencement of this Ordinance or otherwise, and whether before or after the termination of the tenancy, except in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) A landlord who seeks to evict his tenant shall apply to the Controller for a direction in that behalf. If the Controller, after giving the tenant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the application, is satisfied that-
(i) the tenant has not paid or tendered rent due by him in respect of the building or rented land, within fifteen days after the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy with his landlord, or in the absence of any such agreement, within sixty days from the period for which rent is payable; or
(ii) the tenant has, without written consent of the landlord-
(a) transferred his right under the lease or sublet entire building or rented land or any portion thereof” or
(b) used the building or rented land for a purpose other than that for which it was leased or has infringed any condition of the tenure on which the building or rented land is held by the landlord; or
(iii) the tenant has committed such acts as are likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building or rented land; or
(iv) the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct as are a nuisance to the occupants of buildings in the neighbourhood; or
(v) where the building is situated in a place other than a hill-station, the tenant has ceased to occupy the building for a continuous period of four months without reasonable cause; or
(iv) the building or rented land is reasonably and in good faith required by the landlord for the reconstruction or erection of a building on the site, and the landlord has obtained the necessary sanction for the said reconstruction or erection from a Municipal Committee or Town Committee for the area where such building or rented land is situated. The Controller may make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building or rented land and if the Controller is not so satisfied he shall make an order rejecting the application:
Provided that the Controller may give the tenant a reasonable time for putting the landlord in possession of the building or rented land and may extend such time so as not to exceed four months in the aggregate.
Explanation. For the purpose of this clause: –
(i) where the water charges or electricity charges or both are payable by the tenant to the landlord such charges shall be deemed rent;
(ii) rent remitted by money order to the landlord or deposited in the office of the Controller having jurisdiction in the area where the building or rented land is situated shall be deemed to have been duly tendered.
(3) (a) A landlord may apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession-
(i) in the case of a residential building, if:-
(a) he requires it in good faith for his own occupation or for the occupation of any of his children;
(b) he is not occupying another residential building suitable for his needs at the time in the same urban area in which such building is situated; and
(c) he has not vacated such a building without sufficient cause after the commencement of this Ordinance in the said urban area;