Islamabad: The Islamabad Rent Restriction (Amendment) Bill 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly in October last year to protect the rights of tenants and landlords alike, is set to be tabled in the Senate on Monday.
“We are hoping that this law would be passed by the Senate as well, providing significant relief to businesses and people of Islamabad,” said Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs.
Mr. Awan, the bill’s mover in the National Assembly, stated that this had been a long-standing demand of tenants and landlords demanding change to the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance 2001. According to him, the new law states that every agreement between a landlord and a tenant must be provided to the rent controller for record-keeping and that every payment linked to a lease agreement must be paid by cross cheque or with an official receipt/acknowledgment. He stated that the rent for commercial and residential buildings will be increased by 10% every year unless the parties agreed in writing to a different agreement. In contrast, he stated that a mediation committee will be established to resolve disputes between landlord and tenant.
“Once passed by the Senate, this bill will become law, providing significant relief to both tenants and landlords. Tenant-landlord disputes are a serious concern, and the law now protects the interests of both sides. “I hope that the issue of forced evictions of tenants would be properly solved in Islamabad,” he added.
Background conversations with traders indicated that forced eviction of traders is a persistent problem, since tenants who have been running their businesses for decades have faced the prospect of forced eviction, and many such cases have actually occurred. Whereas, landlords can raise the rent at their discretion, including threatening tenants with eviction if they feel the increased rent is unsuitable. On the other hand, in many situations, old tenants have not been paying landlords rent in accordance with the current worth of the property.