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HC questions legality of Section 15 of Premises Rent Control Act

  • Published at 06:52 pm December 1st, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of High Court building Dhaka Tribune

The court also issued a rule asking concerned government offices why they should not be directed to make a commission to recommend and fix the ideal standard of house rent and appoint rent controllers in every ward

The High Court has issued a rule asking why the Premises Rent Control Act section that addresses the system to fix house rents should not be declared wrongful and illegal.

The bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Shohrowardi issued the rule on Sunday after hearing a writ petition, filed by rights organization Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).

The court also issued a rule asking concerned government offices why they should not be directed to make a commission to recommend and fix the ideal standard of house rent and appoint rent controllers in every ward.

During the hearing, advocate Manzil Murshid represented the HRPB, which on Sunday filed the petition challenging Section 15 of the Premises Rent Control Act 1991.

In July 2015, the High Court, after hearing another petition by HRPB, had directed the government to form a high-power commission tasked with recommending maximum and minimum standard house rents for different areas in Dhaka.

Tenants’ platform Bharatia Parishad has also been urging the government to take steps to control irrationally high house rent hikes and also set aside 30% of the houses reserved for safe and secure accommodation of singles. 

They have been demanding that the government or city corporation fixed house rents and they are displayed at the entrance of each house to prevent abrupt rent hike by house owners annually.

According to the platform, house owners are whimsically increasing rents by 30%-40% annually ignoring the Premises Rent Control Act, which stipulates the annual rent should be equal to 15% of the market value of a particular premise.