The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Traders mull lawsuit for rent process fee rollback

The government’s decision to hike the processing fee for sending rent to co-owners is likely to fall into rough weather, with a traders’ body planning to move Calcutta High Court. The processing fee has been raised from Rs 24 to Rs 50 effective February 1, 2003, by the state land and land reforms department.

“The hike of Rs 26 per co-owner is an unwarranted burden on tenants and we have decided to challenge the order in high court,” asserted Federation of West Bengal Trade Association chairman Mahesh Singhania.

Any tenant, whose rent is not received directly by the landlord, tenders it to the rent control board to save himself from turning a defaulter. Along with the rent, the tenant has to deposit in cash a processing fee to help the rent controller send registered notices to the landlords. In cases where there are more than one owner or as many co-owners or trustees, tenants have to deposit a processing fee for each. Till the recent hike, the rent controller charged whatever was the registry postal rates.

“This fee has been hiked abruptly by the land and land reforms department. It is unwarranted, since the postal department has not raised registry rates,” Singhania said.

“If the decision is not withdrawn, the federation will advise tenants to boycott the deposit of rent at the controller’s office and, instead, pay all the outstandings after the verdict of the case, which I think will be cheaper,” Singhania added.

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