The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Landlords saddled with tenancy status rule

After water tax, house-owners are in for another blow from the civic authorities. The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has decided to force them to disclose their tenancy status. A new enactment is in the offing, making it mandatory for house-owners to disclose the tenancy status of their premises if they are let out, even partly.

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee has already held discussions with municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya in this connection and the civic law department is drafting the amendment proposal to the CMC Act of 1980.

“It will help boost the CMC’s property-tax revenue,” Mukherjee had said earlier.

In the proposed amendment, a house-owner letting out his premises or a part of it will be legally bound to inform the civic assessment department of the amount of rent or service charge he is levying, the number of rooms let out and the date on which it was let out.

“Under the CMC Act, property tax on any premises in the city is calculated on the basis of the rent. Hence, it is justified for the civic authorities to demand disclosure of tenancy from a house-owner,” said the CMC’s deputy chief law officer and officer on special duty to the mayor Shaktibrata Ghosh.

According to the civic assessment department’s estimates, hardly 40 per cent of the tenanted premises have been brought under the property-tax net and in most cases, the rent or service charge fetched by them has been undervalued in the CMC records.

As per the CMC Act, the civic body is bound to accept the rent receipt submitted by a landlord to his tenant as “reasonable rent” in calculating the annual rental value of the building. Annual property tax works out to 40 per cent of the annual rent. In the absence of a rent receipt, tax is levied at the discretion of the assessment inspector.

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