The complete overview of The Assam Non-agricultural Urban Tenancy Act, 1955:


In this article, we delve into an act that covers the regulations on tenancy on non-agricultural lands that are in “urban areas”. This act is classed as Part-4 of our coverage of the Land Laws of Assam. Click to get access to all units, here.

What you will learn from this article:

  • Important definitions

  • Application and objectives

  • Protection from ejection ( and procedure)

  • Enhancement of rent and the procedure for fair rent

  • Exceptions under the Act

Important Definitions:



Land:

As per Section 3(b) of the Assam Non-agricultural Urban Tenancy Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act” or “this Act”)-


“Land means land which is let or occupied for residential or business purposes incidental thereto and includes sites for buildings, water, waterway, drains, ditches, canals, tanks and wells appertaining to such land”


Urban Area:

Section 3(h) of the act provides that


Urban area means any area declared to be a Municipality or a Town Committee under the Assam Municipal Act




Note- This definition does not include a ‘Revenue Town Land’ as defined in the Rules under the Assam land and Revenue Regulation, 1886 and the Assam Revenue Reassessment. However, this definition stands applicable to Revenue Town Lands under Section 1(2) (b) of the Act.


Landlord:

According to Section 3 of The Assam Non-agricultural Urban Tenancy Act, 1955 ,


“Landlord means a person immediately under whom a tenant holds but does not include the Government”


Permanent Structure:

Section 3(d) of the Act provides that,


“Permanent structure” means a structure made of asbestos, cement- concrete, stone, brick, iron, aluminum, wood, or any combination of the said materials. Even a structure made with bamboo or Irk walls and a thatched roof will be considered a permanent structure provided the frame is constructed with any of the aforementioned materials.


Rent:

Section 3(f) of the Act, provides that,


Rent means whatever is lawfully payable in money or kind by a tenant to his landlord on account of the use and occupation of his holding under such landlord.”


Following are some of the elements of rent:

  1. There must be a consideration for use and occupation of the holding (land)

  2. There must be money or any equivalent in making a lawful payment of the dues.

  3. It must be rendered periodically or on specified occasions (as held in Harimohan Dutta v. C.K.Sen & Co. Ltd.)

  4. The said rendering should be to the landlord by the tenant.

Tenant:

According to Section 3(g),


Tenant means a person who holds land under another person other than the Government and who is, or would be but for a special contract, liable to pay rent for that land to the latter and, includes a person who derives title from a tenant and a person who continues in possession of any land after the termination of his tenancy in respect for the land


In the case Bireswar Banerjee v. Sudhir Ranjan Bose, a Full Bench decision of the Gauhati High Court, the definition of “tenant” was cleared up to include the following categories:

  1. A person who holds land under another person and who is liable to pay rent for the same to the landlord.

  2. A person who derives title from a tenant himself.

  3. A person who continues in possession of the land even after termination of his tenancy in respect of that land.

Holding:

According to Section 3(a),

Holding means a parcel or parcels of land of an undivided share thereof held by a tenant, and forming the subject matter of the same tenancy”


Application and Objectives of the Act:


The provisions of The Assam Non-agricultural Urban Ten