Unsought arbitration

 
December 09, 2021

An amendment in the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance 2001 has proposed that a mediation council, presided by the president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce or his nominee, be convened for...

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An amendment in the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance 2001 has proposed that a mediation council, presided by the president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce or his nominee, be convened for resolving disputes between landlords and tenants. The council will include representatives of both the parties as well. This decision is unjust for two reasons. First, it creates an opening for a third party with vested interests to meddle in the proceedings before they even begin. Moreover, the arbitration process might lead to unnecessary delays in the proceedings.

Landlords may ask for eviction for a number of reasons. For instance the rate of inflation may be higher than 10 percent – which is the rate of increase in the rent fixed by the government, tenants may be abusing or subletting the premises, the repair costs of properties may be higher than the landlord can afford, or the owner may need the premise for personal use. The real problem is the scarcity of residential accommodation in Pakistan. This problem exists partly because a number of banks are reluctant to invest in real-estate due to cumbersome procedures for rent and civil property suits – the proposed amendments only worsen this problem. They also violate the rights of owners. There is a high risk that the proposed arbitration body will have vested interests and may work in the favour of one party, so the government should retract the amendment.

M Shaikh

Islamabad



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