23. (1) For the purposes of section 22, the annual value of any property shall be deemed to be
(a)the sum for which the property might reasonably be expected to let from year to year; or
(b)where the property or any part of the property is let and the actual rent received or receivable35 by the owner in respect thereof is in excess of the sum referred to in clause (a), the amount so received or receivable; or
(c)where the property or any part of the property is let and was vacant during the whole or any part of the previous year and owing to such vacancy the actual rent received or receivable by the owner in respect thereof is less than the sum referred to in clause (a), the amount so received or receivable :
Provided that the taxes levied36 by any local authority in respect of the property shall be deducted (irrespective of the previous year in which the liability to pay such taxes was incurred by the owner according to the method of accounting regularly employed by him) in determining the annual value of the property of that previous year in which such taxes are actually paid by him.
Explanation.For the purposes of clause (b) or clause (c) of this sub-section, the amount of actual rent received or receivable by the owner shall not include, subject to such rules37 as may be made in this behalf, the amount of rent which the owner cannot realise.
(2) Where the property consists of a house or part of a house which
(a)is in the occupation of the owner for the purposes of his own residence; or
(b)cannot actually be occupied by the owner by reason of the fact that owing to his employment, business or profession carried on at any other place, he has to reside at that other place in a building not belonging to him,
the annual value of such house or part of the house shall be taken to be nil.
(3) The provisions of sub-section (2) shall not apply if
(a)the house or part of the house is actually let during the whole or any part of the previous year; or
(b)any other benefit therefrom is derived by the owner.
(4) Where the property referred to in sub-section (2) consists of more than one house
(a)the provisions of that sub-section shall apply only in respect of one of such houses, which the assessee may, at his option, specify in this behalf;
(b)the annual value of the house or houses, other than the house in respect of which the assessee has exercised an option under clause (a), shall be determined under sub-section (1) as if such house or houses had been let.]