This article has been written by Ayush Tiwari, a student of Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA. The objective of this article is to give an overview of how one can evict a tenant from their property.
This article has been published y Diganth Raj Sehgal.
Renting a house or flat is a difficult task. It is not an easy effort to find a tenant and sign a rental agreement with someone you can trust with your property. A person takes a huge risk by lending his property to a stranger. Many times, after renting out their property to tenants, the landlord needs the property for their personal use or has to evict the tenant for different reasons, many of which might be due to the fault of the tenant himself; however, despite several requests from the owner, the tenants may often refuse to leave the property. Hence, this article aims to help owners to evict tenants from their property.
What are eviction laws in India
A rental tenancy is simply a type of a lease in which the property is temporarily transferred from the owner, who is known as the lessor, to the tenant, who is referred to as the lessee, according to Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. But, The Rent Control Act of 1948, which was enacted by the Government of India to calibrate the rentals of real properties and to govern the evictions of tenants in India, encompasses all the provisions relating to tenants and landlords. The most important requirement, however, is that you should have a proper rental agreement in place with your tenant, which defines details such as the rent amount, the duration of the agreement, the security deposit, and the purpose of the stay. While tenants are protected from arbitrary eviction from their homes except for specified reasons and under specified conditions under the Rent Control Act, the landlord retains the right to evict a tenant if the tenant commits certain specified acts or if the landlord requires the home for his own personal use.
How to prepare for a suit for eviction
The most significant document is the rent agreement, which contains the terms and conditions of the contract and creates the contract between a landlord and a tenant. The contract should include an eviction clause that may be used in case there is any disagreement. Evicting a tenant is only possible when the lease ends or when the landlord cancels the lease by providing a formal notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, and if the tenant still refuses to vacate, the landlord will have to file a lawsuit and get an order from the court.
Grounds for eviction of tenant in India
You can state any of the following grounds for the eviction of a tenant from your property:
- If you need the property for your own requirement or for a member of your family
- If a tenant has leased a previously rented house/flat/property to another individual without your permission or acknowledgement
- If the worth or value of the property has relatively decreased because of the tenant’s action
- If the landlord plans to build another structure, which will necessitate the property’s destruction
- If you want to construct a new structure, you’ll have to demolish the existing one
- One can initiate an eviction suit if the tenant fails to pay the rent amount (as indicated in the rental agreement) for more than 15 days after the due date
- If the neighbour finds the tenant’s activities distasteful, and the landlord has received complaints against the tenant
- If the tenant has utilised the rented property for illegal purposes or for reasons not specified in the rental agreement
- If the tenant is establishing that he or she is the owner of the rented property on purpose
What one should not do while evicting a tenant
The landlord has the right to evict a tenant from his/her property based on the grounds stated above. However, he/she should keep in mind the following points:
- The landlord must not carry out the eviction by using illegal methods like shutting off basic services such as electricity or water supply, changing the locking mechanism of the rented home, throwing away the goods of the tenant, or imposing penalties on his own unless it is mentioned in the rent agreement. These are criminal offences, and if the landlord is proven guilty, the tenant has the right to pursue charges against him
- The rental agreement must be for only 11 months and include an optional renewal provision. It provides future protection against eviction issues.
- A landlord cannot remove a tenant without first providing the tenant with an eviction notice.
- The reasons for eviction must be justified under the rental laws of the state where the property is situated.
- The rent agreement must be established with the help of a property lawyer and must include terms about how to use the property, the termination of the rent agreement, the amount of rent, and so on.
- The Supreme Court of India has ruled that for at least five years a landlord cannot evict a tenant if the rent is paid on time and the landlord does not want the property for personal use.
Process of evicting a tenant in India
The following method must be followed to evict the tenant after establishing the reasons for the eviction and understanding what should not be done to evict a tenant:
Step 1 – Send a notice to the tenant to vacate
An eviction notice must be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction, stating the basis for eviction as well as the time and date by which the tenant must leave the property, and it must then be issued to the tenant. The landlord must allow the tenant a reasonable amount of time to quit the rented property. After getting a legal notice from the court, the tenants in the number of situations vacate the rented premises.
Step 2 – File a suit for eviction
After obtaining the court’s eviction order, the tenant has the option of refusing to leave the rented property and challenging the eviction. In this instance, the landlord might retain the services of a rental property attorney to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. The tenant’s eviction lawsuit is filed in the civil court that has jurisdiction over the rented property.
Step 3 – Final notice for eviction
The court hears both parties and, relying on the arguments and facts presented, issues a final legal notice of eviction for the tenant. Once the court issues the final eviction order, the tenant must leave the rental property as they cannot overlook this notice.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What to do if the tenant is not paying the rent
Ideally, the rental contract would include a plan of action in the event of non-payment of rent. Nonetheless, non-payment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons for eviction under state tenancy laws. A legal notice might be given to the tenant in question, with details of the payment due, the tenant’s need to comply or depart, and the course of action you’ll take if the tenant does not comply or evict.
- Can police be called to evict a tenant
You cannot evict the tenant or threaten to evict the tenant, no matter how serious the situation is. This is known as a “self-help eviction,” and it is against the law. Before a legitimate eviction may take place, the court must issue an eviction notice.
- What can I do if a tenant refuses to move out
If the tenant refuses to leave despite the legal justifications, an eviction procedure may be initiated. Non-payment of rent and reluctance to move out at the conclusion of the lease period are both valid reasons for eviction.
- How can I evict a tenant without a lease in India
Since the individual state laws include tenancy at will, an eviction might be carried out in accordance with their rules. Other typical grounds for eviction include engaging in activities that may impair the rental property’s usability or worth, permitting someone else to occupy the property without the landlord’s consent, using the property for illegal purposes, and the end of the lease period. Before eviction may begin, an eviction notice must be sent.
- What happens if the tenant refuses to leave after being presented with an eviction notice
Non-compliance with the eviction notice will result in judicial action if the landlord decides to pursue it.
Many landlords have complained about tenants not paying rent on time, not maintaining the property in good repair, and extending their stay after the rental agreement’s term has expired. The Rent Control Act of 1948 was designed to address the issue of rent and rent control. Following its enactment, which acted as a Union law, other states began amending and adding to the statute to better fit their requirements and companies. These state statutes and amendments differ somewhat from the federal legislation. The Rent Control Act of 1948 was created to govern the laws of property rental and ensure that neither landlords nor the renters take advantage of one another. The statute is primarily aimed at tenants, although there are safeguards to protect landlords’ rights as well.
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