LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Landlord died having no legal heirs

(Querist) 25 December 2015 This query is : Resolved 
Dear Sirs,
We are living on rent in a house in Kolkata for approximately 6-7yrs. My landlord was a lady who passed away about 1.5 yrs ago and she is having no child. Now her brother in law demands the rent from us without being legal owner. In fact today the also broke the lock given by my landlord on her room and wants to take way all the things remaining in her house. Pls advice me the proper course of action in this case.
Devajyoti Barman (Expert) 25 December 2015
Well, you need not think what his BIL is doing in respect of property of your landlord.
Since on the passing away of landlady you are not aware of any other landlord/landlady you should start depositing rent in the rent control office.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 25 December 2015
Deposit rent in rent controllers office.
Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Expert) 25 December 2015
agreed with Mr Barman.
Dr J C Vashista (Expert) 25 December 2015
Well advised by expert Mr.Devajyoti Barman, I fully agree with him.
BIL of the deceased landlady has no right, claim or interest in the demised premises, you should refuse to pay rent to him and deposit in the Rent Controller's Court.
Kumar Doab (Expert) 25 December 2015
Fully Agreed with Mr.Barman.
Suraj Choudhary (Querist) 26 December 2015
Thanks sir for your suggestions. Since I was not aware of this provision of depositing rent in rent control office and 1 and half yrs has passed away. So would it make any default on our part???
Suraj Choudhary (Querist) 26 December 2015
Thanks sir for your suggestions. Since I was not aware of this provision of depositing rent in rent control office and 1 and half yrs has passed away. So would it make any default on our part???
Guest (Expert) 26 December 2015
Dear querist you should not unnecessarygetinvolved with landors legacy issues. If you aresure guy is her britherin law he definietely is a heir in Hindus succession act. Property firstgors to class 1 heir than 2 then 3 then 4 and then to state

You simply ask him to give you in writing that he is brother in law of deceased land lord and he is managing the estate. So you can keep giving him rent.

Take receipt or pay by cheque.

I dont advise to create legal hassles and processes meaninglessly unless you are disturbed.

Otherwise best thing is stop paying rent because landlord is dead and you dont know who is official heir. let her BIL obtain succession certificate and give you a copy.
Devajyoti Barman (Expert) 26 December 2015
You can start paying rent to the rent controller office at any point of time after sending money order to the landlady's address. Once it returns unpaid taking the same you can start depositing the rent.
Guest (Expert) 26 December 2015
Exactly Barman sir
Guest (Expert) 26 December 2015
Perfect advice by Shri Burman.

In addition, you may take care that whosoever comes to you as land lady's successor to claim anything, just ask him/her to produce succession certificate or mutation documents of the house in his/her name.
Kumar Doab (Expert) 26 December 2015
Fully agreed with Mr. Barman, again.

Rightly concluded by Mr. Dhingra.
malipeddi jaggarao (Expert) 26 December 2015
No more to advise.
prabhakar singh (Expert) 26 December 2015
Once a tenant always a tenant.
If you are in trouble to find out who is your real landlord between two litigating or claiming an interpleader suit may be your option but for other situations Mr.Barman advise is the best one to follow.
Suraj Choudhary (Querist) 26 December 2015
Thanks all the gentlemen for your valuable suggestions....
prabhakar singh (Expert) 26 December 2015
Thank you too for getting satisfied by our answers.
Anand Bali Adv. (Expert) 26 December 2015
I do not accept that why you are worried to pay the rent to any body. See the actual land lord is no more and all her legal apparent has to first establish their claim in the court of law by way of claiming a succession certificate and only then they are entitled to get rent from you mean while to play safe you can deposit the rent in court non the regular basis or otherwise do not pay at all and after the expiry of the 12 years from the date of your land lord's death you claim the property in adverse possession and become land lord if in the mean while no one challenge your possession.
Guest (Expert) 26 December 2015
Bali sir for our comprehension can you explain as to how in this case ,adverse possession will become a possibility?
Deekshitulu.V.S.R (Expert) 27 December 2015
When there is a threat of dispossession from BIL, go for an injunction suit and continue deposit rents into court. The court wil decide as to who is the rightful owner. this is very simple
Kumar Doab (Expert) 27 December 2015
If you want to pay,Instead of paying to the wrong owner, pay as already advised by experts in the thread.

If someone approaches for payment demand documents as already advised by experts in the thread.

Further approach your able counsel and proceed as advised by your counsel.

Anand Bali Adv. (Expert) 28 December 2015
@ Dr Gupta,
The trick of an expert Advocate resides in the wordings of my answer it self "otherwise do not pay at all and after the expiry of the 12 years from the date of your land lord's death you claim the property in adverse possession and become land lord if in the mean while no one challenge your possession".
The ingredients of adverse possession are that the possessor should be in the possession not as tenant N nor as licencee and also in the knowledge of the land lord from at least 12 years and in uninterrupted continuous possession of the property. These all ingredients match to the fact that if he stops paying the rent and changes his status of living from tenant.
Guest (Expert) 28 December 2015
Bali sir I guess when a tenant who has been legally instituted at land as tenant if doe snot pay for 12 ears does not earn adverse possession but is treated as defaulter.There should not be any pre-existing contract between landlord and occupant. Like squatters on govt land where the period applicable is 30 years.

Kindly confirm if my interpretation of law is correct or not.
Guest (Expert) 28 December 2015
@ Anand Bali Prescriptive easement or adverse possession:
An easement by prescription is one that is gained under principles of a legal concept known as "adverse possession", under which someone other than the original property owner gains use or ownership rights to certain property. Prescriptive easements often arise on rural land when landowners fail to realize part of their land is being used, perhaps by an adjoining neighbor. Fences built in incorrect locations often result in the creation of prescriptive easements. If a person uses another's land for more than the statute of limitations period prescribed by state laws on adverse possession, that person may be able to derive an easement by prescription. Under adverse possession laws, the use of the land must be open, notorious, hostile, and continuous for a specified number of years as required by law in each state.
Guest (Expert) 28 December 2015
@ Anand Bali,

So, Bali Sahib, is not it your unethical advice to the querist to hold possession for 12 years in an open and notorious manner, and to face the consequeces, good or bad with the tenant for the next 12 years, as may be expected on initiatives from the side of the claimer relatives of the deceased owner?

But, in the adverse possession case, where is the element of the information on notice of the true owner, when he has already died? Also, can he be treated as a tresspasser, when he is a tenant in legal terms?
Anand Bali Adv. (Expert) 28 December 2015
@ Mr Dhingra & Mr Gupta you both are good to quote my bad advisory on the unethical grounds however there are much day to day evidences that where the land lord dies intestate and without any legal heir his property is garbed by the possession holders and in due course of 12 years showing the possession is adverse the property is claimed as a true owner of the property. I am here not at all instigating the querist to follow the advice but only showing the other way by which others in the society legally do under the legal sanctions. In my answer you both have missed to give any importance to my line "and changes his status of living from tenant." as soon as the tenant leaves his status of tenant and becomes adverse possessor of the property (not a trespasser), when it is in well knowledge of the other claimer land lords after the death of the real land lord.
As here I would like to quote: A tenant is required to make a deposit, under sub section (1) of the section 30 on refusal of the land lord to accept the rent or The deposit under subsection 2 of the Sec 30 is required to be made where any doubt or dispute arises as to the person who may be entitled to receive the rent in which event the tenant may deposit the amount in the court till such doubt has been removed or the dispute has been settled.
However in case the dispute is not settled about the ownership and the tenant also has not paid or deposited any rent with the court claiming himself that he is the owner in adverse possession and through out the last 12 years his possession was known to the all prospective owners (Who claim as the legal heirs of the deceased, as this right of adverse possession only arises where it is in the knowledge of the person who is a claimant or actual land lord) of the property and it was an uninterrupted one and was also of the continuous nature but they could not establish their ownership to the property as land lord or legal heir/s. Here the renouncing of the character of the Tenant or his renouncing of the title of landlord by him, is a major point by which his character of tenant becomes of a adverse possessor of the property and not of a trespasser as there is no true claimant as land lord of the property.
I hope now I am clear to my point of view.
Again, If we review the title of this quiery it also mentions as " Landlord died having no legal heirs". here there is no legal heir of the landlord who died so in such a case I believe I am correct to advise to avoid the "Law of Escheat" where untitled property goes to state just for nothing.
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Sorry Bali sir, once a tenant always a tenant. A tenant cannot become adverse possessor of property. I have just checked from a senior Dehi High court advocate. he has explained that the first incident of possession should be adverse and against will or without any contract/legal sanction by landlord.Further the adverse possession should be in full knowledge ,hostile and open which mostly applies to land squatters on public or other land.Secondly your question is hypothetical since there is already a heir BIL. Do you think he will allow tenants to live there without paying rent for 12 long years? Rather we advise querist to be a law abiding citizen and be nice to deceased lady who gave him place for residence, take a written letter with full address and details form BIL and start paying rent to him and take proper receipt. If querist has any malicious or hidden motive, this is not right forum for illegal advise by legal means.

Let querist decide on his own. Let us get busy with some other queries. I hope you agree
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Dear Shri Bali,

Thanks for your clarification. But, if you see my query in real sense, your reply has nothing to do with the points raised in my query. I was least concerned with your answer-line, as "changes his status of living from tenant," as that was in anticipation of 12 years to pass.

I was concerned mainly about the conditions of adverse possession that you have missed to take in to account while advising, as your advice would have been valid only after 12 years, not in the present state of affairs. You very well know that the true owner is dead and none else has been declared as true owner, as successor of the deceased owner, so far.

Moreover, at present the tenant is not of the status of a tresspasser, but your advice tends to provoke him to become a tresspasser in an open and notorious manner to make it a case of adverse possession after 12 years, while it is not presently a case of adverse possession.

Moreover, you would like to agree that another element of the adverse possession is "hostile to the interests of the true owner," whereas the true owner is yet to be decided after demise of the true landlord.

Another element of adverse possession is "peaceful" possession. You have already admitted in your clarification that "this right of adverse possession only arises where it is in the knowledge of the person who is a claimant or actual land lord of the property and it was an UNINTERRUPED."

So, do you feel that the possession of the querist would definitely remain to be allowed as a 'peaceful and uninterrupted' one by the relatives/legal heirs of the deceased in the coming twelve years?

If in the title of this quiery the querist has mentioned as "Landlord died having no legal heirs", that does not mean that we should also take that statement on the face of it, as true, without knowing about the heirarchy of relatives of the deceased, who may fall under the definition different classes of legal heirs/ successors. The querist, being a layman can be ignorant about the existence of legal heirs, if any of the deceased. So, was it correct to assume that the deceased did not have any legal heir. You would like to agree with me that only in rarest of the rare case a deceased remains without a legal heir.

In my view, since the querist has asked the question in good faith and in the sense, as to how he could tackle the problem of paying rent to the right claimamt after the death of the landlord. He has not asked for the nitty gritty of taking (adverse) possession of the house. SO, our duty was to advise him rightly in an ethical manner, not to tender any unethical advice.

There was no harm would you have advised your own personal tenant for whom your services would have been hired to fight the case on his behalf. But such an advice on an open forum tends only to instigate not only the querist, but also the other viewers to adopt unlawful activities in a bid to make any property worth adverse possession.

Do you feel that such type of an advice from a person of the status of a Supreme Court Advocate was justified in any manner, whatsoever. AT LEAST, I WAS NOT EXPECTING SO.

Moreover, was not this advice of yours quite premature in advance of 12 years, where nothing could be anticipated about the sequence of events to occur to the tenant or the property for the ensuing 12 years? Such advice could have been treated as valid, had he approached you individually after 12 years of his peaceful possession after the death of the real owner.

Hope you would like to agree with me in principle!

Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Agree with analysis of Dhingra sir
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Moreover, Brother in law is definitely a legal heir
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Dr. Rajendra ji,

Thanks for agreeing with me.
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Well Advised by Senior Expert Mr.Prabhakar Singh
Dr J C Vashista (Expert) 29 December 2015
I fully agree and appreciate the analytical skill (expertise/ command over the subject matter), detailed explaination and proper advise of Mr. PS Dhingra.

We, on this public platform, are expected (if not duty bound) to render fair, sincere and ethical advise to the needy queriest.

As explained (in detail) by Sh. PS Dhingra and Dr. Gupta qua the legal preposition of "adverse possession" it is NOT (I repeat NOT) applicable to a demised premises even if the tenant holds the possession for 12, 24, 48, 96 years or indefinite period."A tenant shall always remain a tenant and can never (NEVER) become title-holder/owner.

The author has adequatly been advised by the experts, now it is his turn to proceed.
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Dear Dr. J.C. Vashista,

Thanks for your appreciation.
Anand Bali Adv. (Expert) 29 December 2015
The maxim as quoted "Once a tenant always a tenant " is a wrong one it is "Once adopted always adopted" in adoption and succession cases. Tenant can change or renounce his status.
Secondly, I appreciate a detailed explanation made by Ld. Senior Mr PS Dhingra Sir.
Both side opinions are there to confront with each other as every thing has two sides to choose.
I agree with Mr Dhingra and Gupta for their subjective approach to the subject however the practicality and its misuse is the other part of the story which I highlighted in my answer; here I again mention that my opinions are not to be taken as a legal advise. It is a shere misuse of the legal loopholes in our legal system.
Thanks !!
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Dear Bali sir all said and done the tenant who is legally put by landlord cant claim adverse possession. It is totally hypothetical to assume no one will claim ownership of house for 12 years.Your advise to deposit rent in court is good. He can also open a separate bank account and deposit rent amount there, till claimant comes up with proper papers.
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
Dear Shri Anand,

Sorry to disagree with you, where you consider my approach as subjective. My approach is quite objective & rational with specific reference to the current day position of the problem of the querist, as not related to hypothesis & position of uncertainty pertaining to the period after 12 years from now.
Guest (Expert) 29 December 2015
I give my example. I had shop on licence basis from an urban Development authority in Rajasthan. It was with me for 36 years. The authority did not collect rent after 5 years period.I thought of same route but when consulted Rajasthan High court advocates they denied my ability to claim adverse possession( For government-period is 30 years I guess). That is why I wrote the details above.
T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert) 03 January 2016
I go with the views of expert Mr. Devajyoti Barman

You need to be the querist or approved LAWyersclub expert to take part in this query .

Click here to login now

Similar Resolved Queries :

Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query