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TN Buildings and lease control act

(Querist) 27 July 2008 This query is : Resolved 

I am the new owner of the property and without issuing notice of attornment of tenancy, i have initiated eviction proceedings against the tenant on the ground willful default, personal occupation and demolition and construction? will the non-issuance of attornment of tenancy notice be drastic to my case?
SROTAS -Global Legal Services (Expert) 28 July 2008
Dear Lokesh,
Notice to vacate the premises for personal use must be sent to the tenant. You must specify time period to vacate the premises. here are some information.

Please note that what I have given below applies only to the major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu. These are the areas, which come under the purview of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. Smaller towns and villages do not normally come under this Act's scope. If you have a doubt as to whether your town/panchayat area is covered by this Act or not, you must consult a local lawyer who will advise you appropriately.

This Act applies to all tenancies where the building is more than five years old, and where the lease is for a land and/or a building, and not a composite lease, which includes for instance, the running of a business as a going concern. This Act does not apply to tenancies created by public religious trusts or charitable institutions. It does not also apply to tenancies created by government undertakings.

Wherever the Act has no application, a landlord can simply give a notice (of at least six months' duration in the case of an agricultural or a manufacturing lease, and of at least 15 days' duration in most other cases) and determine the tenancy, with the end of the period of the tenancy. Of course, where the lease in question is in force and it stipulates a different period of tenancy, the notice must be in compliance therewith. Once such notice is given and the period specified expires, the landlord will be entitled to evict the tenant. The landlord need not have any good or satisfactory reason for doing so. A proper notice is all that is required.

Now, we come to tenancies to which the Act applies. The right of the landlord to evict the tenant in such cases is greatly fettered, and the right of eviction must be for one of the reasons specified in the statute. If you are a landlord and you are unable to fit your requirement for eviction into one of the pigeonholes set up by the statute, you will not be entitled for eviction.

The various grounds on which the statute enables eviction are as follows:

1. Where the tenant has not paid the stipulated rent for more than 15 days after the rent fell due, and such non-payment is wilful.

2. Where the tenant has, without the landlord's written consent, allowed some other person to occupy the premises, either wholly or in part.

3. Where the tenant has put the building to a use other than that which the landlord had originally agreed. The term "use" must be reckoned with reference to the lease deed.

4. Where the tenant has done any act, which has materially impaired the building or its value or utility.

5. Where the tenant has used the building, or has allowed the building to be used, for illegal purposes or immoral purposes.

6. Where the tenant is making such a nuisance of himself that his continuance is objectionable either to other tenants of the same building or other persons in the neighbourhood.

7. Where the tenant has not occupied the premises in question for a period in excess of four months. (This rule does not apply in hill stations for obvious reasons.)

8. Where the tenant denies the landlord's title to the building itself, and such denial is not well founded. I only wish to add that once a tenant commences tenancy under a particular person as a landlord, the law does not allow the tenant to thereafter disown the landlord, or to assert title to the building in anyone else (save for one exception, which is not relevant here).

9. Where the landlord genuinely requires the building either for his residential or non-residential occupation, or for the residential or non-residential occupation of any member of his family. Where the landlord (or the person for whom he is seeking eviction of the premises) already owns and occupies another premises in the same town, the landlord must additionally be in a position to state and prove


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