Dear Honourable Lawyers & Experts,
My Father-in-law had rented out a commercial rental property to a restaurant business tenant from 2004 until 2013 December, the total area of the rental space is about 500 Sq feet, and it is located at Mambalam, Chennai. My Father-in-law renewed the rental agreement every 11 months with the restaurant tenant. On June 2011, He settled these properties to my wife along with 3 other shops in the same building, each of these shops are of area about 100 sq feet. After the property settlement, my Father-in-law had left the tenant past 3 years without renewing the agreement. He collected the rent in cash for the past 3 years. The Tenant had paid around Rs1.5 lakhs as Advance Amount, as per 2011 agreement which is not renewed afterwards. Since my business had terrible loss last year, we are in debt and have loans to pay. So we planned to take up the shop and start up retail grocery business and insisted the restaurant business tenant to vacate the shop with 3 months’ notice period. He initially refused to vacate claiming that he was in some sort of agreement or sublet to another famous restaurant chain owner who already owns another 2 restaurants with similar names in that same area, so he asked us talk with the restaurant chain owner. We are very shocked to hear this, since my Father-in-law is ill for quite a long time, he never visits the shops, taking advantage of this the restaurant tenant did not declared anything about this illegal agreement with the restaurant chain, He even changed his restaurant name to that of the restaurant chain brand name and operated the restaurant for two years.
After all this my father-in-law agreed to talk with the restaurant chain owner over phone, but restaurant chain owner threatened my father-in-law, saying that he will use all his money and muscle power and will not vacate from the property. Then the restaurant chain owner sent their hotel association president along with our restaurant tenant for discussion. But we told them to vacate by end of 3 months’ time and refused to collect the rent amount from them. Last Month end we again asked them to vacate, my father-in-law sent a letter through another shop owner asking the restaurant owner to vacate the place or else all things in the restaurant will to put in a store room and we will occupy the premises. Soon our restaurant owner called us and told that he cancelled the agreement with restaurant chain owner and he agrees to vacate the place and also told us he found new location for the restaurant. But he didn’t vacate, so my father-in-law went again to the restaurant, we are shocked to see, all the interiors of the shop has been changed, even the Name board is changed, the change is added his name to the restaurant brand name in all the boards and also newly made false ceiling. So my father-in-law requested to talk with the restaurant owner. But the restaurant owner did not appear; instead the restaurant employees asked my wife and my father-in-law to leave the place. They returned home and my father-in-law sent another letter stating that as per original 2011 agreement only 300 sq feet is rented, frontage 200 sq feet can be used. But what actually happened in the year 2011 is that the restaurant owner extended the restaurant frontage of 200 sq feet without informing my father-in-law and put new floor tiles for the 200 sq feet area and started using it as apart of the shop, my father-in-law found this later, but let the restaurant owner to have it. So now my father-in-law sent a letter there is breach as per the agreement, so he requested the restaurant owner to pay two year rent for the 200 sq feet. Actually my father-in-law sent this letter this will make the restaurant to vacate as agreed. But three day before my father-in-law received Rs 30000 by registered mail, He did not mention about for this money is sent but we assumed this he may have sent as the pending rent for 3 months, But the rent he is paying before by cash per month is Rs 13000.
Then, day before yesterday our restaurant owner’s advocate sent a registered mail claiming that,
1) We threatening him to vacate using Rowdies,
2) He had spent Rs 14 Lakhs for the restaurant interiors, so he will not vacate the place since this is his only livelihood,
3) He claims we are greedy planning to rent it to another person for more rent
4) He wants the court to take control of this, so that he will pay rent to court for the period he will get the Rs 14 Lakh investment returned from this place.
5) Also claims that my wife has rents from other 3 shops, But he has no place to do business except this location where he has his customers and goodwill
6) Also, asking us to vacate other 3 shops. After receiving this mail,We don’t know how to handle this issue.
Truth & Fact is
1) The restaurant tenant had hardly spent less than Rs 2 Lakhs to the restaurant interior over the past 10 years.
2) He already told to my father-in-law that he runs another restaurant too, but we don’t know its exact location. So how to get proof for this, to show in court.
3) The total rent from the 4 commercial spaces (including the restaurant) is about Rs 42,000; this money is shared between my father-in-law family and us, with this we have to pay our loans too, very hard for us.
4) We know he still has the agreement with the restaurant chain owner, but again we don’t have evidence to prove their connection. We are Worried about how to prove this in the court.
5) Other 3 shops are too small to start a supermarket type retail store.
Please provide us your valuable suggestions and help us.