30 November 2014
What is tenancy?
A tenancy is the possession or occupancy of lands, buildings or other property by title, through a lease or on payment of rent.
When can eviction happen?
There has to be a valid reason if you plan to evict the tenant and not use the house for yourself. Eviction can be enforced if the tenant is found of any wrongdoing as prescribed by the Rent Control Act and Indian law, such as terrorism and any crime against the nation.
The present practice
Usually, the tenant signs a rent agreement with the landlord to occupy the property for a period of 11 months, with an option for periodic renewal. Since the Rent Control Act (which is largely in favour of the tenants) only applies on for lease agreements of at least 12 months, establishing an 11-month agreement helps landlords to take a pre-emptive measure for eviction. It is because of this practice that the apex court has passed the order.
The rights of legal heirs of tenants
Legal heirs of the tenant are also tenants and get all the protection available to the tenant under the Rent Control Act of various states. However, it is the choice of the legal heir if he wants to renew the contract with the landlord and continue to stay.
What should owners do?
If you are the owner, you can prevent your tenants from overstaying by including a clause in the rent agreement on increasing the rent to four or five times the existing rent, if the tenant does not leave when the contract ends. This would put a check on those tenants who play foul. Also, in case the tenant is not vacating the premise even after the notice, you can approach the court. Courts favour the owner if it is found that the tenant is involved in any wrongdoing or the owner requires the property for his personal use. You can also ask the court for police help for evicting the tenant.
What should tenants do?
Usually tenants can’t do much about the eviction if the owner wants the property for personal use.
However, if the owner is trying to evict without any lawful reason, you can file a police case against him. The Supreme Court judgement may help you prove your tenancy rights.
In India, there are several stories about tenants misusing the property of landlords and refusing to leave the premises. If you are facing the same rental issues with a tenant, then you should know that you are not alone. There are several other homeowners just like you who face rental problems with their tenants. Luckily, it is possible for you to seek an eviction through the court successfully, like countless other people have. Here is a look at the court order eviction process and the laws related to the eviction of a tenant you need to know about.
The Court Order Eviction Process
Before you move the court for evicting the tenant, you need to determine the reason for which you are evicting him/her. The reason for eviction must be bona fide, which means that it should be genuine and provable in court. Depending on the State in which you stay, the reasons for eviction would vary slightly. In most cases, you can evict your tenant for the following reasons:
• You need the housing for a genuine personal or commercial purpose that requires the eviction of the tenant
• Your tenant has willingly failed to abide by the rental agreement or refuses to leave after the agreement has ended
• Your tenant has sublet the premises or is causing a nuisance to the neighbours
• Your tenant conducts illegal activities in the premises
Now, if you are looking to get a court order for eviction, the first thing you need to do is consult a good local lawyer to find out if your rental agreement falls under the Rent Control Act of that State. According to your lawyer’s advice, you can file a petition for eviction with the appropriate Rent Controller’s Court in the area. Once you have filed a petition and given adequate reason along with proof, the Rent Controller’s Court would send a notice of eviction to the tenant. At this stage, the tenant may be able to put a stay order or content the eviction.
If you are evicting a tenant after the period of tenancy is complete, you must terminate the rental agreement by issuing a legal notice at least 15 days before the expiry of the last month. You must ensure that the notice expires with the end of the tenancy month. Simply giving a notice of 15 months is not adequate and not considered by the court of law. The minimum period of notice would differ according to the prevalent State Laws and the situation. The notice would be sent to the tenant. Once the notice period is complete and the tenant still refuses to leave, you can file for an order of eviction on the basis of non-payment of rent.
Rules and Laws related to Eviction
The rules and laws related to eviction in India differ to a small degree from State to State. In general, these rules are derived from the Rent Control Act. This Act was passed by the government to stop the exploitation of tenants. As a result, it was widely considered to be a pro-tenant and devoid of much support to the landlord. However, in 1992, a model rent control registration was circulated to other states by the Central Government. At present, not many states have passed this model Act.
The provisions for dispute settlement between the landlord and tenant and the eviction of the tenant are given under the State Rent Control Acts, such as the Karnataka Rent Control Act, Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act, Delhi Rent Control Act and Maharashtra Rent Control Act.
Although many of the current laws are still pro-tenant, there have been some amendments in a few State Laws to change that. Moreover, if you have a valid reason and evidence to support it, you can get a court order for eviction. Just remember to keep all the evidence in hand, have an original copy of your rental agreement papers and seek the advice or services of a good lawyer.