In India, a sizable portion of the population resides in rented homes. It goes without saying that there will be many problems and issues relating to rent, rental homes, and properties when such a huge population would live for rent.
The biggest and most regular issue a landlord encounters when renting out his property is a tenant who either won’t pay the rent or is constantly late.
Today, landlords take extreme efforts to prevent such situations and are knowledgeable of the rules and regulations relating to the rental laws, rights of landlords, and renters in India outlined under the Rent Control Act passed by the Government of India in 1948. The State Governments implemented this Act to control property rentals and tenant evictions. According to this Act, a Rent Agreement must be executed by the landlord and the tenant, outlining the specifics of the rented property, the rental time, the monthly rent amount, and the parties involved.
If a tenant intentionally refuses to pay the due rent, landlords have the remedy of evicting them and recover the dues in a manner prescribed in rental agreement.
Following article explores all the steps to be taken and the rules applicable.
Grounds to evict a tenant in India
The landlord may initiate an eviction lawsuit against the tenant under Indian rental rules provided there is a legitimate and justifiable reason to do so. In India, the following are the justifications for evicting a tenant:
- A mutually agreed-upon rent payment has been purposefully delayed by the renter for more than 15 days.
- Without asking the landlord beforehand or making a formal written request, the renter sublet a rental unit to another person.
- The tenant has utilised rented space for improper uses or uses not covered by the rental agreement.
- Any action taken by the tenant has reduced the property’s utility or value.
- The landlord has received a complaint against the tenant because the neighbourhood finds the tenant’s behaviour to be undesirable.
- For an unidentified cause, the renter has wilfully challenged the landlord’s ownership of the rented home.
- The landlord requires the property for either their own use or the use of any family members.
- In order to make repairs and renovations, the landlord needs to vacate the property, which is not possible otherwise.
- The property must be demolished in order for the landlord to develop another building.
The Rent Control Acts
In India, the State Governments are in charge of enforcing the Rent Control Acts. To address the issues affecting tenants and landlords, each of the 29 states in the US has its own set of rent control laws. Although the act’s provisions provide the landlord significant rights over his property, it was passed with the goal of protecting the rights of tenants in particular.
The rights and obligations of landlords are governed by a variety of Acts that are in effect in the several states around the nation. There are several clauses that are practically identical across all Acts. The rights which are available to a landlord in all the acts to vacate his house are:
- If a tenant violates any of the terms of the lease, the landlord may take possession of the property back. The items listed in sub-clause (o) of section 108 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, such as the colour of the tiles, walls, and other furnishings, are grounds for a landlord’s right to require a tenant to leave their rental property.
- If the tenant makes any improvements to the rented home without his permission, he may ask him to leave.
- If the tenant has engaged in any behaviour that constitutes a nuisance or has bothered the neighbours, or if any other person who is allegedly under his supervision or residing with him.
- If a renter gives notice that he will leave the property, and the landlord finds a new tenant in response, but the tenant still won’t go, the landlord may take legal action.
- If the landlord legitimately and reasonably needs the property.
- Therefore, if a tenant is not paying rent or leaving the property, the landlord may approach the Rent Control Board and ask the Board to intervene. If the Board is satisfied that the landlord’s claims are true and that the tenant’s rights have been violated, then the Board will order the tenant to leave the property.
Stages of eviction
The following process must be followed after determining the reasons for the eviction.
Stage 1: Sending a notice of termination to the tenant
The tenant must be served with an eviction notice, which must be filed in the relevant court and include the grounds for eviction as well as the time and date by which the tenant must leave the rented property. The renter must be given a reasonable amount of time to leave the rented space, according to the landlord. The majority of the time, tenants vacate rental property after getting a court-issued legal notice.
Stage 2: File an eviction suit
After obtaining a court-issued eviction notice, the tenant has an option to challenge the eviction by refusing to leave the rental property. In this situation, the landlord has the option of hiring a real estate attorney to file an eviction complaint against the renter. The civil court whose jurisdiction the rented property falls receives the complaint for eviction of the renter.
Stage 3: Final Eviction Notice:
After hearing arguments from both sides and considering the evidence and arguments presented, the court issues a final legal notice of eviction for the tenant. Once the court issues the final eviction notice, the tenant is required to leave the rental property.
If a tenant hasn’t paid their rent in a while or isn’t moving out, the landlord may file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages for the loss—both financial and emotional—caused by the issue. The landlord may alternatively submit an application to the Rent Control Board asking the Board to decide the case and order the tenant to pay the full amount of rent or evacuate the property.
The ideal lease agreement would outline what to do if the rent is not paid. However, in all state tenancy legislation, failure to pay the required rent is one of the common reasons for evicting a tenant. The tenant in question could receive a formal notice outlining the rent that is due, requesting compliance or eviction, and outlining the next steps the landlord will take if they don’t comply.
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