Renting out a property has become one of the major sources of income, especially in urban areas. It’s quite easy to find a tenant. However, lending a property to a tenant could be stressful in a situation where such tenant neither pays rent nor vacates the premises. To avoid such situations, people are becoming well-versed with the tenant laws.  Although in India tenancy laws are tend to in favour of tenants. However, there are some grounds on the basis of which a landlord can evict a tenant.

What are the grounds to evict a tenant in India?

Indian laws dealing with the tenant-landlord relationship authorize the landlords to file an eviction petition against the tenant if there is a justifiable and valid reason for doing so. The grounds for eviction of a tenant in India are enumerated below: –

  • If the tenant has intentionally not paid rent as agreed between the parties for more than 15 days from the date when it becomes due.
  • If the tenant has further sublet the property without the permission of the landlord.
  • If the tenant is using the property for a purpose other than that mentioned in the rental agreement or any unlawful purpose.
  • If the tenant has caused any loss which results in the loss of utility and value of the property.
  • If the tenant is found to be causing a nuisance in the neighborhood.
  • Landlord requires the property for bonafide reasons like for self-occupation or for any family member.
  • If the property is required to be repaired or renovated.

Step-wise process for eviction: –

Once you have determined a logical and just reason for the eviction. Then following steps are required to get your properties vacated from the possession of your tenant: –

Sending a notice: – Primarily, one needs to send an eviction notice to the tenant by stating the reason for doing so and the time and date by which the tenant has to vacate the rental property. It may be noted that reasonable time must be given to the tenant to vacate the rented premises.  In case, there are co-owners of the property, then both co-owners can act as the landlord in an individual capacity, therefore, a notice sent by any of them will be considered valid and legal.

In the case of Shri Ram Pasricha v. Jagannath, 1976 SSC 184, the Hon’ble Apex Court held that a co-owner is as much an owner of the entire property as any sole owner of a property is and hence one co-owner is the landlord and a notice issued by him or a suit filed by him is legally valid as well as sufficient.

Filing a suit: – Now, the question comes into the mind that what should I do if a tenant doesn’t move out despite the legal notice, so, in such a situation, you need to take a bit harsh step, which is to file an eviction suit. Since there may be chances that the tenant may refuse to vacate the rented property even after receiving the notice, so the landlord must be prepared for this. The eviction suit can be filed on the basis of a rent agreement in a civil court under whose the rented premises are there.

Final outcome: – After hearing both parties, the court reached its conclusion by pronouncing a judgment in a suit. If the court allows the suit in favour of the landlord, the tenant must vacate the premises within a time as granted by the court. And just in case, the tenant still not vacates the premises, then the tenant may be evicted by the police force.

Can a landlord evict a tenant forcefully?

No, the landlord has no right to throw out the tenant from the premises forcefully. A landlord cannot take the police assistance to throw out the tenant. Opting for other wrongful methods such as shutting off utilities like water supply, water, and electricity connection, or throwing the articles, etc. can make the landlord liable in a court of law.

Is it mandatory to enter into a lease agreement?

Basically, it depends upon the tenure of the lease. Exemplify, if you are going to renting out your property for a few months, it is not required, yet, a lease agreement is mandatory if you have plans to lease out the property for more than 11 months. Apart from this, it is also mandatory to get your lease agreement registered. The lease agreement includes terms and conditions of renting out the property like tenure, amount of rent, termination of the agreement, and penalties, etc. Hence, it is always recommended to enter into a lease agreement with your prospective tenant, since it offers a layer of security to the landlord in case the tenant refuses to vacate the rented premises.

Conclusion: –

Renting a property is a common practice in our society and is beneficial simultaneously for both the owner and the tenant. Yet, there are some situations where the landlord gets tired of the tenant due to some reasons including not paying rent timely, and causing a nuisance in the neighborhood, etc., and consequently, the landlord may ask the tenant to leave the premises. The dispute may be resolved amicably if a tenant agrees to leave the property, but if not, then the landlord has to opt for the legal remedy i.e. eviction process.

-Kiranpreet Kaur

Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali