WHAT ARE EVICTION LAWS
Indians living overseas often face issues regarding the safety of their immovable assets in India, as in many cases, these properties end up being encroached by trespassers. For the purpose of property management, Non-Resident Indians prefer to give their properties on rent to protect them. Also, letting out the properties and generating profits from the same is a great source of passive income. However, when an NRI landlord/owner wants to get the property vacated or evict a tenant, it becomes a huge task reason being Indian laws are more inclined towards the protection of possession of the tenant. In order to seek the tenant’s eviction, a justifiable reason has to be given in the Court. These disputes are called landlord-tenant disputes. Such disputes can also be settled out of the Court, but if the tenant is not ready to cooperate with the landlord as per the terms and conditions of the tenancy, and is further not willing to settle the dispute in a peaceful manner, the landlord can start the process of taking possession of the property and evict the tenant through legal means.
The Court of Rent Controller, under whose jurisdiction the property is located, has the power to evict a tenant from the property. Though, as part of mandatory practice, a landlord/owner has to serve eviction notice through his lawyer to the defaulter tenant, explaining the reasons for eviction and give him reasonable time to amicably hand over the vacant possession of the property. After the expiry of such period, the landlord is well within the right to evict the tenant and seek shelter under civil laws and file for eviction suit.
There are cases where the NRI landlord is a co-owner of the tenanted property. Even if the property is co-owned, an NRI can serve the legal notice upon the defaulter tenant, and the same will be considered legal and valid.
GROUNDS OF EVICTION
There are various grounds on the basis of which an NRI landlord/owner can seek eviction of the tenant from his property:
Arrears of Rent:
If a tenant is not making timely payments or has stopped paying the rent to the landlord, this ground can be taken before the Court. If proved that the tenant has committed arrears of rent, eviction orders are awarded in favour of the landlord. To substantiate the arrears, one has to present before the Court rent agreement with the tenant to bring to the court’s notice that the tenant has breached the terms and conditions of the agreement. In the absence of such like agreement, an eviction suit can be filed on the basis of an oral tenancy and the landlord can start the process to evict the tenant.
When there is a bona fide genuine requirement of a landlord of the rented premises for residing there or for starting a business, an eviction suit can be filed. The intention of the landlord has to be stated in the Court to prove the personal necessity. Also, the landlord is required to give details of all the properties (if any) he owns in the same city or area, and further explanation has to be given as to why the other properties are not suitable for his personal use and occupation.
Illegal Subletting by the tenant
If the property is sublet by the tenant without the knowledge of the landlord/owner, it becomes one of the crucial bases for seeking eviction. The law does not, in any case, allow the tenant to generate income from the rented premises, which was let out to him.
Illegal or unethical use of tenanted premises
Illegal or unethical use of the property by the tenant amounts to grave violation of the terms and conditions of the tenancy. If the tenant has been found carrying on any illegal activity, a legal notice to the tenant can be served by the landlord immediately for vacating the premises.
Damage to the property
If a tenant has deliberately caused damage to the tenanted premises and is also not willing to pay for its repair or renovation, a landlord is well within the right to take possession from the defaulter tenant through legal means.
Remodelling/construction/ renovation of the property
When the property given on rent require repair/renovation/ construction/ demolition, which can only be done when the property is vacated, and the tenant is refusing to hand over the possession, the landlord can start the process of removing the tenant by serving notice upon him.
Tenants causing nuisance
Tenants who are causing inconvenience to the neighbourhood and being constantly accused for unacceptable behaviour can be evicted from the property as it becomes a reasonable cause to seek possession back from such troublesome tenants.
In brief we can say that Indian laws do give protection to NRIs by passing favourable orders provided a reasonable ground has been shown in the Court for seeking eviction.
Violation of the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement
While drafting of the tenancy agreement, various terms and conditions are drawn in the agreement to secure the interests the landlord as well as of a tenant. If the tenant is found to be violating any term or condition specified in the agreement, it can be used as a ground for seeking eviction of the tenant from the property and the landlord can evict the tenant.
Different use of tenanted premises
When the property is given to the tenant for his residence purpose, but he starts to use the same to run his business or for some other commercial use, the eviction of the premises can be sought from the Court on this basis.
PROCESS OF FILING OF EVICTION PETITION AND FURTHER STAGES INVOLVED.
First of all, a legal notice has to be served to the tenant stating the valid and justifiable grounds (as described above) on which the landlord is seeking eviction. The stipulated time within which the landlord wishes to get his property vacated must be mentioned in the notice. Please note that the given time period should be reasonable and fair. The notice be sent via registered post.
Failure of the tenant to hand over the possession of the property within the stipulated time, the landlord can file an Eviction Petition under the prevalent Rent laws prescribed for that State. For the said purpose, the following documents are required:
- Ownership deed in favour of the landlord,
- Rent agreement,
- Bank statement showing arrears of rent (if the rent was payable through bank transfer).
- Site map of the property.
- Copies of the legal notice served to the tenant and its postal receipt.
- Copies of water and electricity bills.
- Other relevant document as per the requirement of the case.
- Service of Summons
Once the eviction petition is filed before the Court of Rent Controller, the Court issues summons to the tenant-respondent giving him an opportunity to appear before the Court and defend the case.
Assessment of Rent
During the course of proceedings, provisional assessment of rent is done by the Court, and the tenant is bound to pay the said amount to the landlord through Court.
Passing of Final Order
Finally, when the final judgment is passed, the Court specifies the time period in which the tenant is directed to vacate the rented premises.
If the tenant still fails to hand over the vacated premises as per the direction of the Court, after completion of the said period, the landlord can file an Execution Petition in the same Court for the implementation of the eviction order. The Court then issues Warrants of Possession against the defaulter tenant, and at this stage, the landlord can also seek police help by taking permission from the Court for vacating his property.