People often invest in real estate property and give the property on rent in order to gain a little extra income. Finding a tenant is easy and giving property on rent is deemed to be a convenient method of earning a little extra money. However, there is substantial risk involved in renting out property to an unknown person. There may be a situation in which the landlord has to forcefully evict the tenant from the property premises.
One of these reasons may be the failure of payment. There are rent control laws in place in order to protect the rights of the tenants and the landlords. The law states the necessity of a rent agreement being signed between the parties, giving birth to a contract between them, containing all necessary information.
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How to avoid illegal eviction in India?
It is observed that there are instances where the landlord uses absurd excuses to evict tenants without providing the actual reason for such eviction, as these do not provide them with any legal authority to evict tenants.
Rent control laws specify the rights and duties that tenants and landlords possess over the rented property. Landlords can send an eviction notice to the tenant if there is a violation of the lease agreement by the tenant, and the tenant can defend against this notice if they feel it is illegal.
The Supreme Court of India has established that landlords cannot evict a tenant for at least 5 years if the rent is being paid regularly unless the landlord genuinely needs the property for himself/herself. Some of the other factors to be avoided while evicting a tenant such as:
- The rental agreement needs to be drafted by a property lawyer and should also include all the relevant provisions in relation to the use of property, termination of rent agreement, rent amount, etc.
- The Rent Agreements must be for a period of only 11 months and should also contain a clause regarding the optional renewal. This will help to avoid any complications in future evictions.
- The grounds for eviction must be reasonable and justifiable according to the State’s Rental laws (based on the State where the property is situated).
- The law also prevents the landlord from taking any form of wrongful eviction measures like cut-off basic utilities like electricity or water, alter the locking mechanism of the tenanted property, throw away tenant’s belongings from the rented property or take penalizing measures on his own. The landlord can also be held criminally liable if he engages in such practices as the landlord has the right to file a case against the landlord.
- The landlord is also required by the law to issue an eviction notice to the tenant before carrying out the eviction processess.
- A background check of the tenant must be carried out before renting your property.
If the claims that are made for eviction of the tenant by the landlord are mere allegations and false, the tenant can initiate court proceedings against the landlord. However, it is important to note that the tenant must have enough evidence to prove innocence. The tenant can collect and document the rent receipts received for the payment of rent. The tenant can also take photographs of the property before the beginning of the tenancy in order to prove that the damages to the property were in existence before the beginning of the tenancy and the landlord was intimated about the same.
What are the steps to being evicted?
There are times when landlords would have to evict tenants. Eviction is a part of the rental property business. If a tenant is unable to pay the rent amount, he infringes on the terms and conditions of the rental agreement and has to vacate the property. Valid grounds for eviction of the tenant must exist without which the eviction cannot take place. The Landlord should follow the following procedures after establishing the grounds for the eviction.
Send a Notice to the Tenant to Vacate
An eviction notice needs to be filed in a court under the appropriate jurisdiction mentioning the reason for eviction and the time and date by which the tenant has to vacate the property and is then sent to the tenant to vacate the rental property. The landlord must give a reasonable time to the tenant to vacate the rented property. In the majority of cases, the tenants leave the rented premises after receiving a legal notice from the court.
File an Eviction Suit
The tenant may refuse to vacate the rented property after receiving the court’s eviction notice and contest the eviction. In this case, the landlord has to file an eviction suit against the tenant. The suit for eviction of the tenant is filed in a civil court where the rented property is situated.
Final Eviction Notice –
The court hears both sides and issues a final legal notice for eviction for the tenant based on the arguments and evidence present. The tenant has to vacate the rented property once the court sends the final eviction notice.
This is the tenant eviction process in India, however, the eviction of the tenant without a rental agreement is difficult as there is no proof of property being given on rent to the tenant.
On what grounds can a tenant be evicted?
There is always a certain amount of risk involved in giving rented property to tenants. This is because there is always an apprehension of how the rented property would be maintained. Sometimes, there may arise a situation in which the landlord may have to evict a tenant who refuses to pay rent or vacate the property. The eviction of a tenant by the landlord is the act of removing the tenant from the property of the landlord by legal means.
The grounds on which a tenant can be evicted are:
Non-payment of rent
The most common reason for the eviction of rent is the non-payment of rent by the tenant to the landlord.
Another common ground for the eviction of tenants is the violation of the terms and conditions of the lease by the tenant. This can involve the presence of unauthorized pets, unapproved subletting of the property, improper use of the property, etc. If there are several nuisance complaints that are received by the landlord, he has the right to evict tenants for the same.
In the event that there is damage to property caused by the tenant and that the damage affects the structural integrity of the property. The damages may be affecting the roof of the property or may be of such extent that it causes a nuisance to the neighbors.
If the landlord is under the assumption that the tenant is conducting activities which is are prohibited under the law or are using the property for the storage of goods, drugs that are prohibited by law, the landlord can evict the tenant.
Expiration of lease
When the lease has naturally expired, the tenant has no right to occupy the property anymore. Even after the tenancy is over, if the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the landlord can evict the tenant.
Is a handwritten eviction notice legal?
It is seen that a landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving notice to the tenant. For the process of eviction, the landlord has to file an eviction petition in the court, obtain an eviction order, and get it executed by the court. So, a handwritten eviction notice is considered illegal. It is an official court document requiring the tenant to vacate the rented property by a specific date. An eviction notice, or an eviction letter, is the first step in the legal eviction process. When a landlord serves an eviction notice, he is informing the tenant that they need to vacate the property by a given date.
This document also acts as evidence of the fact that the landlord gave the tenant sufficient notice of their pending eviction. In case, the tenant refuses to comply, the landlord may have to take legal action. So, it is important to keep a copy of the notice once it’s drafted. Unless the tenancy is subject to a local rent control/eviction control ordinance, the landlord can terminate a month-to-month tenancy for any reason (other than an illegal reason) upon proper written notice. Such a notice can be hand-written, but it seems unlikely that a hand-written notice would contain all of the language/information required by law.
How to counter an eviction notice?
A tenant has rights that are protected by rent control laws in India. These rent control laws have certain grounds under which landlords are allowed to legally evict the tenants from their property. If the eviction is made on grounds that are not explicitly specified in the rent control laws, it is deemed to be an illegal eviction and the tenant has a legal right to go to court and defend himself against such eviction.
When a person first receives the eviction notice, it is important to read the objective of the notice. After reading the notice, it is important to refer to the terms and conditions of the contract that have been taken into consideration. In case the person receiving the eviction notice feels that there is some ambiguity in the notice issued, it is advised to approach a lawyer, who would then help to understand the further procedure that may be followed.
After understanding the terms and conditions upon which the eviction notice is based, the person receiving the notice may either decide to deal with the situation through a mutual settlement or may decide to file a counter notice and proceed with legal proceedings.
There may be instances where the tenant refuses to pay the rent amount and also refuses to vacate the property. In such cases, it is imperative for the lease agreement to include the necessary course of action that would be followed. In case of non-payment of rent, a legal notice can be sent to the tenant with the details of the rent due, and asking the tenant to either comply or vacate the property.
It is important to note that the rent control laws have a list of instances under which the landlord can evict the tenant. If the conditions stated are not satisfied, it is then an illegal injunction and the tenant has the right to approach the courts and seek remedy. The tenant can file an injunction with the court, if the landlord compels him to vacate the property immediately and it is not possible to do so.
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