The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is not always a peaceful one. There are instances where the landlord may attempt to intimidate the tenant or force him to move out. Sometimes, the landlord may perform certain acts in order to disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of the property by the tenant. A notice of eviction may have been issued, however not in accordance with the terms of the contract.

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How do I file a case against my landlord in India?

In order to file a complaint, the first step is to approach the police station. A FIR (First Information Report) must be filed at a police station of appropriate jurisdiction by the tenant. In the case of illegal eviction, the Rent Controller must be approached by the tenant stating the reason for illegal eviction. After being summoned by the court, the tenant will be required to present the case with supportive evidence to substantiate his claims.

The following are a few situations in which the tenant can file a case against the landlord –

  • Lodge police compliant –

In case the tenant is being harassed by the landlord, a police complaint should be filed at the earliest. A FIR must be filed at a police station of appropriate jurisdiction and a copy of the same must be obtained by the tenant.

  • Trespass by the landlord –

Despite the landlord being the actual owner of the property, in a tenancy agreement, the tenant is in possession of the property. If the landlord interferes with the possession or enjoyment of property, the tenant can file a complaint against him for trespass.

The tenant has to go to the police station and lodge a criminal complaint under Section 441 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). After filing the complaint, the tenant also has the option to pursue the matter in court and make a plea for granting interim relief in order to restrain the trespasser. The instances of trespass and particulars must be noted, as that is an essential object in showing trespass by the accused. Details like the date, time, the number of times the person trespassed along with a photograph or video would be beneficial.

  • Filing complaint in case of a nuisance –

Instances of nuisance can be registered and the tenant can file a complaint under Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code. Nuisance can be classified as any activity which causes injury, danger or annoyance to the public or the people who live or occupy the property in the neighborhood.

  • Illegal eviction by the landlord –

In several cases, the landlord files a notice of eviction on false grounds. The court takes a strict stance against instances of illegal eviction and grants the tenant with an option to sue for such eviction. The courts may award monetary compensation to the tenant, temporary housing, etc. The Rent Control Act is has been enacted for the purpose of granting remedies to the tenant for illegal acts committed by the landlords.

  • Harassment through mischief –

If the landlord, knowingly commits an act with the intention to cause damage and wrongful loss to the tenant or causes detriment to the value or utility is said to be committing the offense of mischief. The tenant can file a police complaint under Section 425 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A civil or criminal suit may be filed, at the option of the tenant.

Can landlords increase rent every year in India?

Rental laws in India have been enacted with the joint purpose of safeguarding the rights of the tenant as well as the landlord. The Rent Control Act is one such legislation enacted by the Government. The main objective of the Act was to protect the rights of the tenant, yet it has also been provided with provisions to protect the interest of the landlord.

The regulations present in the Act allow landlords to charge rent at the amount that they want. Property owners, along with the option of increasing rent periodically, have been given the right to charge rent at the market value. In India, the approximate rate of rent hike is 10% for residential property. This increase in rent may be charged or hiked every two years. However, state regulations of each State govern the increase of the rate of rent by the landlord. The landlords in Delhi can increase the rent only as per Section 6 and 8A of the Delhi Rent Control Act.

What if the landlord doesn’t return the deposit in India?

Assetscan-security depositSecurity deposit is monetary security paid to the landlord, which may be held by the landlord in the event of any damage that is caused to the apartment or the failure of the tenant to comply with the rent agreement that exists between the parties. The tenant receives the remaining deposit after the lease has expired and deductions for damage cause have been made by the landlord.

A receipt is given by the landlord to the tenant for the deposit made, in order to safeguard the interests of both the parties. In an instance where the landlord refuses to return the security deposit, the tenant may serve him with a legal notice to recover the same. The tenant can also file a complaint with the Rent Controller if the landlord refuses to pay despite being served with a legal notice.

Can the landlord evict tenants without proper notice or reason?

If a landlord seeks to evict his tenants he must serve tenants with a notice in accordance with the terms of the contract along with a legitimate reason for such eviction. State regulations dictate the ground on which a landlord can evict tenants. The landlord cannot kick the tenants out of the property illegally, by making threats, turning off utilities or changing the locks, etc. An eviction notice has to be obtained from the court before a legal eviction can occur.

What if tenants do not agree with the landlord on the damages charged from the security deposit?

If the tenants and the landlord disagree on the terms of deduction charged from the security deposit, a negotiation between them may take place to mutually agree upon an amount for the damages cause apart from ordinary wear and tear. Tenants has the option of filing a suit for the wrongful withholding of security deposit by the landlord if he refuses to discuss the same.

What if I forget to renew my rental agreement every year, and keep paying rents to the landlord?

If the tenant forgets to renew the rental agreement, and keeps paying rent to the landlord, and there is implied acceptance of the money by the landlord, the rental agreement can now be said to have transformed into a month to month rental agreement. If the landlord accepts the rental amount without renewing the rental agreement, it will be deemed that the landlord is continuing the tenancy on a monthly basis. Unless the landlord givess tenants a notice of eviction, the basic terms of the contract will continue to apply. Until the landlord expressly asks tenants to vacate,  tenants can continue to reside in the property without any problems.


The harassment of tenants by landlords has been a matter of great concern. It is seen that at most times, landlords have misused their powers and have harassed tenants. In order to protect the interests of the tenants, there were laws enacted by the Government. All the states in the country have provisions that provide rights to the tenants against the landlord. Before signing a rental agreement for the property, it is important that certain rights are highlighted in the contract. This will prevent the filing of lawsuits in case of problems between the tenant and the landlord.