Remedies for a landlord if the tenant refuses to leave after an eviction notice


There has always been a huge amount of skepticism around the landlord-tenant equation in our country. Legally, the landlord-tenant relationship is governed by Rent laws which differ from State to State. 

In case of any problem, the law permits eviction of the tenant on specific grounds-illegal measures to evict the tenant should be avoided. 

In reality, it is challenging to deal with a tenant who refuses to leave even after being served an eviction notice.

The landlord may opt for having a conversation with the tenant. It helps to understand what is preventing him from leaving the premises. It is always better to have a word and work out a solution. 

Read more: Investment in Indian Property – As an NRI investor know your facts

Eviction Notice:

If dialogue does not help, a legal notice is sent. Sending an eviction notice is the first step to initiate the process of ejectment. It is a legal notice vide which the landlord informs the tenant the reasons for seeking his removal from the rented accommodation. 

A notice period of a reasonable number of days is given to vacate the premises.

The requirement of sending a notice to the tenant depends upon the applicable rent laws. A landlord must be conversant with the rule and regulations of the tenancy as prevalent in the area. 

Once the notice is served, the tenant may do what the landlord demands. 

Read more: The necessity of Legal Due Diligence in India

What if tenant refuses to go even after eviction notice?

Legal battles are often time consuming and expensive. However, sometimes there is no option left.

If the eviction notice is served, the tenant may refuse to leave. The landlord then files a suit in the court for ejectment of the tenant. It is advised to take help of professionals/law firms to draft and file the petition. A lawsuit is filed in the appropriate court within whose jurisdiction falls the rented property.

There are various grounds available to a landlord for evicting the tenant, like:

  • Violation of terms of the agreement by the tenant
  • Personal Necessity of the landlord – the property is needed for personal use
  • Non-payment of rent
  • Premises has become unsafe for human habitation and needs repair
  • Property is needed for renovation or alteration

The petition is filed after expiry of the said notice period, stating:

  • The terms of the rent agreement/lease deed between the tenant and the landlord
  • The violation made by the tenant – unauthorized use, subletting, non-payment of rent etc.
  • The period of non-payment of rent and the amount due

The landlord has to explain the violation of the lease deed. If there is no rent/lease deed, it becomes difficult for the landlord to make his point.

The copy of the eviction notice served upon the tenant is annexed with the petition.

It is pertinent to mention here that sometimes the landlord forgoes pending rent in case of eviction suits as he is more interested in getting back the possession of the property.

Read more: Selling a Property through a General Power of Attorney – Is it even valid?

Hearing in court:

The court fixes a date for the hearing. The parties are heard, and the order is pronounced. 

If the landlord wins the arguments, the court orders the tenant to hand over the possession of the property to him. The court grants time to the tenant to vacate the property.

If the tenant still fails to do so, the judicial order gets executed by filing an execution petition. The court appoints a Court Officer for removing the tenant. The Police may also intervene in case of recalcitrant tenants. 

Read more: How to save title of your property from illegal occupants?

Importance of registration of rent deed

Importance of registration of rent agreement

Gurdip Kaur, a middle-aged woman, residing in the UK had rented out her house here in Punjab. Last year she approached us due to a dispute between her & her tenant in India. Although she did have her rent agreement duly signed by both the parties and authenticated by independent witnesses, the agreement was not registered.

Having suffered mentally and financially due to the dispute, she came to us wanting to know the importance of the rent agreement registration and consequences of non-registration. And of course, she was very keen to seek a solution for her disputes.

In due time, with our able & diligent lawyers, Gurdip was able to sort out her legal issues. However, it made us think about the consequences of ignorance on these laws – and the dire need for people to understand the validity, importance and relevance of these laws.

Also read: Landlord Tenant Disputes

We believe that obeying law always goes in one’s favour. In case of any dispute, the party who has fulfilled all the legal requirements has greater chances of winning the case. We explained to her the provisions in law for registration of rent agreement and the importance of registration.

It stands as follow:

  • Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and The Registration Act, 1908 deal with the registration of rent deed/lease deed.
  • Registration of a document means recording the ownership of the property in Government records.
  • It is mandatory to register the lease deed/rent agreement if rent deed is for a period of one year or more.
  • An agreement where the rent is fixed for a short-term (less than a year) is a rental agreement and an agreement where the rental amount is fixed for longer duration, e. more than a year, is a lease agreement.

Under The Transfer of Property Act, it is provided that the lease deed for a period of more than one year or reserving a yearly rent can be made through a registered instrument only.  Registration of a rent agreement, if rent /lease is for more than one year, has been made compulsory under the Registration Act, 1908. If the rent deed is for a period of 11 months, it is not compulsory to register the rent deed.

Read: My tenants are not paying rent neither vacating the property need solution

Importance of Rent Agreement Registration

Registration of a document: Registration of a document helps to maintain discipline in property transactions. The registered document is legally binding, and violation of its terms and conditions invites legal actions.  Benefits of registration are:

  • Legally defines ownership rights.
  • Strengthens ones claim over the property.
  • Helps to safeguard the owner’s rights and interests.
  • It gives notice to all others about the ownership of the property. Ownership becomes certain.
  • The landlord is more secure if the agreement is registered

Without registration, the new owner is not legally recognized as the owner.

Read: Steps to evict a tenant in India

Consequences of non-registration:

If the document is compulsorily register-able and is not registered, the document becomes ineffective.  Some consequences of non-registration are listed below:

  • The document is not admissible as evidence of the particular transaction in the court of law. It is used as evidence for limited purposes or evidence of collateral transactions
  • Chances of fraud and forgery increases
  • Chances of misappropriation are more
  • Difficult to recover unpaid rent
  • Difficult to effect the sale of the property
  • The document does not create any right or interest.

Rent Agreement Registration is always better:

Registered rent agreement is always preferable over unregistered rent agreement. The rent agreement for a period of 11 months does not require registration. People prefer it to avoid payment of stamp duty and registration fees. Although it is legally valid, yet rent agreement registration safeguards the interests of both the parties. Rent agreement Registration enhances the evidentiary value of the document.

Generally, rent agreement for 11 months is done for residential purposes only. Commercial rent agreements/lease agreements are long-term agreements and are, therefore, registered.

Rent Control Act India

Rent Control Act India

The Rent Control Act was passed by the Indian Government in 1948. This Act was passed so as to regulate the various norms of tenancy and land ownership and to curb the exploitation of either the landlord or the tenant due to rent or occupancy. The following are the various provisions of the act in favour of the landlord and the tenant –

Rights of Landlord Under the Act

Evicting a Tenant – Under the Rent Control Act, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant. The states have individual byelaws. In Punjab and Haryana, a landlord can evict the tenant on the basis of a personal, bonafide requirement, whereas the same does not happen in the Karnataka byelaws. But playing by ordinary rationale, courts allow for the eviction of the tenants on the landlord’s request, keeping into consideration facts and circumstances. The Draft Model Tenancy Act, 2015 shall make matters easier for the landlords.

Temporary Recovery of Possession – In order to make all the necessary repairs, alterations and changes in the property, a landlord has a right to recover temporary possession of the same.

Rent Changes – The Draft Model Tenancy Act is an instrumental legislation. Rent changes are something that usually occurs in accordance with the whims and fancies of the landlord. The rent cannot be unreasonably high or increased suddenly, however, the upper hand remains of the landlord and he can periodically increase the rent of the property.

Rights of Tenant Under the Act

Fair Rent – A landlord cannot unjustifiably increase the rent, however, he can approach the Rent Control Court in order to fix a rent. The rent has to be fair which is usually supposed to be 9% of the value of the building in totality including the cost of construction, the market value of land and amenities being provided.

The landlord also does not possess the right to disconnect essential services of electricity and water even due to rental reasons. They can approach the court, however, cannot deprive you of your basic supplies and amenities.

Eviction – In order to evict a tenant the landlord is required to approach the court and cannot unjustifiably evict the tenant. Byelaws play a major role in such a scenario. The Maharashtra byelaws are such that do not allow for the eviction of the tenant if the tenant is willing to acquiesce and agree to the changes in rent and is willing to pay the same. A notice is also to be given ninety days prior to filing a suit.

Can a Tenant be Evicted Without a Lease?

Can A Tenant Be Evicted Without A Lease?

A contract through which property, land or services etc, are provided to another party, in return for periodic payments, is called a lease. If a person becomes a tenant without a lease, it is called a tenancy-at-will. Every state in India has their own tenancy laws, like the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act 1977, and a landlord may evict a tenant only on the basis of the grounds laid down under the act which is relevant as per your jurisdiction. The right to be saved from eviction is the most significant right provided to the tenants under these acts, along with rent determination rules and safeguards for landlords as well.

Reasons for Eviction

  • Non-payment of rent after 15 days of when the rent was due.
  • Engaging in activities that may reduce the utility or value of the rental property.
  • Allowing someone else to occupy the property, without due permission of the landlord.
  • Using property for illegal purposes.
  • End of period of tenancy etc.

The first step is to file a petition with the Rent Control Court for eviction, which would be further be served to the tenant.

Types of Notices

  • Pay Rent or Quit” Notice – It is given to a tenant who defaults in payment, along with a period of three to five days to pay such amount.
  • Cure or Quit” Notice – It is given to a tenant who violates some condition of his lease or rent agreement, which may be oral in nature too. A certain period is given to correct this default.
  • Unconditional” Notice – It is given in a few serious cases such as damage to the rental property, habitual defaults in rent payments, conducting illegal activities on the rental property etc, subject to the state rent laws.
  • Eviction Notice without Cause”- These may be given even when none of the conditions of the agreement are violated. However, these require extra protections to be given to the tenants, such as the lengthened period for eviction etc.

Modern Tenancy Bill, 2015

This new legislation provides with various advantages, such as protection to the landlords in terms of compensation if the tenant does not vacate the premises in time etc. It requires registration of a written agreement between the landlord and tenant with the rent authority before any property is leased along with setting up separate courts for such matters. A good idea for NRI landlords is to hire the best property lawyers to ensure these lengthy court cases get over before the tenant can take advantage of you.


Tenant Rights

Property disputes are one of the most common disputes in India. Even more common among and some of the complex disputes is between tenants and landlords. You must have often heard about incidents of owners harassing their tenants and thus it is beneficial for them to know their rights so that they can save themselves from constant exploitation. Indian law has provided sufficient rights to tenants to protect them from any illegality.

There are mainly two different types of agreements lease agreement or licence agreement. In some cases where there is no agreement or the previous agreement has expired, it is implied to be a lease agreement. Lease agreements are governed by Transfer of Property Act,1882 and licence agreements are covered under Easement Act, 1882. Lease agreements can be for an indefinite period whereas licence agreements can only be for 11 months which can include a periodical renewal clause.

Rights of the parties are given in section 108 of the Transfer of property Act, 1882. The Even obligation of parties is mentioned in the act. One of the main rights of the tenants is that all the material defects in the property should be disclosed to him and he should be given possession of the property when he asks for it and the owner is liable to fulfil his obligation if the tenant is also willing to do so. Tenants are entitled to know all the terms of tenancy beforehand.

A tenant is entitled a quiet, safe and exclusive enjoyment of his house. You can always ask the landlord for the necessary repair works even after you have moved into the property. If any noises coming from other tenants or neighbours or even the owner of the house is disturbing you, you can always main a complaint to your landlord. You are also entitled to reimbursement for any repairs that you carry which were the landlord’s responsibility.  Moreover, the owner is not entitled to visit the property without the tenant’s permission. The tenant can also have visitors over unless they do not create any nuisance or inconvenience to the owner and also if it is expressly prohibited by the agreement.

The period of tenancy must be mentioned in the rent deed along with the period when the tenancy is going to start and when is it going to stop. Date of payment of rent should also be specified and it should also include any increase in the rent in future. To reduce litigations pertaining to landlords and tenants the Supreme Court passed a judgement that no landlord can evict his tenant for at least five years if the tenant has fulfilled all his obligations. He can only do so if he wants to you the premise for his/her personal use.

Prior notice must be given by the landlord to the tenant for eviction and it is unlawful on the part of the landlord to disconnect essential services like electricity and water to the tenant and the tenant can approach the Rent Control Court to take action against the landlord.