HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rent agreement is very important as it contains the terms and conditions for the lease of a property
  • It must contain how the leased property is to be used, the tenure and the rent to be paid per month

NEW DELHI: Deepa Singh is a retired government servant living in a premium locality of Delhi. She owns an independent house in CR Park. Her kids are living abroad so she lives with her husband, who works as a consultant. They decided to lease out the second floor of their house. The tenure of the agreement was two years. Six months later, the tenant decided to bring one more person to his floor without informing the landlord about it. The interior of the floor was also modified, which the landlord objected and asked the tenant to vacate the house. But the tenant payed no attention to the eviction request. A case was filed in the court and the property got stuck in litigation.

What should a landlord like Singh do in this case for tenancy eviction?

Suit for eviction

A rent agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. This document is very important as it contains the terms and conditions for the lease of a property. It must contain how the leased property is to be used, the tenure and the rent to be paid per month.

Eviction clause should also be mentioned in the agreement so it can be used in case of a dispute. You can quote the violations of contract in the court and make them a ground for eviction. “There are only two ways of evicting a tenant – once the lease agreement is over or when the landlord terminates the lease by sending a legal notice under section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. In both these cases, if the tenant does not vacate, the landlord will have to file a suit for eviction in the district court and get an order,” explains Kumar Mihir, a Supreme Court lawyer.

Unpaid rent

In many cases tenants stop paying the rent and continue to hold the property. Sometimes increased rent can be the reason for dispute between the landlord and tenant. A landlord can increase the rent as per the hike mentioned in the rental agreement.

In case the tenant refuses to pay the increased rent after one year, the landlord can ask him to vacate the property. However, any arbitrary increase in the rent can be refused by the tenant. “Apart from eviction of tenant, the landlord can also ask for mesne profits, which includes market rent and interest, from the tenant, before the court,” says Mihir.

Violation of rent agreement

When the rent agreement is being signed, it is crucial to check all the details, both by the tenant and the landlord. Any violation by the tenant or landlord may revoke the contract. How the property will be used must clearly be mentioned in the agreement. Often damage to the property, misuse of the property, movement of guests, friends or relatives becomes a bone of contention between a tenant and landlord.

In case you notice any violation of contract, you can seek eviction by giving a notice to your tenant. It is very important not to ignore any kind of violation and send a warning to your tenant at the right time. If you receive a complaint against the behaviour of your tenant or any criminal activity is being run from your property then you will be liable for it. That is why, you as a landlord, need to be aware of your rights and duties.

 

Learn the Rent Control Act

You share a legal relationship with your tenant and this is governed by the local laws of your state. Be familiar with the Rent Control Act of your state and check the process for eviction, rent agreement and other clauses before getting a rent agreement drafted for your property. It will protect your property from any violation and also keep you legally safe.

The landlord should not take wrongful eviction measures such as cut-off basic utilities like electricity or water, alter locking mechanism of the leased property, throw away tenant’s belongings from the property or any other illegal act.

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