Overview of Tenant Eviction Notice
The process which involves ordering the tenant to vacate the property of the landlord/owner with a valid reason is called an eviction. There are several reasons why a landlord can send a legal notice to the tenant for eviction such as non-payment of timely rent, breach of terms and conditions of the agreement, non-payment of other necessary expenses, conduct of illegal activity in the property premises, etc. Each state has its own laws which govern matters related to rent and property. Thus, a landlord cannot just simply order the tenant to vacate the property but has to follow the defined legal procedure and related rules mentioned in the state laws for eviction of the tenant from the rented property.
The first step is to send a tenant eviction notice as a formal and legal communication to the tenant explaining the grounds on which the tenant is required to vacate the property within the given time period in the eviction notice.
What are eviction laws in India?
A rental agreement is considered similar to a lease agreement as both involve the transfer of possession of the property for a defined time period and purpose by one party to the other. The Rent Control Act contains all the provisions with regard to rentals of properties owned by various landowners. The Act defines the rights and obligations of both, the landlord and the tenant for the smooth functioning of this sector in India.
Essentials of an Eviction Notice
There should be a well-structured eviction notice to be served to the tenant. The notice should contain all the important points so as to make such notice a valid notice. The essential points which should be mentioned in an eviction notice are as follows:
The legal notice must be made in writing and duly signed by the landlord or the person who has been authorized by the landlord to do so.
Valid and Justified Reason
While drafting the tenant eviction notice, the landlord must mandatorily mention the grounds on which the landlord has the right to ask the tenant to vacate the property. The grounds must be valid in the eyes of the law and reasonable. If the landlord asks the tenant to vacate the property due to a reason, it must be justified and not due to just a mere wish of the landlord. Some common grounds available to the landlord to serve a tenant eviction notice to the tenant are as follows:
When there is one co-owner
If the property which has been rented is owned by more than one owner, then both owners can act as individual owners and the owner who is willing to receive his part of the arrears of rent can do so by sending a legal notice for eviction.
If there are a number of lessors
If the property is owned by more than 2 co-owners, an eviction notice needs to be served by all the owners. If the notice is sent by only one owner, such notice will not be applicable.
Terms of the Notice
Under the provisions of property and rent in India, a tenant cannot be evicted forcefully from the rented premises. The landlord cannot call the police to throw the tenant out of the house directly. Harassing the tenant by cutting the electricity and water supply, throwing out the stuff of the tenant outside of the house or taking any other unlawful measures to force the tenant to move out of the house will penalize the landlord.
Thus, it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide an eviction notice along with a reasonable time period for the tenant to vacate the place or pay the outstanding rental dues and continue with the tenancy agreement. The number of days which will be considered reasonable is mentioned in the tenancy agreement usually. But if the time is not mentioned in the agreement then a reasonable amount of time must be given to the tenant to take necessary actions.
A landlord prefers to give a reasonable time period ranging from the time period of one to three months based on the facts, circumstances and relations between the parties. Sometimes the landlord also provides a time period of 6 months. As per the prevailing practices, the usual reasonable time period is 21 days.
Communication of Notice
If in case there are more than one tenant, it is the responsibility of the landlord to send tenant eviction notice to all the tenants. There are different modes in which a notice can be served. The landlord can personally serve the notice to the tenant or by asking the servant to hand over the notice to the tenant. As per the prevailing provision under the Indian Contract Act of 1872, a legal notice can be sent to the tenants via registered post.
Accept or Reject
The tenant has two options when an eviction notice has been served to him/her. The tenant can agree to resolve the matter in a friendly manner by solving the dispute and making the required due payments or evicting the rented premises. It depends on the tenant whether he wishes to comply with the points mentioned in the notice or not.
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Procedure of eviction of a tenant from the property in India
The below-mentioned procedure contains several steps for the eviction of the tenant from the property of the landlord:
- The first step involves the landlord finding out the reason for the eviction of a tenant from the property. There are several grounds such as non-payment of rent on time, non-payment of other additional expenses, violation of terms of the tenancy agreement, termination of the rent period, the conduct of any illegal activity in the rented premises, etc.
- Under step two, the landlord can inform the tenant about the termination of the agreement due to the reason:
- Under this step, if the tenant promises to comply with all the terms and conditions laid down by the landlord, the parties can continue with the agreement and not terminate the tenancy agreement.
- If the tenant fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the notice and the agreement, the landlord has the right to file a complaint in court for eviction of the tenant from the property. If the court is satisfied with the facts of the case, the court can issue summon to the tenant. The court is authorized to call for documents related to tenancy for verification.
- If the court is satisfied with the submitted documents, additional pieces of evidence and hearing from both parties, an order for the eviction of the rented property can be passed by the court in favour of the landlord. The order shall contain the prescribed time limit in which the tenant has to vacate the premises. Even after receiving the order for the evacuation of the premises, if the tenant does not vacate the place, the landlord can approach the local police authority for helping him in evicting the property from the possession of the tenant.
How much time is required to complete the process of eviction of the tenant?
The time required to complete the process of eviction of the tenant from the property depends on the facts of the case. The usual time period is one month to three months. The process begins with sending a legal notice and ends with an order stating the eviction of the tenant if the court finds it reasonable to do so.