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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 Notice

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 the tenant makes a default in payment of rent at the given time. If the tenant delays the payment of rent even by 15 days, it becomes a valid ground which is available to the landlord for serving a legal notice to the tenant for eviction.
  • If the tenant causes damage to the property by any means, the landlord has the right to ask the tenant to vacate the property.
  • It is the responsibility of the tenant to take care of all the health and safety measures for the protection of the property. If the tenant fails to do so or causes any hazards harming the health or safety of the landlord or his/her family members, he/she can ask the tenant to vacate the premises.
  • The tenant must comply with all the terms and conditions of the agreement. If the tenant violates any terms and conditions of the agreement, the landlord has the right to ask the tenant to vacate the property.
  • If the tenant uses the property for performing illegal and unlawful acts, then the tenant can be ordered to leave the rented property by the landlord.
  • If the landlord has some urgent personal use of the property, the eviction notice can be served to the tenant to vacate the property.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Under step two, the landlord can inform the tenant about the termination of the agreement due to the reason:
  • Serving a legal notice for payment of due rent or in case of subsequent non-payment, the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the property;
  • Serving a legal notice to the tenant to comply with the terms mentioned in the agreement in case of any violation of the terms and conditions of the agreement or to terminate the agreement;
  • Serving a legal notice for eviction of property in case the tenant has performed any illegal activity in the rented premises.
  1. 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.
  2. 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 necessary papers related to tenancy for verification.
  3. If the court is satisfied with the submitted necessary papers, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no difference between the terms eviction and unlawful detainer. The situation of unlawful detention occurs when the person has unlawfully taken over the possession of the property which belongs to another and the lawful owner has the right to apply to the court for eviction of tenant/unlawful detainer from the property with the help of the court.

A final act where the court orders for eviction of the tenant and all his belongings from the landlord’s property with the help of local police officers if the tenant is not ready to vacate the property of the landlord. Such a writ cannot be stopped until both parties continue the tenancy agreement and the tenant has paid all the necessary expenses and the rent.

Whenever a situation arises where a landlord tries to expulse the tenant from his/her property without taking the help of legal remedies available in the prevailing laws, such a situation is called a Self-help eviction. The laws in India have declared self-help eviction activity as a wrong act leading to harassment of tenants caused by the landlord. The landlord has always an option to approach the court to seek justice and evict a tenant in the event of any default such as non-payment of rent or expenses made by the tenant. Therefore, the landlord must avoid activities such as self-help eviction and threatening the tenant to vacate the property by changing the lock of the door, power cut, etc and following the available legal process.

Yes, the tenant has the right to file a legal complaint in court for trespass of property, wrongful eviction, assault, defamation, etc committed by the landlord. If the tenant is an unlawful detainer, the landlord has no right to commit any offence against the tenant and rather approach the court for the same. In a situation of self-help eviction, the tenant can file a complaint against the landlord for seeking damages for the harm caused.

No, a landlord is not allowed to file a civil suit against the tenant for eviction. A landlord can approach the rent controller authority to file an eviction petition against the tenant.

A legal process by which a landlord can eject the tenant from his/her property with a valid reason is called Eviction. The process begins when the landlord sends a legal notice to the tenant to pay the unpaid expenses and rent or to vacate the property. If the tenant does not take any action, the landlord has the right to file a complaint before the court to solve the dispute.

A legally written agreement which has been entered between a landlord and a tenant whereby the landlord rents out his/her property to the tenant as per the terms and conditions of the agreement and for consideration is called a Tenancy Agreement.

There are two parties to a tenancy agreement, namely, the landlord and the tenant.

Circumstances such as default in payment of rent, other necessary expenses, breach of terms of the agreement, etc are grounds for the landlord to send a legal notice for eviction to the tenant. If the tenant is not able to pay the due debt even after 15 days, it can become a ground to serve the notice.

If the tenant refuses to vacate the property even after the notice has been served for eviction of the property due to a breach of terms and conditions of the agreement, the landlord has the right to file an eviction petition before the court for initiation of an eviction process.

The refund of the security amount to the tenant which he paid while entering into the tenant agreement differs from the facts and circumstances of the case and the decision passed by the competent court. If the tenant has caused loss to the property, then the security amount to utilized for repair of damage to the property or is used to cover all the costs and expenses incurred by the landlord for filing of the eviction petition.

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