Owning properties comes with a string of responsibilities and dues. From upkeep of the property to choosing a tenant to rent out the property to. Trusting complete strangers to take the same care of the property is not possible. One of the common problems landlords face with their tenants is eviction.
Most tenants choose to leave the property when the rental agreement expires. The tenant removes their belongings after a month’s notice and then receives their deposit back from the landlord. When the tenant refuses to leave, after the landlord has requested them is a hard situation.
Luckily, the Indian Government has the Rent Control Act, of 1948 for this very purpose. It has all aspects of rental agreements, rental period, evictions, etc. Some of what the act states about tenant eviction are as below.
What If A Tenant Doesn't Leave?
Indian rental laws state that tenants can be evicted or ordered to leave accommodations if there is a valid reason to do so. There are many reasons why such an eviction notice can be given to a tenant. Some of such reasons are as below.
- The tenant has not paid the specified rent amount 15 days past its due date.
- The tenant has sublet the property without express permission from the landlord.
- The property was being used for illegal purposes by the tenant.
- The property loses value due to any action of the tenant.
- The neighborhood has raised complaints regarding certain actions of the tenant.
- The landlord requires the property for their personal use.
- The tenant is refusing to vacate the premises after the expiry of the rental agreement period.
- The landlord intends to do construction or renovations on the said property.
How To Evict A Tenant?
Once there is sufficient ground to evict a tenant, the next step is to start the process. There are professional property lawyers that can help with the process. A step by step guide to evicting a tenant is as follows.
Read the rental agreement:
The first step is to go through the signed rental agreement. Read through the agreed upon terms and conditions to identify which terms were violated. The same agreement will also state the next step to take.
Send an eviction notice:
After establishing the eviction grounds, the next step is to send an eviction notice. The notice is to be filed at a right court in the jurisdiction in which the property is. There must be an eviction date and time mentioned and sufficient time given to the tenant to vacate the house. Generally, most tenants will vacate at this step. However, some might refuse to do so. In that case, proceed to the next step.
Sometimes there arises the question, what if the tenant refuses to leave after eviction notice despite receiving an eviction notice. The next step, for the landlord, is to file a suit. This is when the landlord needs to hire a property lawyer and file an eviction suit. It is filed in a civil court in the same jurisdiction as the property.
Eviction suit results:
Proceedings will take some time to start and also to reach a decision. If the landlord wins in the court proceedings, the court will order the tenant to leave the premises within a reasonable time frame and send a final eviction notice. At this point, if there is more resistance from the tenant, the police might have to be involved.
How To Evict A Tenant Without A Lease?
Sometimes, one mutual understanding, a landlord might allow a tenant to move into their home without a lease. Doing so will lead to many difficulties down the lane, especially during eviction time. There is, however, a law to help in this regard. Many states recognize such a case as a tenancy at will. Tenancy at will can be eliminated or terminated whenever the tenant or the landlord wishes to. However, if the tenant is resistant to eviction, without a lease, it will be difficult to evict them. The best course of action during this situation would be to refer to the local laws concerning the situation and to approach authorities for help.
As stated above, after ignoring the eviction notice, the landlord can start court proceedings by approaching a lawyer. This is a prolonged procedure, can take months and the judge might not rule in the favour of the landlord. Some states will still require the landlord to visit the court with the tenant and talk with the judge. Depending on the situation, if there has been non-payment of rent or the tenant has been doing illegal things, the judge will rule in the favour of the landlord. Even then, the tenant will be given a time period to empty the property.
Sometimes the judge could order the tenant to pay any dues to the landlord. However, in most cases, the payment does not come across. The sole aim here is to get the tenant to leave the property. Intimating the local police for help without doing due diligence by filing a suit will cause more harm than good in this situation. Making threats and changing locks without telling the tenant first will also not favor the landlord in the long term.
How To Avoid Tenant Problems?
Getting tenants to leave a property, lawfully, is tough. The landlord would have to put in a lot of money and time involved when they choose to evict the client by the right process. How to avoid all of this? By being careful right from the start. Some other tips when choosing tenants are as below.
- Be careful when choosing tenants. Do background checks if possible.
- Get a rental agreement signed before the tenant moves into the property.
- Get the rental agreement prepared by a trained lawyer. Put in terms of eviction and terminating the rental agreement.
- The rental agreement must also be registered at the earliest possible.
- Do not adopt a physical violence route no matter what. Always choose the legal route to evict the tenant.