Does the landlord have the right to evict a tenant?
The legal relationship between the landlord and the tenant is governed by the contract of tenancy between them. The Rent Control Acts have been enacted with the objectives to (i) protect the tenant from eviction from the rented property where he is living except for defined reasons and on defined conditions; and (ii) protect the tenant from having to pay more than a fair rent.
Once the tenancy comes to an end on expiry or early termination of the agreement, the tenant is bound to put the landlord in possession of the property and the landlord acquires the right to possession. However, if the tenant continues to stay on even after the expiry or early termination of the agreement, the landlord, even with the best of title, has no right to resume possession extra-judicially by use of force. Therefore, under law, the possession of the property by unlawful and forceful means is prohibited and the tenant cannot be dispossessed otherwise than by due course of law.
The landlord is entitled to initiate legal proceedings against the tenant with the competent court seeking ejectment of the tenant from the property on the grounds of (i) breach of terms and condition of tenancy, (ii) subletting of the property by the tenant, (iii) material deterioration of the condition of the building, (iv) requirement of building by the landlord for own occupation, and (v) default in payment of rent by the tenant for the specified period etc.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has in Ram Prakash Sharma versus Bulbul Birla ( 2011) 6SCC 449 passed the general direction that once the petition for eviction of tenant has been allowed by the court, the tenant is bound to vacate the property within the stipulated time or extended time. However, if the tenant commits breach of the eviction order and continues to remain in possession of the property, police force can be used to obtain eviction of the tenant from the property. The writer is a senior associate, Titus & Co Advocates