How Can Tenants Protect Themselves From Wrongful Eviction?

Eviction comes as a fear for many tenants. Let’s find out what tenants can do to avoid eviction by the landlord.

A tenant is a person who signs a lease or rental agreement to occupy another person’s land or property. Specifically, the rent agreement gives renters more authority but also prevents them from claiming full legal ownership of the property.

When a renter cannot pay their rent, it may be because they lost their job or had to pay unforeseen medical bills due to an illness. Legal defence against an eviction proceeding does not consider a lack of funds to pay your rent.

Even if this was not the main reason you first delayed your rent, you might still be able to use legal defences to prevent eviction. A judgement for possession may be issued against you if you do not provide a defence.

Legal Eviction: What is it?

A legal eviction is a process a landlord or owner uses to remove a tenant from a rented property. For several reasons, the landlords could want to remove a tenant from the rental. Some of these include the tenant failing to pay the rent or paying it late, violating any rental or lease contract clauses, ending the rental arrangement, committing a crime, etc.

States have different real estate regulations and legislation. The landlord cannot demand that the tenant vacate the leased unit. While evacuating the renter, he must adhere to various standards and laws established by the State.

Proper Procedures Used By Landlords To Evict Tenants

The following steps must be taken after determining the reasons for the eviction:

Informing tenants through legal notice – The tenant must be served with an eviction notice, which must be filed in the relevant court and include the grounds for eviction and the time and date the renter must leave the rented property. According to the landlord, the renter must be given a fair amount of time to leave the rented space. Most of the time, renters vacate the rental property after getting a court-issued legal notice.

Filing an eviction lawsuit– After obtaining a court-issued notice, the tenant can refuse to leave the rental property and file an eviction lawsuit. In this situation, the landlord can hire a real estate attorney to file an eviction lawsuit against the renter. The civil court under whose authority the rented property falls receives the lawsuit for the expulsion of the renter.

Final official notice of eviction– After hearing arguments from both parties and considering the facts and arguments presented, the court issues a final legal notice of eviction for the tenant. Once the court issues the final eviction order, the tenant is required to leave the rental property.

This is how tenants are evicted in India. However, doing so without a lease contract is challenging because there is no evidence that the renter was handed a piece of property to rent.

Details Required in a Notice of Tenant Eviction

The contents of the lease agreement, the parties involved, the reason the notice is being issued, and the amount of time the tenant has to challenge the issue before taking any further legal action are all listed in the formal eviction notice letter.

The notice highlights the information listed below:

  • The rental property’s addresses
  • Address of the lender
  • Tenant’s name (the one who occupies the property or pays the rent)
  • Condition of the Lease
  • Term of Lease
  • The justification for issuing the notice (The reason for the eviction)
  • The date on which the landlord signs the notification
  • confirmation of service

Facts Related to Eviction Based on Law

The tenant has the right to protection from such eviction if the tenant learns that the eviction is not legitimate and unjustified. State laws control the rules relating to tenant protection against eviction, and each State has established a list of grounds that give the landlord the right to remove the tenant. Every other basis not included in the list entitles the tenant to seek legal protection against the landlord’s egregious actions through the courts.

In addition to the rules mentioned above, local and state legislation regulates carefully designed, mutually agreed-upon, and signed leases by both the landlord and the renter. These State Acts also allow tenants to defend their right to protection if a landlord attempts to evict them for an illegitimate cause or basis not listed in the Act. Such eviction proceedings in court typically take longer to resolve and last 10 to 20 years.

What are Some of the Tenant’s Legal Rights?

Tenant rights are established under the Rent Control Act, and the Act safeguards their status as tenants by defining their rights and duties.

1: Cannot Be Unjustly Evicted

A landlord cannot lawfully remove a tenant unless they can prove that they have broken one of the provisions listed in the rental agreement. Although the grounds for eviction may vary from State to State, it may be simpler to assert that landlords cannot expel renters based only on their whims and fancies.

2: The Ability To Pay A Reasonable Rent

A property’s rental value is typically between 8% and 10% of the total value. There is no maximum limit on the amount of rent that may be asked. Therefore, landlords can set it themselves or based on current rental prices. The renter can file a lawsuit in court if they ever feel that the rent modification was unfair.

3: The Right To Necessary Services

The renter cannot be refused access to basic facilities, which covers the right to access clean water, power, etc. These facilities cannot be terminated, even if the renter has not paid the rent unless extenuating circumstances are beyond the landlord’s control.

3 Tenant Defences Against Eviction

1: Right To Protection Against Unreasonable Eviction

The most crucial right a tenant has is the ability to avoid unjustified and unreasonable eviction.

According to the precise grounds outlined in each State Rent Control Act, a landlord may evict a tenant who is not seen as adequate to evict a tenant for any reason other than those listed in the State Statutes. Moreover, the aforementioned State Acts grant the tenant a right to defend themselves if their landlord forcibly evicts them for a justification not covered by the Act.

2: Enforcement Of Right Against Eviction

The tenant has the right to initiate a lawsuit in civil court and request an order of injunction if the landlord attempts to evict the tenant forcefully without first delivering an eviction notice. An ORDER OF INJUNCTION prevents the landlord from evicting the tenant without using one of the reasons specified in the applicable State Rent Control Act.

3: Submitting A Case For Eviction On False Grounds As A Landlord

It is frequently seen that the landlord may submit a notice of eviction for fictitious reasons. For instance, the landlord could purposefully avoid receiving rent for a month before using the same fact as justification to evict the tenant. However, the Rent Control Act might offer the renter a recourse in certain circumstances.

A Remedy For False Grounds of Eviction

The following measures can be taken to challenge the false eviction notice:

1. The renter should speak with the rent controller and explain their situation.

2. The renter must present their case with sufficient proof after the court has called them. In gathering evidence, the following information may be helpful:

Notice Stating Receiving of Rent– The tenant shall send a written notice to the landlord if they have not received the rent deposited by the tenant. The notice should ask the landlord to name a bank where the rent should be put within ten days of getting the notice. The notification must expressly state the landlord’s failure to receive the rent and the tenant’s right to terminate the lease. Rent should be paid as quickly as feasible if the bank information is received within ten days.

Money Order– The tenant must submit the rent directly to the landlord through Money Order if the landlord does not respond to the aforementioned notice. The Money Order vouchers should be appropriately stored as evidence of rent payment, and the renter should continue making payments similarly even if the landlord obtains a Money Order.

Court Petition– The tenant should petition the proper court to get a court order directing them to deposit future rent payments there if the landlord refuses to accept the money order.

How Can Unlawful Evictions Be Avoided In India?

According to a ruling by the Supreme Court of India, landlords cannot evict a renter for at least five years if the rent is being timely paid unless they have a legitimate need for the property. Other issues that should be addressed while evicting a renter include the following:

  • The rent contract must be prepared with the assistance of a real estate attorney and contain pertinent clauses on the use of the premises, expiration of the lease, rent payment, etc.
  • The length of the lease must be only 11 months, with an optional renewal provision. It provides a defence against potential eviction difficulties.
  • According to the State’s rental regulations where the property is located, the reasons for eviction must be valid.
  • According to the State’s rental regulations where the property is located, the reasons for eviction must be valid.
  • The landlord cannot use improper eviction tactics, such as turning off essential services like electricity or water, changing the locking mechanism on the rented home, throwing away the tenant’s goods, or enacting punitive measures. These are crimes, and the tenant has the right to pursue charges against the landlord if they are discovered to have taken place.
  • The landlord cannot kick a renter out without receiving notice first.
  • It is crucial to consider the tenant’s background before letting them in.

Conclusion

According to the law, a tenant can appear in court and defend himself against unlawful eviction. The main reasons for evicting a tenant include frequent non-payment of rent, violation of the rental agreement, property damage, and illegal activities. Yet, the tenant has several rights that can be used in the event of an unlawful eviction.

The situation of a tenant is always precarious because they must constantly worry about getting an unauthorised notice of eviction from the landlord and then having to go through the anguish of looking for new rental accommodations at a price that may or may not fit their lifestyle and budget.

Most disputes may be resolved amicably, but if not, the landlord must choose to remove the tenant in question. A legitimate eviction notice must have all of the necessary components to start the process, and if they are missing, the absence will be used as evidence in court.

FAQs

What is a rental agreement?

After they agree to rent and occupy the property on mutually agreeable terms and circumstances, the lessor (landlord) and lessee (tenant) sign a rental agreement.

Can a landlord evict a tenant illegitimately?

No matter how severe the issue is, you cannot evict the renter, threaten them, change the locks, or shut off the utilities. According to law, it is known as self-help eviction and is completely prohibited. A court must issue a notice stating the date and time of eviction and its justification before the action takes place.

Can evictions happen without giving notice?

A landlord or owner of a property cannot remove a tenant without giving them a three-day notice first, and changing the locks without the tenant’s permission is against the law.

Can a renter in India take possession of the property after 12 years?

According to the law of adverse possession, if a person stays at a rental home for 12 years, they may have control of the property.

How long is a renter permitted to avoid paying rent?

The lease agreement mainly determines the answer to this question, and it could include clauses defining the time limit when the renter can no longer stay.