Q1. I filed an eviction petition on the ground of bona fide requirement under the Delhi Rent Control Act. Since, I was not too well I did not appear for evidence before the Court and instead I got the examination of my Power of Attorney who gave evidence before the court. Is such an evidence proper in a case of bona fide requirement?
A. The best person to prove bona fide requirement of a landlord is the landlord itself. In case you could not appear before the court for some extreme reasons, you should have got yourself examined on commission. The court generally takes an adverse inference in case the landlord himself does not appear for leading evidence for a bona fide requirement. It would be appropriate that even now you should filed an application for your own evidence in the court and you should not rely upon the evidence given by your Power of Attorney.
Q2. What are the essential requirements in case a widow wants to file an eviction petition for getting back her tenancy let-out at a monthly rent of Rs. 1,500/-?
A. The essential things required for filing an eviction petition by a widow are that she should be the land lady of the premises and the premises should be required by her for her own residence. The said apart nothing else is required to be proved in such a case.
Q3. I have instituted a petition for bona fide requirement under the Delhi Rent Control Act. In the said petition I am claiming that I have a grown up son of 18 years of age and I require one separate room for that son. Is such a demand of requirement of a separate room justified?
A. Yes, such a demand is justified. One single room is required for the grown up child who should be free to use and live in that room in the manner he likes and should be free to devote his time to his studies without disturbance. The ground is justified and bone fide requirement can be proved on this ground.
Q4. How can a premises be sublet by a tenant?
A. Under law any subletting by a tenant has to done by a written consent given by the landlord, who has let-out the premises to the tenant. In case there is no written consent to the tenant by the landlord to sublet, any subletting done by the tenant is illegal and in such an eventuality the tenant should be liable for eviction from the premises.
Q5. Can a suit for eviction be filed against the tenant by the landlord, if the monthly rent is Rs. 2,500/- ?
A. Under the Delhi Rent Control Act, no suit for eviction of a tenant can be filed. Section 50 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, clearly bars the jurisdiction of a civil court. For evicting a tenant a petition can be filed only under the grounds mentioned in the Delhi Rent Control Act, before a Rent Controller
Q6. I have filed a case against my tenant in which a question has arisen about the difference between ‘tenant at sufferance’ and ‘tenant by holding over’. Can you enlighten me on the same.
A. If after expiry of the period of tenancy or after his determination a tenant continues in possession without landlord’s consent, the said person (tenant) holds the property as tenant at sufferance having no interest. For his ejectment no notice is necessary. But a tenant by holding over is different. To be tenant by holding over he is to continue in possession after the efflux of time with the consent express or implied of the owner. It is a creature to bilateral consensual act. It is not created by unilateral intendment.
Q7. Is it correct that whenever the rate of rent is altered, a fresh tenancy comes into being ? If a landlord accepts enhanced rent during the period of the tenancy, does the earlier tenancy comes to an end and a new tenancy begins. What does law say on this ?
A. It is not correct to say that whenever a rate of rent is altered, a fresh tenancy come into being and the old tenancy stands surrendered by implication. Landlord accepting an enhanced rent during the terms of tenancy say at 18th year when the tenancy was for 20 years, it cannot be said that the earlier lease has not been surrendered by implication. The old lease subsists and the end of the term the tenancy comes to an end by efflux of time.
Q8. I am the co-owner of a property which is on rent. The tenant is not paying the rent for the last four months, but the other co-owners of the property are not interested in filing any case for the recovery of the arrears. Can I file a case for recovery of my share of the arrears of rent ?
A. In a Co-owner’s suit for recovery of proportionate rent and splitting up of tenancy, it is open to a co-owner to pray for a decree for his share of arrears of rent by filing a suit on the basis of unified and integral tenancy and without making any effort to split up the same. It cannot be said that a co-owner must sue for the entire arrears of rent and if he does not do so he cannot maintain an action.
Q9. A Notice by predecessor of interest ejectment suit by successor A notice to terminate tenancy was issued by the Estate Manager of the Bombay Port Trust (constituted under the Bombay Port Trust Act 1879) on behalf of its Board of Trustees to the tenant occupying the building owned by the Port Trust. Before the expiry of notice period there was a change in law and the successor of Board to Trustees instituted the ejectment suit. Is such a suit legal and valid in law ?
A. The right to eject tenant acquired by the erstwhile Board of Trustees acquired by giving notice to quit ensured for the benefit of the successor of the Board of Trustees. Therefore the suit for ejectment filed by the successor Board was competent. It is no doubt true that per se Section 109 of the Transfer of Property Act does not apply to the facts of the instant case. It contemplates transfer of lessor’s right inter vivos. But when right, title and interest in immovable property stand transferred by operation of law, the spirit behind s. 109 per force would apply and successor in interest would be entitled to the rights of the predecessor.
Q10. I let out one floor of my house to a tenant but the lease was not registered. have been accepting rent from him. Is the lease for the period mentioned in the lease deed. Is a notice necessary for evicting my tenant ?
A. When a tenant continues in possession after expiry of the term contemplated on an unregistered deed of lease, and pays rent, he is a tenant by holding over from month to month, the unregistered lease deed being inadmissible and term of lease being not a collateral purpose. For his eviction notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act Act is mandatory.
Q11. What is the difference between a joint tenant and tenants in common ?
A. The basis distinction between joint tenants and tenants in common is that in case of joint tenants there is unity of title and possession, while in the case of tenants in common, though there is a unity of possession there no unity of title.
Q12. I have filed a suit for vacation of my rented property. The tenant has challenge the validity of the notice I served him under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. What is the legal requirement for such a notice ?
A. What s. 106 requires is that a lease from month to month is terminable on the part of either the lessor or the lessee by 15 days’ notice expiring with the end of a month of the tenancy. A legal termination of the monthly tenancy thus requires two conditions to be fulfilled viz. That there must be a notice terminating the tenancy giving 15 day’s notice and it must be expire with the end of the tenancy month. A notice giving mere 15 days’ time by itself will not answer the requirement of s. 106 but it must also indicate that the 15 days’ period must expire with the end of the tenancy month.
Q13. My uncle had taken a property on rent where he is carrying on certain manufacturing of goods. The landlord has served a notice for ejectment on the basis that the property was let out for residential and not manufacturing purpose. What is required to be shown by us to prove that the tenancy was for manufacturing purpose ?
A. The tests for determining if a lease is for manufacturing purpose are (1) that it must be proved that a certain commodity was produced, (2) that the process of production must involve either labour or machinery, (3) that the end product which comes into existence after the manufacturing process is complete, should have a different name and should be put to a different use. In other words the commodity so transformed as to lose its original character.
Q14. My father owned a premises which were on rent with a tenant. During the tenancy since my father required some money, the property was mortgage to the tenant. Now my father has repaid the amount to the tenant. Would it mean that the tenancy is automatically surrendered by the tenant ?
A. When a landlord mortgages the premises to his tenant, then no redemption of the mortgage the landlord does not ipso facto get the right to eject the tenant. When mortgage is executed the question whether the tenancy stood impliedly surrendered or not is the yardstick. If it is, the landlord gets the right to evict. There is no question of merger of the two rights, for neither of them is a higher or lesser estate.
Q15. My Landlord is disputing that my tenancy is nit a lease but a license. There is no written agreement between us. How does one differentiate whether it is a lease for a license?
A. The crucial test in each case is whether the instrument is intended to create or not to create an interest in the property the subject matter of the agreement. If it is in fact intended to create an interest in the property it is a lease, if it is does not it is a license. In determining whether the agreement creates a lease or a license the test of exclusive possession though not decisive is of significance.
Q16. A was inducted as a tenant in the premises, but the rent was always paid by the firm in which A was a partner. Is it not that the partnership firm becomes a tenant under such circumstances ?
A. A relationship of landlord and tenant is created by contract. Mere payment of rent does not necessarily establish relationship of landlord and tenant. A was found to be the tenant, the fact that a firm made payment of rent on behalf of A who was partner of that firm would not make the firm a tenant.
Q17. I am living in a rented premises with disputed ownership the pay monthly rent to “B’ Is mere acceptance of rent sufficient to make `B’ the landlord?
A. Landlord is the person who has the right to receive rent. Mere acceptance of rent does not make `B’ the landlord unless he has the legal right to receive the rent.
Q18. What is a Standard rent? How is standard rent fixed? When can I make an application for fixation of standard rent?
A. Standard rent is the rent which the land lord is expected to receive from the tenant. Standard rent is only provided if the property is under Rent Control Legislation . Under Section 6 the Standard rent to be fixed. Under the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act the application for the fixation of Standard Rent Act can be moved within two years of the creation of the tenancy. Delhi Rent Control Act will be applicable only if a the rent is less than Rs. 3,500/-
Q19. I have sub-let the house where I am presently living. Does it constitute a ground for eviction?
A. If the rent is less than Rs. 3,500 then subletting a one of the grounds for eviction u/s 4 ( d) Rent Control Act. If the rent is more than Rs. 3,500 then there is no formal condition agreed upon between the landlord & tenant about the subletting in that eventuality . The landlord has the right to make the lease on account of subletting. Under the termination of lease the landlord has the ground to file a suit for possession.
Q20. I am a tenant under a valid lease agreement. I have not been receiving electricity bills for the meter installed in the premises under my occupation. However, the said meter is in the name of my landlord. Suddenly, one day NDMC officials informed me that my meter is to be disconnected on account on non-payment of bills. Can I seek any relief from the Court as the meter is in the name of my landlord?
A. There is no privity between tenant and the NDMC and as such no relationship could be established between them . It is better to obtain duplicate bills from the NDMC and pay the same to avoid disconnection.
Q21. We are tenant of a house . We have not given rent for the month of March & April we are old tenant since 1994. We don’t have the new agreement & our landlord want us to vacate the house. We are already fighting in the court. Can he take us out without any notice? Can we stay there for longer?
A. You have not specified in your question as to what is the monthly rent of the premises and as to whether the Agreement under which it was taken was in writing and was registered and what was the duration of the tenancy. Further you have also not mentioned about the nature of the litigation pending in the Court. In any event in case the monthly rent is below Rs. 3,500/-, the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act, would be applicable, wherein you can be evicted only under certain specified grounds which includes not payment of rent , subletting of the premises, bonafide requirement of the landlord etc. In case the monthly rent is above Rs. 3,500/- and agreement is registered (if over one year) then the terms of the lease would prevail. The landlord under such circumstances is liable to serve you with a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act giving 15 days time on the expiry of the tenancy month for terminating the tenancy. Thereafter, he has to file a suit for ejectment which will be tried by the Court. The landlord cannot forcibly evict you from the premises and the procedure before the Court will take few years to be decided. The strength of your case can only be told on having details of the case. You should however, pay the rent to the landlord either by sending the same by money-order or by depositing the same in court in the litigation already pending.
Q22. I am a tenant of 2 separate tenements, one shop and one float, but I have only one rent receipt for both. The entire building is now being redeveloped by a private developer who says that since I have only one rent receipt I can get only one tenement viz., a flat of 750 sq. ft. How do I verify the user (residential/non residential)?
A. If you have sufficient proof to establish that two properties, i.e. one shop and one flat, are absolutely separate from each other, then it will be taken as two different properties. This can be proved by way of evidence of various persons who have visited the shop and the flat. As you have stated that there is only one receipt, the question is whether in the receipt two rents are mentioned or a single rent is mentioned ? If two rents are mentioned in a single receipt that by itself is a proof that there are two different properties. If there is single rent mentioned in the rent receipt, then it has to be seen if two properties are anywhere indicated in the receipt, which will help you to prove your case. Further, whether the shop is separable from the residential portion, the same is also a fact to prove that there are two different properties, i.e. a shop and a flat. In your case the different users, itself proves that there are two separate properties and you can always claim compensation for two properties.
Q23. “Sufficient cause”, as required by rent controller for non deposit of rent within statutory period, if shown by the tenant that he could not deposit the same as advocate did not take necessary steps and he later changed the advocate and also informed the controller his willingness to pay the arrears, if no affidavit of the previous advocate was submitted but Rojnama entries do suggest that on 2 previous occasion the advocate was not personally present and tenant himself had to submit the Vakalatnama of his advocate, can the controller rule that tenant has not shown sufficient causes?
A. While construing as to what is a ‘sufficient cause’, the courts normally look into various aspects of the case. The matter is solely at the discretion of the court concerned and if a good cause is shown, the courts normally condone any irregularity or default by a party. It is but obvious that in the situation mentioned by you, the previous advocate who has defaulted in depositing the arrears of rent, would not give his affidavit admitting his default. In such case you should file your own affidavit and further bring the proofs which would show that you had given the amount of arrears to the advocate for being deposited and it was on account of the default of the advocates that the needful could not be done. If the same is done the court would construe the same as a sufficient cause.
Q24. “Sufficient cause” , as required by rent controller for non deposit of rent within statutory period, if shown by the tenant that he could not deposit the same on medical ground i.e. suffering slip disc and submits also medical certificate from Government hospital and also from specialist private doctor, can the rent controller reject the certificates outright as the tenant was personally present in the court on prior occasion to file Vakalatnama of advocate where the matter was adjourned to a further date, although the tenant has pleaded that he was present in the court disregarding medical advise and with great difficulty as his advocate was not present in the court on that day?
A. The ground mentioned by you in the query for being construed as a sufficient cause, may not hold good before the court. The same might be rejected on the ground that if you are unwell, some other person could have been deputed by you to deposit the arrears or to engage an advocate to do the needful. The medical certificate may just help you to seek condonation of delay in depositing the arrears only for a few days, but not for any longer time. Further, if the tenant was present in the court and the order was passed and the tenant was aware of the same, it is immaterial that he was present there against the medical advice. If he could be present to attend the hearing, there can be no justification for not depositing the arrears on the said date.
Q25. We had given one floor of our house on rental basis for two years. Our tenant had neither given rent from past one & half years nor he is willing to vacate it. Now tenancy time of 2 years is going to over in this month. We had also made a simple agreement on affidavit witnessed by property dealer BUT NOT A LEGAL ONE BY COURT. WHAT SHOULD I PROCEED ?
A. You should issue legal notice to the tenant for the non payment of rent and also terminate the tenancy by way of notice, which should be of 15 days expiring at the end of the tenancy month. After the expiry of notice period, if the rent is more than Rs. 3,500/- p.m. you can file the suit for recovery of possession along with arrears of rent. You can also file an application for deposit of future rent in the court, If the rent is below Rs. 3,500/- p.m., you can file the petition for eviction on non payment of rent. If it is a newly constructed property and the letting is first letting then you can file the suit for possession irrespective of rate of rent. In such a case the Rent Act is not applicable.
Q26. During pendency of eviction proceedings if there are arrears of rent should the controller direct the tenant to pay such arrears if the tenant wants to contest further proceedings?
A. If the eviction petition is on the ground of non payment of rent then the Rent Controller is under duty to pass an order for deposit of rent u/s 15 (1) of Delhi Rent Control Act. If the eviction petition is on any other ground then you have to make an application under Section 15 (2) of Delhi Rent Control Act for direction to the tenant to deposit the rent. If no rent is deposited as per order of the court, the court has the right to strike off the defense of the tenant.
Q27. What do the term “sufficient cause” and bonafide payment mean?
A. The term “sufficient cause” means a good and reasonable cause which will satisfy the court about the conduct of a person being genuine and “bonafide payment” means payment tendered genuinely and in good faith generally with the actual belief that the person to whom payment is being made is the actual owner or has valid right and title tot the particular thing/property.
Q28. What are the grounds on which delay can be condoned for non deposit of rent within the statutory time?
A. As such there are no written grounds for condonation of delay for deposit of rent. U/Sec, 15(7) of Delhi Rent Control Act., “Sufficient Cause” is the only ground which further depends from to facts of the case and the Court may if convinced, condone such delay.
Q29. What should I do to make sure that if I rent my property to someone, as to make it safe. The rent would be around Rs.15,000/- per month.
A. The Delhi Rent Control Act, 1988 was primarily in acted to safeguard the interest of the tenant . However after the amendment made in the Delhi Rent Control Act, in the 1988 the provisions was made that in case the tenancy is over Rs. 3,500/-, the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 would not to be applicable. In the eventuality the person is governed by the normal loss relating to the contract between the party and in a tenancy said law is defined under the Transfer of Property Act. There can be no provision or term in a lease deed which can secured you 100%. However the violating of the property if the would be appropriating better if the rent is kept above Rs. 3,500/-, so that the tenant is not entitled to the protection under Delhi Rent Control Act. If the lease is to be executed for a more than a period, the same is bound under law to be register under Indian Registration Act. and if your are executing a lease over one year you should get the register otherwise the terms of the lease cannot be led as evidence in the court . Even if you write all the request terms, the tenant can still refused to vacant at the end of the tenancy in which eventuality you will have no option but to proceed to the court for eviction of the tenant which normally take a few years, however the precaution which can be taken if that is a good amount can be kept as security and further a clause should be incorporated in lease deed specifying a huge amount as damages in the even talk the tenant willing to vacate the premises.
Q30. If premises are rented to a partnership firm and subsequently the firm is dissolved and the 2 partners continue to occupy the premises for their individual businesses, if the landlord files eviction proceedings against only 1 partner and manages to get a decree of eviction, is the other person also bound by that decree and in case he is not can he obtain a stay from the executing court or what are the other options for him?
A. If the decree is against the one partner then the partner who had been left, has the right to be heard and he may get the stay from the executing court. In your case if the landlord had made the firm also a party and there is a decree against the firm in that case the decree against the firm means decree against all the partners.