Noida Elderly Couple Case: What Tenancy Act Says

The latest incident was in the news this week where an elderly couple from Greater Noida were allegedly forced to spend nights on the stairs of their own flat after they refused to vacate the flat.

Our country is no stranger to disputes between landlords and tenants, and several reforms have been brought in time and again to ensure that these disputes are resolved expeditiously while taking care of the rights of both parties.

Tenancy laws and reforms should not only protect tenants against unfair evictions or rent hikes but also protect the interests of landlords.

Lease Laws

Lease and tenancy in India are governed by the Tenancy Acts. The Rent Control Act was enacted in 1948 to balance and protect the interests of both landlords and tenants. Different versions of the Rent Act have been introduced by states, with each state having its own rent act, such as the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, and the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958.

It is important to note that land is a state object, an aspect fully covered by states. Therefore, states are governed by their own rent control laws, and many have amended them from time to time.

Although rent control laws vary from state to state, they are similar in their basic plan and aim to protect tenants from unfair eviction, protect the interests of landlords, and settle disputes between them.

The laws provide for a written tenancy agreement between the two parties with the terms and conditions of the tenancy.

Tenants are often protected with several rights such as right against unfair eviction, right to basic essential services, right to fair rent. Landlords are protected by right of eviction with cause, right to collect rent etc.

Centre’s Model Tenancy Act 2021

The Model Tenancy Act, 2021 was approved by the Government of India in June 2021 and circulated to all States and Union Territories on June 7, 2021.

Act enacted:

– Establishment of rent authority to regulate rent of premises

– To protect the interests of landlords and tenants

– Provision of speedy adjudication to resolve disputes

What the Model Law Says

The MTA mandates a written rental agreement. The parties must enter into a written agreement specifying the lease term, rent payable and security deposit and other relevant terms.

Under Section 5 of the Act, every tenancy agreed between the landlord and the tenant and entered into as specified in the lease agreement is valid. A renewal or extension of the lease may be sought within the period agreed upon in the lease agreement.

If the lease for a fixed term expires and is not renewed or if the tenant fails to vacate the premises at the end of such lease, the tenant will be liable to pay the landlord an enhanced rent. The enhanced rent will be double the monthly rent for the first two months and then quadruple for the duration of the stay in the premises.

Regarding dispute resolution, in case of dispute, the parties may approach the Rent Authority and challenge the order before the Rent Tribunal followed by the Rent Tribunal.

Important provisions relating to evacuation

Sections 21 and 22 provide the circumstances in which a tenant can be evicted-

A landlord may seek eviction and recovery of premises by the Rent Tribunal for the following reasons:

– Tenant’s failure to pay rent as per lease agreement and failure to pay rent arrears for two consecutive months

– If the tenant has parted with the possession of the premises without the written consent of the landlord or continues to misuse the premises after notice from the landlord

– Landlord is required to carry out repairs, construction etc

– When the tenant has given written notice to vacate the premises and, as a result, the landlord has entered into an agreement to sell the premises or taken other similar steps.

– Structural alterations carried out without the written consent of the Landlord

– If the premises are required by the legal heirs of the landlord on the death of the landlord

What if the tenant does not vacate the premises?

As per law, if the tenant fails to vacate the premises at the end of the tenancy, such tenant may be liable to pay enhanced rent to the landlord.

However, in the event of any catastrophic event in the nature of force majeure, the Landlord shall permit the Tenant to continue in the premises for a period of one month from the date of cessation of such event.

Does the model law follow?

Since land is a state subject, MTA is not mandatory for States/UTs to implement, but they can enact new laws or amend existing laws as per the Model Law.

According to a report, only four states — UP, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Andhra Pradesh — have aligned their local rent laws with the provisions of the Model Tenancy Act, even after a year, when the central government circulated the central version of the law. States and Union Territories may amend their existing laws or enact new laws to make rent laws consistent with the MTA. /)

How a Tenant is Protected Under the Act in UP

Considering that the present case belongs to Uttar Pradesh, the relevant legislation is the Tenancy of Urban Premises Act, 2021.

Protection of tenant against eviction-

Only if the parties agree— Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the landlord and tenant, the tenant is protected from eviction during the continuance of the rental agreement.

Possession of the premises acquired after occupation by the tenant shall not be recovered- A tenant is protected from eviction in cases where the landlord buys the land after the tenant has already occupied the land.

Application for recovery of such premises can be made after one year from acquisition or after expiry of lease agreement.

Tenants must be informed— These provisions are similar to the Model Act and require the landlord to notify the tenant within one month of taking over the premises.

How is the landlord protected?

According to the Model Act, if there is misuse of property, non-payment of agreed rent, misuse of premises, repairs, landlords may apply to the Rent Authority for eviction under this Act. There is structural damage to properties caused by tenants etc.

A definite need

In so far as the protection of the interests of the landlord is concerned, the clause relating to affirmative demand is very important and is a common feature of the rent laws of various states like UP, Delhi.

The Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, as amended in 1988, provides that if the landlord has a genuine and bona fide need for the rented premises, if the landlord needs the land to carry on business or reside in the property, the landlord has nothing else. Alternative asset that he can use.

Section 21 of the UP Act provides that a landlord may seek eviction as a tenant when the premises are required for the purpose of its occupation.

The Supreme Court in Baldev Singh Bajwa case in 2005 held that whenever eviction is sought on bona fide grounds, the presumption is plausible and the onus is on the tenant to rebut it.

Recent important cases

Several courts in the country have time and again decided tenancy disputes while interpreting the provisions of different state rent laws.

In the case of Harish Kumar vs Pankaj Kumar, the Supreme Court observed that a landlord need not be unemployed to claim eviction on the basis of dire need under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Permitting, Rent and Eviction) Act.

The court observed that, as per that provision, the demand pleaded by the landlord must be genuine.

The Supreme Court had last year imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a tenant who had dispossessed a landlord of possession for over 30 years in a dispute over the rent of a shop in West Bengal. The court ordered him to hand over the possessions and asked the tenant to pay the rent for the last 11 years at the market rate.

In a recent case, the Rajasthan High Court opined that the basic purpose of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 1950, to protect tenants from harassment, should not be misconstrued to deprive landlords of their property at all times in future.

Noting that the tenant had been occupying the premises since 1948, the High Court granted three months to the tenant to vacate the premises.

In March this year, the Supreme Court ruled that non-payment of rent can attract civil consequences, but is not a punishable offense under the Indian Penal Code. Neetu Singh vs. U.P. In the case of State, the court quashed the FIR registered by the landlord against the tenant.

In the case of Balwant Singh v. Pant Kumar, the Supreme Court upheld an eviction order passed in favor of a landlord under the East Punjab Urban Rent Control Act, 1949. The court observed that the tenant cannot dictate how much space is sufficient for the landlord. Proposed business venture.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud had in 2019 held that a statutory tenant can be evicted only by following the procedure laid down in the applicable rent control laws and not by filing a possession case against him.

The Court observed that the protection afforded to the statutory tenant by the Rent Control Acts can only be dealt with by following the procedure laid down in such Acts.

— Ends —

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