Tedious legal battles, out-of-court settlements; how tenant-landlord disputes play out in Delhi

People outside the Rohini court in Delhi.

People outside the Rohini court in Delhi. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The struggle for a landlord to get their tenant, who refuses to move out even after the expiry of their lease agreement, tends to be a tedious and expensive legal battle, lawyers say.

Last week a senior citizen couple in Greater Noida had to squat outside their flat for a week before they could move in, as their tenant refused to vacate their house even after the expiry of their lease agreement.

Several legal experts told The Hindu that in cases where tenants refuse to vacate their rented accommodation, the case is usually taken up in a civil court, following which the police or a court officer are directed to execute an order of eviction.

However, such cases also tend to get delayed, said a lawyer who has handled such civil matters. “Courts tend to favour tenants over landlords and let them occupy the flat for a specific period till they find alternative accommodation,” said the lawyer who did not wish to be identified.

Advocate A.K. Pathak, who also has handled such cases, said that with civil courts being burdened with thousands of pending cases, tenant-landlord disputes tend to take an average of two years to be adjudicated.

“It is a long-drawn process. Till the judgment is pronounced, it is the landlord who has to pay out of his pocket to live somewhere else,” Mr. Pathak said.

“One of the factors that the court takes into account is whether the family staying on rent has enough resources to find an alternative house. This further delays the process. The whole proceeding is a series of court dates and summonses, which have a huge financial impact on both the parties due to which they tend to opt for out-of-court settlements,” the lawyer explained.

Cases of breach of rent agreement are usually adjudicated through the Transfer of Property Act, added Mr. Pathak.

To prevent such cases, police suggest that landlords get police verification of their tenants done before renting out their property. “There are various notorious elements who have a history of illegally occupying flats. Hence, houseowners are encouraged to carry out police verification of their tenants,” a senior police officer said.

Subha Chugh, whose family rents out a three-room flat in East of Kailash, said that due to their “unsatisfactory experience” renting out flat to families who have taken months to vacate their property after the expiry of their lease agreement, they have now started renting their house to bachelors after thoroughly checking their personal and professional background.

"Earlier, some of the families we rented our house to, would take a lot of time to move out. We had to approach courts, which tended to favour the tenants. Hence, we had to reach an out-of-court settlement. We now lease out our flats only after carrying out their police verification. It has been a smooth process since,” Ms. Chugh added.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 11:00:25 am |