Select Location
Property Law

How do you evict a tenant, as per Rights of Tenant in India?

Evicting a tenant can be a huge stress for a landlord if the said tenant isn't paying the rent or not vacating the property. However, the eviction of a tenant by the landlord are laid down by various state laws in India. So let's explore the ways a landlord can legally evict a tenant through a justifiable and valid reason for doing so.
Written by:
Prachi Darji
Published on

Finding a tenant is easy, and is one of the most convenient ways to earn money, however, a person takes a huge risk in lending out his property to a stranger. Especially, sometimes, when it comes to the situation where you need to evict the tenant who is neither paying the rent nor vacating the property. Nowadays, landlords take extreme precautions to avoid such situations and are well-versed with the rules and regulations relating to the rental laws, rights of landlords and tenants in India mentioned under the Rent Control Act passed by the Government of India in 1948. This Act was implemented by the State Governments to regulate the rentals of the properties and evictions of the tenants. Under this Act, a Rent Agreement needs to be signed between the landlord and the tenant stating the details of the rented property, the rent period, monthly rent amount and the parties involved.

Table of Content:

  1. Grounds to Evict a Tenant in India
  2. How to Evict a Tenant in India?
  3. How to avoid illegal eviction in India?
  4. What are the steps to take if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Grounds to Evict a Tenant in India

The rental laws in India enable the landlords to file an eviction suit against the tenant if there is a justifiable and valid reason for such a measure. Following are the grounds for eviction of a tenant in India:

  • The tenant has intentionally not paid a mutually agreed rent amount for more than 15 days from the due date.
  • The tenant has sublet a rented property to another person without taking the landlord’s permission or providing a written request.
  • The tenant has used rented premises for unlawful purposes or other purposes than mentioned in the rental agreement.
  • Any action of the tenant has led to the loss of property value or its utility.
  • The tenant’s actions are found to be objectionable by the neighborhood and the landlord has received a complaint against the tenant.
  • The tenant has intentionally refuted the landlord’s title in the rented property for an unknown reason.
  • The landlord needs their property for own occupation or for any family member.
  • The landlord needs their property for repairs and renovation which otherwise is not possible unless the property is vacated.
  • The landlord intends to construct another building that requires demolition of the property.

How to Evict a Tenant in India?

After establishing the grounds for the eviction, the following procedure needs to be followed:

Stage I - Send a Notice to the Tenant to Vacate: An eviction notice needs to be filed in a court under the appropriate jurisdiction mentioning the reason for eviction and the time and date by which the tenant has to vacate the property and is then sent to the tenant to vacate the rental property. The landlord must give a reasonable time to the tenant to vacate the rented property. In the majority of cases, the tenants leave the rented premises after receiving a legal notice from the court.

Stage II - File an Eviction Suit: The tenant may refuse to vacate the rented property after receiving the court’s eviction notice and contest the eviction. In this case, the landlord can hire a rental property lawyer to file an eviction suit against the tenant. The suit for eviction of the tenant is filed in a civil court under whose jurisdiction the rented property is situated.

Stage III - Final Eviction Notice: The court hears both sides and issues a final legal notice for eviction for the tenant based on the arguments and evidence present. The tenant has to vacate the rented property once the court sends the final eviction notice.

This is the tenant eviction process in India, however, the eviction of the tenant without a rental agreement is difficult as there is no proof of property being given on rent to the tenant.


How to avoid illegal eviction in India?

The Supreme Court of India has laid down that landlords cannot evict a tenant for at least 5 years if the rent is being paid regularly unless the landlord genuinely needs the property for himself/herself. There are other things that must be avoided while evicting a tenant, like:

  • The rent agreement must be drafted with the help of a property lawyer and include relevant provisions relating to the use of property, termination of rent agreement, rent amount, etc.
  • Rent agreement must be for only 11 months and provide a clause of optional renewal. It offers protection against eviction complications in the future.
  • The grounds of eviction must be justifiable under the State’s rental laws in which the property is situated.
  • The landlord must not take wrongful eviction measures such as cut-off basic utilities like electricity or water, alter locking mechanism of the tenanted property, throw away tenant’s belongings from the rented property or take penalizing measures by his own. These are criminal offences and tenant has the right to file charges against the landlord if found guilty of such conduct.
  • The landlord must not evict a tenant without sending eviction notice.
  • A background check must be conducted before renting the property to someone.

What are the steps to take if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?

The lease agreement ideally should include courses of action in case of non-payment of rent. Nonetheless, non-payment of rent due is one of the common grounds across state tenancy acts for the eviction of a tenant. A legal notice could be sent to the tenant in question, with details on the rent due, asking the tenant to comply or vacate, and the course of action you’re going to embark on if the tenant does not respond either way.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do tenants have rights without a lease?

For tenancies that are longer than month-to-month, the landlord cannot end the tenancy without cause until the end of the term. However, the landlord does not need to give the tenant notice to move out at the end of the term unless the lease specifically requires it.

Can I call the police to evict a tenant?

No matter how bad the problem is, you cannot kick the tenant out of the property, make threats, or change the locks or turn off the utilities. This is called a “ self-help eviction,” and is illegal. You need to issue an eviction notice from the court before a legal eviction can occur.

What are the rights of the tenants without a lease in India? 

You don’t necessarily need a lease to become a tenant of a property. This kind of tenancy is called tenancy at will. The respective states have their own state laws in this regard as regards tenancy; these laws are applied in their respective jurisdictions. For instance, the state of West Bengal follows the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act 1977. The strongest right that the tenant has is the right against eviction.

What to do if the tenant is not paying the rent?

The lease agreement ideally should include courses of action in case of non-payment of rent. Nonetheless, non-payment of rent due is one of the common grounds across state tenancy acts for the eviction of a tenant. A legal notice could be sent to the tenant in question, with details on the rent due, asking the tenant to comply or vacate, and the course of action you’ re going to embark on if the tenant does not respond either way.

How long can tenant stay without paying rent? 

This question primarily depends on the lease agreement as well. It could have provisions setting out the time period threshold after which the tenant can stay no more. Lease agreements could have clauses on a ‘grace period’ up to which a tenant can stay without rent. Furthermore, negotiations can also pave the way to deciding the amount of time a tenant can live without rent.

How can I evict a tenant without a lease in India? 

Since the respective state laws cover tenancy at will, eviction could be done as per the provisions under the respective legislations. Among non-payment of rent, the other common grounds for eviction include engaging in activities that may reduce the utility or value of the rental property, allowing someone else to occupy the property, without due permission of the landlord, using the property for illegal purposes, end of the period of tenancy, etc. An eviction notice has to be sent before initiation of eviction.

What can I do if a tenant refuses to move out? 

If the tenant does not comply with the legal grounds and refuses to move out, an eviction procedure could be started. Valid grounds for moving the court for eviction are the failure to pay rent and refusal to move outpost the end of lease period.

What happens if the tenant refuses to leave after the eviction notice has been served? 

Non-compliance to the eviction notice would entail court action as and when the landlord chooses to start one.

On what grounds can a tenant be evicted?

Some legitimate reasons you can evict a tenant for are: Non-payment of Rent Lease Violation Property Damage Illegal or Drug-Related Activities Expiration of Lease

Reviewed by: Prachi Darji
Associate - Legal, MyAdvo Techserve Pvt. Ltd.

Prachi Darji is an expert corporate lawyer, currently associated with MyAdvo as an in-house legal advisor. She has finished B.Sc, LLB(Hons.) from Gujarat National Law University. She has an expertise in various domains of law including Intellectual Property Law, Company law, etc. At MyAdvo, she is taking care of litigation strategies and internal legal processes.