How to send a Legal Notice to tenant to vacate premises
Owning extra houses and earning rental income from those houses is considered a good source of passive income. However, if proper steps are not taken, this easy source of income can turn into a nightmare. Especially if you happened to deal with irresponsible tenants.
Written by: Prachi Darji
Published on 14-Oct-19
Why send notice to vacate premises?
Sending an eviction notice to the tenant by the landlord in India is a formal intimation. A legal notice to the tenant to vacate the premises from the landlord is assumed as an opportunity for the tenant to find a new place. Notice to tenant to vacate is a situation where a tenant is given a reasonable time to leave the rented place and find a new one. In order to vacate the rented property, a legal notice works really well.
In any tenancy, the situation gets worse for a landlord when the tenant is a bully. Such tenants do not want to leave the premises and create an uncalled nuisance for the landlord. India is one such place where such issues are quite prevalent. The tenant forcefully stays in possession, thereby inviting the landlord to exercise the right to file a suit for eviction against the tenant. But before filing a suit, the landlord should first send notice to the tenant to vacate the premises.
“Before filing the case, sending a legal notice to the tenant acts as a final warning. In case the tenant still does not vacate the premises, you should then file the case for eviction of the tenant”, says Advocate Mohd Faris.
People living in a flat provided by their employers often rent it in the hope of some extra income. However sometimes it gets difficult to dispossess the tenant from the property even after sending flat-vacating notice to the tenant. In this scenario, the landlord should not get worried too much. He/She can always consult a good advocate for evicting the tenant after fulfilling all the requirements of the notice. This is where tenant eviction notice is of prime importance.
India follows certain rules and regulations when it comes to handling such legal matters, and there are various templates of such an eviction format available online today. When this kind of situation arises the landlord should consult a good advocate and send a properly drafted notice letter to tenant to move out written in a specific format.
Sample Draft to send a legal notice to vacate the premises:
When the landlord wants his rented property to be vacated, he will send a letter or notice to vacate to the tenant. The landlord has the right to ask for his property back from the tenant after giving a reasonable time. Though it is not mandatory, notice to the tenant to vacate the property is a proper and acceptable form of communicating the fact that the landlord wants to remove the tenant from his premises. Eviction notice to the tenant by landlord is also a form of evidence in the Court of Law to prove that the tenant was given reasonable time to make the necessary arrangements to move out. Sometimes there are situations where landlords give the premise on lease for a certain time.
But sometimes, the tenant needs to vacate it before the end of the lease period. In such situations, the landlord sends a lease termination notice to tenant about vacating the property. The quit notice letter from the landlord to the tenant should be on a lawyer’s letterhead to show that the landlord is interested in initiating a legal suit if the tenant does not leave the premises.
Advocate Tanuj Agrawal says, “With the innumerable cases of squatting or damaging the property, renting out house properties are turning out to be an ugly affair for decent people.”
What are the grounds available to the landlords for sending notice to the tenants to vacate the premises?
Although Premises and Tenancy Acts differ from state to state, it nonetheless describes reasons for sending a notice by the landlord. A tenant eviction notice can be sent in the following cases:
If the tenant with malafied intention is not paying the rent to the landlord even after expiry of fifteen days
The tenant is subletting the property without the written consent or no-objection of the owner of the property
If the tenant uses the property for a different purpose than the Agreement clauses. e.g. Using a Residential property for a Commercial Purpose
Doing any act or omission by the tenant that results in loss of utility or value of the tenanted property
Using the property in any purpose or business which is illegal and immoral under the law of the land
Creating nuisance in the neighborhood in such a way that everyone asks a written consent against the tenant
Occupy any other premises for more than four months in a different state or region of the country
If the tenant denies the title of the owner or changes the nature of the property without the written consent of the landlord
When tenant adds, alters or creates any permanent/temporary construction in the premises without the written consent of the landlord
If the tenant increases the rent of the sublet without the written consent of the landlord. Even though the tenant had a written consent of the landlord for subletting
If the landlord needs the premises for his own purpose or for the purpose of his family members.
A genuine need for the property for performing necessary repairs requires empty premises. But after completion, the tenant will have the right to enter premises.
If one needs to demolish the premises for the construction of another building.
In any of the above-mentioned situations, the landlord should consult a good advocate and properly draft a legal notice of eviction against the tenant. If the tenant won’t leave after the 30-day notice, the landlord has the liberty to file an eviction suit against the tenant before the court of law.
It is crucial to remember that there are also tenant rightsthat can be exercised by tenants to reply to the 'tenant notice' of the landlord.
Concerned Statutes and Courts to deal with a tenant eviction notice
In India, the Premises and Tenancy Acts regulate the disputes between a tenant and a landlord. This act differs from state to state. Apart from this, there are several other Acts available in India like the Rent Control Act 1948 (pdf). After sending tenant notice to end the tenancy by the landlord, if it still doesn’t produce any results then the landlord can put forward a complaint before the Rent Controller under whose jurisdiction the property is located.
Another legal remedy available to the landlord is filing an eviction suit against the tenant. This one can be filed either before a Civil Judge Junior Division or before a Civil Judge Senior Division. It depends on the value of the property in dispute.
Along with the Premises and Tenancy Acts, the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 also guides the eviction suit. If the tenant is acting like a bully and does something illegal, the landlord has the right to lodge a complaintin the concerned Police Station. Also, file a case before the Criminal Court under the Provision of Code of Criminal Procedure and Indian Penal Code.
Steps involved in filing a case for Eviction against the Tenant:
Documents and Questionnaire: Once you send in a request, a checklist of documents and a questionnaire will be provided to record your details.
Document Verification: You will be required to send clear scanned copies of documents pertaining to the property for verification by a lawyer.
Petition Drafting: The petition will be drafted and shared with you for review and approval within 7 days of receiving the documents.
Signed Draft: You are required to print the draft on legal size paper, sign and send it to us via courier/ post.
Filing of Case: The case will be filed before the relevant civil court within 3 days of receiving the signed petition
First Hearing: The lawyer will present preliminary arguments before the court to get the case admitted.
Reply: Upon presentation of arguments by the lawyer, the Court will ask the opposite party to file its reply.
Hearing and arguments: The court will conduct hearings in the matter and examine the evidence presented before it. We will keep you updated on the status of your case.
Judgment: The court will deliver judgment in the matter.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How many days notice should a tenant and landlord give each other?
A tenant must give at least 21 days' written notice to end the tenancy unless the landlord agrees to a shorter time. This agreement should be in writing. A landlord must give at least 90 days' written notice to end the tenancy. Landlords can give less time (at least 42 days' notice) in some cases.
What can you do if a tenant is not vacating?
Send a legal notice to your tenant asking him/her to pay the arrears of rent or to vacate within a month. The tenant has to pay rent in the court, once it is assessed by the cour. In case he/she fails, it calls for immediate eviction.
What happens if a tenant refuses to move out?
If the tenant fails to pay, the landlord can terminate the lease after the notice period has expired. If the tenant refuses to vacate, the landlord must file an “unlawful detainer” action, commonly known as eviction, with the local courthouse.
Can a landlord evict a tenant without going to court?
If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can have him served with court papers. But a landlord cannot legally evict the tenant without a court order.
What are the tenant's rights when the landlord sells the property?
Tenants have the right to remain in a property for the term of their lease after ownership has changed hands. Month-to-month tenants are less secure and may be given notice to move, with 30 - 60 days' notice.
Do I need an attorney to evict a tenant?
Technically, a lawyer is not required to evict a tenant. However, a single mistake can delay the eviction proceedings and even require the landlord to start the process afresh. So the possible consequences of a mistake made by a layperson/landlord may outweigh the cost of counsel.
What are the documents required to file an eviction suit?
Typically, the following documents are required to initiate the process of evicting a tenant in Court:
Sale Deed/ Title Deed/ Any other document establishing ownership of the Landlord over the property
Lease or Rent Agreement between Landlord and Tenant
Previous lease or rent agreements between Landlord and previous tenants
A legal notice sent to the Tenant
Original postal receipts
Any other document related to tenancy
Any document providing proof of misconduct by the Tenant
Is it legal to evict someone in 3 days?
No, it is not lawful to evict a Tenant in 3 days. The process of evicting a tenant begins by sending the Tenant an eviction notice. The eviction notice must state the grounds for eviction in detail. The notice should provide a reasonable time for the Tenant to vacate the premises, which is typically one month. However, if there is a specific time period incorporated in the lease or rent agreement, then it is mandatory to provide the Tenant with the required time period to vacate the premises.
How to avoid illegal eviction?
To avoid illegal eviction, the Landlord must adhere to the legal requirements for evicting a tenant. The step by step procedure for evicting a tenant is as follows:
Step 1: Serve an eviction notice to the Tenant stating in detail grounds for eviction and giving reasonable time for the Tenant to look for alternative accommodation.
Step 2: In case the Tenant has not vacated the premises, file an eviction suit in the Civil Court having jurisdiction over the area where the property is situated.
Step 3: The Tenant will file his reply to the eviction case and the Court will conduct trials and hearings in the matter.
Step 4: Court will pass a decision in the matter and give directions to the Tenant to vacate the premises.
Step 5: Before evicting the Tenant, wait for the statutory time period available to the Tenant to file an appeal against the order.
Step 6: In case the appeal is not filed, you can then remove the Tenant from the premises. In case of any resistance, you can seek the help of the police authorities in doing so.
Can a landlord evict you without a court order?
As per the terms and conditions of the lease or rent agreement, the Landlord can serve an eviction notice to the Tenant to vacate the premises. However, in case of resistance by the landlord and refusal to vacate, the Landlord should approach the Court for an eviction order.
How long can you go without paying rent before getting evicted?
Any delay in payment of rent is a valid ground for the eviction of a Tenant. As soon as the rent becomes overdue, the Landlord can initiate eviction proceedings against the Tenant.
How to evict a tenant without a rent agreement?
In case the Tenancy is based out of a verbal arrangement between the Landlord and the Tenant and a written rent agreement is not available, the Landlord can still initiate eviction proceedings. However, the landlord would be required to establish the tenancy and the terms and conditions of such tenancy through available documents. These documents could be monthly payment receipts issued to the Tenant in lieu of rent, electricity bills, evidence of the staff working on the Tenanted premises, or any other document proving that the Tenant is in the occupation of the premises.
How much time does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out?
The Landlord is required to give the Tenant the time period stipulated in the rent agreement to vacate the premises. In case of absence of any such provision, typically, a one month notice is served onto the Tenant by the Landlord.
How can an advocate help the landlord in sending a legal notice? How do you get a good one?
The advocate will help you in drafting a proper legal notice against the tenant stating the reasons for evicting him. The advocate fees for legal notice for the eviction of a tenant in India vary from advocate to advocate. The advocate should be experienced in writing and drafting a quit notice letter for the tenant and handling such landlord-tenancy matters. With MyAdvo, you get to find lawyers in India who are expert in sending a legal notice. All you have to do is just select one that matches your criteria. MyAdvo acts like a legal concierge. We provide you with a directory of lawyers near you, who have attained great expertise in their respective legal domains.
Documents required for sending Tenant Eviction Notice
Primarily, an eviction legal notice should include basic information on the way you got into contact with the tenant and such other background details. It should list the reasons for eviction, the time provided by the landlord for evicting from the property and the information on further plans of action in case the tenant does not get back.
How much notice do I need to give tenants to move out?
The notice has to mention the time period within which the tenant is expected to reply and comply with the legal notice. This compliance depends on the demands set out by the landlord. The landlord could, for instance, ask the tenant to pay the dues within a particular period of time if he/she is to avoid legal consequences.
How do I write a letter of eviction to my tenant? / How do I write a notice to a tenant to vacate?
A template for a letter for eviction, which is the first step in the eviction of the tenant, could be obtained from the internet. The notice could be customized as per the demands you would like to put up. It should necessarily mention the background details, the reasons for eviction, the time provided by the landlord for evicting from the property and the information on further plans of action in case the tenant does not get back. It can set out scope for negotiation and settlement as well, where, for instance, the tenant could be asked to pay a particular settlement amount if he is to prevent legal consequences including eviction.
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.