Eviction of a Tenant in India

Last Updated at: Oct 12, 2020
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Following a letter from several doctors and nurses in Delhi, dated 24 March, the Resident Doctors ‘Association (RDA) protested that their landlords were forcefully driven out for fears that COVID-19 would spread.


It’s well established that laws governing tenancy in India tend to favour the tenant. For example, only recently the Supreme Court ruled that a tenant cannot be evicted for five years (regardless of the length of the agreement) by his landlord so long as the rent is paid on time — unless the landlord needs to use the place himself. As a landlord, you will find such a ruling ridiculous. But because of such rules, you should include strict clauses that make it easier for you to evict your tenant in the tenancy agreement, should the need arise. Here are common reasons for eviction of a tenant:

1. Failure to Pay Rent

If you need to evict your tenant, non-payment of rent is perhaps the strongest case you could have. Even if the rent is delayed by longer than 15 days, it’s good enough to evict. This includes non-payment of electricity, gas or any other utilities bill, unless it is stated in the agreement that these expenses will be borne by the landlord.

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2. Sub letting

In case your tenant is letting out your apartment to another, putting it up on AirBnb or even hosting a friend or family member for an extended period of time, you can have him/her evicted in case of an unwillingness to put an end to the practice.

3. Commercial Use

In case your tenant decides to run a business from your property, even you could be in trouble. You could immediately choose to evict in this case, or even if the property is used for a purpose other than that mentioned in the agreement.

4. Property Damage

An obvious reason, usually mentioned in all agreements. Any significant material damage to the property can be recovered from the deposit.

5. Society Problems

In case the behaviour of the tenant is not satisfactory according to the society, you may evict the tenant.

6. Self-use

In case you need to use the property yourself, for whatever reason, you may evict the tenant and resume use of the property.

To evict the tenant, you would need to serve him with an eviction notice.

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Writing An Eviction Notice

An eviction notice is the first legal action for a landlord looking to remove his/her tenant. If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, you may file a case for eviction of the tenant. In India, for a variety of reasons, tenancy laws tend to be tougher on the landlord than the tenant. Consequently, there are limited reasons for which a tenant can be evicted. These reasons may even be different depending on the state you are living in. However, there really is no harm in serving an eviction notice upon your tenant.

Your eviction notice should be to the point. It should also stick to the facts, or your tenant could end up using your own notice against you. If you are unclear about how to write one even after reading this guide, do consult a lawyer.

Use Business English: In a purely business style, whether in English, Hindi or regional language, indicate the address in the top left, use the tenant’s name formally, and begin the notice. Also include the date on which you are writing and the subject of the letter.

Indicate Reason for Eviction: Always strongly indicate the reason for the eviction. Inform the tenant how he or she has violated the terms of the lease. This should include the landlord’s business, the tenant’s name and the date of the lease. The letter should then go into detail as to reason why the tenant is in violation of his lease.

Indicate Possible Remedies: You can’t give the tenant no recourse whatsoever. You need to list steps that the tenant must take to remedy the situation and a deadline for the same. For eviction due to non-payment of rent, which is the most common cause of eviction, a 15-day notice is required.

Take Period of Stay into Account: Do note that the reason for eviction, in some way, depends on the length of time the person has been your tenant. The longer the relationship, the stronger your reason needs to be.