in Property Law
eviction of 30 year old tenant
What would be the most effective ground for evicting a tenant? Given that he's been in possession for a period of 30 years or so, would an out-of-court settlement be better?
In the present case, I feel that an out of court settlement will be a better option. As per the law on Adverse Possession which is contained in the Indian Limitation Act, prescribes a limitation of 12 years for a suit for possession of immovable property or any interest therein based on title. Essentially this means that if the landlord has not taken any action to evict the tenant in 12 years, it will be assumed that the title of property has shifted to the tenant. The logic behind this is that since the person who had a right to possession has allowed his right to be extinguished by his inaction, he cannot recover the property from the person in adverse possession. Please note that the period of limitation for a suit regarding Government property (Central or State) is 30 years. The Supreme Court has however held that in order to oust or defeat the title of the Government, that is a government property, a claimant has to establish, firstly a clear title which is superior to or better than the title of the Government or establish title over property by adverse possession for a period of more than thirty years with the knowledge of the Government. Secondly, in order to claim adverse possession, the possession of the claimant must be actual, open and visible, hostile to the owner (and therefore necessarily with the knowledge of the owner). Therefore the court in all instances will rule against the landlord in this case. An out of court settlement between the landlord and the tenant will be a more plausible solution. Under the Rent Control Act, every state government would have appointed a competent authority to oversee disputes that relate to rented property. A landlord is free to approach this body to get a tenant evicted, for which he should carry with him all the registered documents. The authority then listens to both the parties and arrives at a decision and this process takes around 5-6 months. In case either party is not happy with the decision given by the state competent authority, that party may then approach the small cause or city civil court. Each State Rent Control Act has specific grounds based on which a landlord can evict a tenant. Any ground that does not fall under the list specific to your State is not considered to be sufficient for eviction. 1. Article 65, Schedule I of The Limitation Act. 2. U.N. Mitra’s Law of Limitation & Prescription, 13th edition, 2011. Vol. I, revised by Justice S A Kader, P.732 3. Valliamma Champaka v. Sivathanu Pillai (1964) 1 MLJ, 161 (FB). 4. Consultation paper cum Questionnaire on Adverse Possession of Land/ Immovable Property, available at: http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Adverse%20Possession.pdf, last accessed on 26th December, 2014. 5. R.Hanumaiah & another v. Secretary to Government of Karnataka, Revenue Department and others, 2010 (4) SCR 904. 6. Rented your property? Steps to take if a tenant refuses to vacate, The Times of India, available at: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-08-05/news/41093465_1_tenant-property-landlord, last accessed on 26th December, 2014. 7. Stop Eviction Forms & Agreements, available at: http://www.indolegal.com/corporate-services/rental-leasing-agreements/stop-eviction-online-in-india.html, last accessed on 26th December, 2014. 8. Adverse Possession is a method of gaining legal title to real property by the actual, open, hostile and continuous possession of it to the exclusion of its true owner
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