As per the law, a tenant has a legal right to go to the court and defend himself against an illegal eviction. Often non-payment of rent, rent agreement violation, property damage and illegal activity are key grounds for a tenant eviction. However, in case of illegal eviction, the tenant has certain rights which can be exercised. This article looks at these rights and how a tenant can exercise them The position of tenant is always vulnerable as he/she has to live in the fear of receiving an unwarranted notice of eviction from the landlord and then, facing
again the trauma of seeking other premises on lease at a cost which may or may not suit their budget and lifestyle.
The recent upheaval was caused in Mumbai from the outbreak of the news about the state governments plan to incorporate its Model Rent Control Act, which was expected to weaken the protection of tenants from random hike in rent and unwarranted eviction.
Let us take a look at how law can protect the tenants from this unwarranted and fake act of eviction by the landlord.
Legal Position on eviction
If the tenant finds out that the eviction is not bona fide and unjustifiable, then he/she has the right to be protected from such eviction. The laws pertaining to tenant protection from eviction are governed by respective state laws and each state has enlisted certain grounds which legally allow the landlord to evict the tenant. Any other ground other than mentioned in the list allows tenant to seek the help of laws and courts to protect themselves from such unwarranted acts of landlord.
In addition to above, there are regional and state laws which govern rent and lease agreements, carefully drafted, mutually agreed and signed by both tenant as well as landlord. These State Acts also enable tenants to fight for their right of protection if landlord compels the tenant to evict him/her for any invalid reason/ground as not enumerated in the Act.
In general, such eviction cases in the court take longer settlement time and goes on for about 10-20 years.
The West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1997 Act applies to residential as well as commercial tenants in equal measure.
The Act makes it easier for the landlord to evict a tenant when he needs the
premises for his own use if he does not have suitable accommodation in the same area. other than this, however, eviction remains as difficult as before for landlords whose tenants are not on contract.
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