Landlord-Tenant disputes in Non-Resident Indian (NRI) cases. Eviction of a Tenant!


Landlord-Tenant disputes in Non-Resident Indian (NRI) cases can be complex, often involving issues such as property management, rent agreements, eviction, and maintenance.

Common Issues in NRI Landlord-Tenant Disputes

  1. Non-Payment of Rent: Tenants may fail to pay rent on time, leading to disputes.
  2. Unauthorized Use or Subletting: Tenants may use the property for purposes not agreed upon or sublet without permission.
  3. Property Damage: Tenants might damage the property and refuse to cover repair costs.
  4. Eviction Issues: Problems with legally evicting a tenant who refuses to vacate.
  5. Breach of Lease Terms: Either party may breach the terms of the lease agreement.
  6. Property Maintenance: Disputes over who is responsible for property maintenance and repairs.

Steps to Resolve Disputes

  1. Review the Lease Agreement: Ensure that the lease agreement clearly outlines the terms and conditions, including rent, maintenance responsibilities, and eviction procedures.
  2. Legal Action in the case of illegal occupation by the tenant: Firstly a legal notice can be sent by the NRI through their attorney to the tenant for eviction and recovery of arrears. Secondly, a civil suit can be filed against the tenant in the Civil Court/Rent Control Tribunal in whose jurisdiction the property in question is located.
  3. NRI Commission:- A complaint can also be filed with the NRI commission if the property/land of an NRI has been illegally occupied by the tenant.
    1. Evidence: Gather evidence to support your case, including the lease agreement, communication records, and any documentation of the issue (e.g., photos of property damage/illegal occupation of the property etc).
    1. Legal Representation: Consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law, particularly someone experienced with NRI cases.
  4. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the relevant laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where your property is located.

Does police have power to register a case or take any action in landlord-tenant disputes:-

The answer is NO. In India, the role of the police in landlord-tenant disputes is typically limited, as these issues are generally considered civil matters rather than criminal ones. However, there are specific situations where the police may get involved:

Situations Where Police Involvement is Appropriate

  1. Criminal Activities: If there are allegations of criminal activity by the tenant, such as vandalism, harassment, threats, or physical violence, the landlord can file a police complaint.
  2. Trespassing: If a tenant has been legally evicted through a court order but refuses to vacate the property, the landlord may seek police assistance to enforce the eviction.
  3. Property Damage: Significant property damage that constitutes vandalism or intentional destruction can be reported to the police.
  4. Unauthorized Occupancy: If someone occupies the property without the landlord’s consent (e.g., squatting or unauthorized subletting), the landlord can involve the police to address the illegal occupancy.

Special Considerations for NRIs

  • Power of Attorney (PoA): If you are not in India or unable to travel to India on a regular basis, consider appointing a trusted person as your Power of Attorney. This person can handle legal and property-related matters on your behalf.
  • Property Management Services: Hiring a reputable property management service can help in maintaining the property, collecting rent, and dealing with tenant issues.
  • Regular Inspections: Arrange for regular inspections of the property to ensure it is being maintained properly and to address any issues early.
  • Tax Implications: Be aware of the tax implications of renting out property as an NRI. Ensure that you are compliant with local tax laws and regulations.

Case laws:-

➤ Inder Kumar Johar vs. Kailash Devi (P&H)

Transfer of property Act, 1882, Section 53A – Doctrine of part performance- Question as to whether when there is an agreement of sale between the landlord and the tenant, Section 53-A of T.P.A. would come in the rescue of petitioner tenant or not – Agreement of sale between landlord and tenant – It was stipulated that petitioner is a tenant and is in possession – He continued to be a tenant therein – Nothing to show that the petitioner had done anything which could indicate that his status as a tenant has ceased – Petitioner in these circumstances cannot take advantage of Section 53-A of T.P.A. – Petition dismissed

➤ Rajendra Tiwary vs Basudeo Prasad (SC)

A. Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Order 7 Rule 7 – Bihar Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, 1982, Section 11(1)(c) and (d) and Section 2(f) and (h) – Title – Relationship of landlord and tenant – Landlords purchasing the premises and filing suit for evidence of tenant – Tenant denying title of landlords and putting the title in himself – Civil suit by tenant claiming title pending in civil court – Rent Controller cannot decide the question of title – He could pass decree of eviction if there existed relationship of landlord and tenant.

B. Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Order 7 Rule 7 – Scope – Where the relief prayed for in the suit is a larger relief and if no case is made out for granting the same but the facts, as established, justify granting of a smaller relief – Order 7, Rule 7 permits granting of such a relief to the parties – However, under the said provisions a relief larger than the one claimed by the plaintiff in the suit cannot be granted. AIR 1951 Supreme Court 177 relied.


Disputes can be stressful, especially when you are not in the same country. Proactive management, clear communication, and understanding your legal rights and obligations can help in resolving issues effectively.

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