Bad news for tenants who don’t pay rent and then file litigations claiming ownership of the property.
Delhi High Court has said such unscrupulous tenants who refuse to pay rent for extended periods and later file frivolous litigations claiming ownership “should be dealt with a heavy hand”.
Thousands of house owners are facing resistance from stubborn tenants who refuse to vacate their premises.
Justice V.B. Gupta made these observations while imposing a cost of Rs 50,000 on tenant Madhu Sudan who the court found “had no intention either to pay the agreed rent or to vacate the premises in East of Kailash belonging to one Valsala Jayamani” and “only tried to grab the property by any means”.
The judge dismissed the appeal filed by Sudan against a lower court order asking him to vacate the house and termed it “abuse of process of law”.
Jayamani told the court a lease deed had been executed with his tenant in July 2006 and he had received Rs 20,000 per month as rent only till September 2006.
Sudan claimed there was “never a tenant-landlord relationship between them” and so there was never a liability to pay the rent.
He claimed his landlord had agreed to sell the property for Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) and he had already paid an advance of Rs 10.3 lakh. But he claimed the “original copies of receipts had been lost and a police report had been lodged”. The court refused to accept this argument.
“The appellant is blowing hot and cold in same breath. He has not placed on record any agreement to sell, to show that by virtue of which he paid advance of Rs 10,30,000,” Justice Gupta noted.
The court said a “strong message is required to be sent” to such people who wanted to enjoy the property of others, “without paying even a single penny” and deprive the lawful owner who had built the house with their hard-earned money.