Section 22 - Protection of tenant against eviction

1. Irrespective of anything contained in any other law or contract, no order or decree for the recovery of possession of any premises is made by any court, Tribunal or Rent Authority in favour of the landlord against a tenant barring as provided in sub-section (2).

2. The Rent Authority may, on an application made to him in the prescribed manner, make an order for the recovery of possession of the premises on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) the tenant has neither paid nor tendered the arrears of the rent and other charges for two or more consecutive months within two months of the date on which a notice of demand for the arrears has been served on him by the landlord in the manner provided in section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882). However, a tenant shall not be entitled to the benefit of service of notice by the landlord under this clause if he has already obtained such benefit and has again defaulted in the payment of rent and other charges in respect of those premises;

(b) the tenant has, on or after the 9th day of June, 1952, sub-let, assigned or otherwise parted with the possession of the whole or any part of the premises without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord.

For the purpose of this clause, any premises which have been let for being used for the purposes of business or profession shall be deemed to have been sub-let by the tenant, if the Rent Authority is satisfied that the tenant, without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord, has, after the 16th day of August, 1958, allowed any person to occupy the whole or any part of the premises ostensibly on the ground that such person is a partner of the tenant in the business or profession but really for the purpose of sub-letting such premises to that person;

(c) the tenant has used the premises for a purpose other than that for which they were let— (i) if the premises have been let on or after the 9th day of June, 1952, without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord; (ii) the tenant has not been residing therein, without obtaining his consent. No application for the recovery of possession of any premises lies under this clause unless the landlord has given to the tenant a notice in the prescribed manner requiring him to stop the misuse of the premises and the tenant has refused or failed to comply with such requirement within one month of the date of service of the notice. Also, no order for eviction against the tenant shall be made in such a case, unless the Rent Authority is satisfied that the misuse of the premises is of such a nature that it is a public nuisance or that it causes damage to the premises or is otherwise detrimental to the interests of the landlord;

(d) the premises were let for use as a residence and—

(i) neither the tenant nor any member of his family has been residing therein for a period of six months;

(ii) the tenant has not been residing therein, without a reasonable cause for a period of two years, immediately before the date of the filing of the application for the recovery of possession thereof. The landlord may, on request in writing of the tenant, permit occupancy of the premises by a person other than the tenant or his family not exceeding the period of tenancy.

(e) the premises or any part thereof have become unsafe or unfit for human habitation and are required by the landlord for carrying out repairs or re-construction which cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated. No order for the recovery of possession under this clause, clause (g), clause (h) or clause (i) can be made unless the Rent Authority is satisfied that the plans and estimates of such repairs or re-construction have been properly prepared and that the landlord has the necessary means to carry out the said repairs or re-construction. If the landlord proposes to change the use of the premises after re-construction, then he  must specify it in his application for recovery of possession. After such re-construction, the landlord must, if it is otherwise permissible under law, utilize the built up area equal to the previous area for the original use to the extent required for the purpose of sub-section (1) of section 32 and the rest for any other use;

(f) the premises or any part thereof are required by the landlord for the purpose of immediate demolition ordered by the Government or any local authority or the premises are required by the landlord to carry out any building work at the instance of the Government or a local authority in pursuance of any improvement scheme or development scheme and that such building work cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated;

(g) the premises or any part thereof are required by the landlord for carrying out any repairs which cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated;

(h) the premises are required by the landlord for the purpose of building or re-building or making thereto any substantial addition or alteration. This may include construction on the terrace or on the surrounding land and that such building or re-building or addition or alteration cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated;

(i) the premises consist of not more than two floors and the same are required by the landlord for the purpose of immediate demolition with a view to rebuild the same. A tenant so dispossessed has a right to re-entry at the new terms of tenancy in a premises in the re-built building equivalent in area to the original premises for which he was a tenant;

(j) the tenant, his spouse or a dependent son or daughter ordinarily living with him has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, built or acquired vacant possession of, or been allotted a residence: Provided that the Rent Authority may in appropriate cases allow the tenant to vacate the premises within such period as he may permit but not exceeding one year from the date of passing of orders of eviction;

(k) the premises were let to the tenant for use as a residence because of his being in the service or employment of the landlord, and that the tenant has ceased, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, to be in such service or employment. No order for the recovery of possession of any premises can be made on this ground if the Rent Authority is of the opinion that there is any bona fide dispute as to whether the tenant has ceased to be in the service or employment of the landlord;

(l) the tenant has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, caused or permitted to be caused substantial damage to or such alteration of the premises as has the effect of changing its identity or diminishing its value.

‘Substantial damage’ means such damage that would involve an expenditure equivalent to six months’ rent or more, of the premises.  Alternatively, the Rent Authority finds  the special nature of damage justifiable to qualify as ‘substantial damage’. Provided that no order for the recovery of possession of any premises shall be made on the ground specified in this clause, if the tenant, within such time as may be specified in this behalf by the Rent Authority, carries out repairs to the damage caused to the satisfaction of the Rent Authority or pays to the landlord such amount by way of compensation as the Rent Authority may direct;

(m) that the tenant or any person residing with the tenant has been convicted of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person living in the neighbourhood of the premises or has been convicted of using or allowing the use of the premises for an immoral or illegal purpose;

(n) that the tenant has, notwithstanding previous notice, used or dealt with the premises in a manner contrary to any condition imposed on the landlord by the Government or the Delhi Development Authority or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi while giving him a lease of the land on which the premises are situate: Provided that no order for the recovery of possession of any premises shall be made on this ground if the tenant, within such time as may be specified in this behalf by the Rent Authority, complies with the condition imposed on the landlord by any of the authorities referred to in this clause or pays to the authority imposing such conditions the amount by way of compensation as the Rent Authority may direct;

(o) that the tenant in his reply having denied the ownership of landlord, has failed to prove it or that such denial was not made in a bona fide manner;

(p) that the person in occupation of the premises has failed to prove that he is a bona fide tenant;

(q) that the tenant after having agreed with or having informed the landlord in writing the date to vacate the premises does not do so on or after the date so agreed or informed;

(r) that the premises let for residential or non-residential purposes are required, whether in the same form or after re-construction or re-building, by the landlord for occupation for residential or non-residential purpose for himself or for any member of his family if he is the owner thereof, or for any person for whose benefit the premises are held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable accommodation: Provided that where the landlord has acquired the premises by transfer, no application for the recovery of possession of such premises shall lie under this clause unless a period of three years has elapsed from the date of the acquisition: Provided further that where an order for the recovery of possession of any premises is made on the ground specified in this clause, the landlord shall be entitled to obtain possession thereof on the expiration of a period of six months in the case of residential premises and one year in the case of non-residential premises from the date of passing of eviction order.

3. In any proceeding for eviction under clause (e), (f), (g), (h) or (r) of sub-section (2) of section 22 or section 23 or section 24 or section 25 or section 26, the Rent Authority may allow eviction from only a part of the premises if the landlord is agreeable to it. Provided that, in case of such part-eviction, the rent and other charges payable by the tenant will be decreased in proportion to the part vacated.

4. No order for the recovery of possession in any proceeding under sub-section (2) shall be binding on any sub-tenant referred to in section 29 who has given notice of his sub-tenancy to the landlord under the provision of that section, unless the sub-tenant is made a party to the proceeding and the order for eviction is made binding on him.