• Tenant absconding since May 2016

Dear Sir,
My mother-in-law aged 62yrs is a widow & owns a house. There are two shutters on the front side of her house which she leased for a gift shop since March-2013. The tenant (owner of the gift shop) of the gift shop didnt take any legal lease agreement from her when he took it for rent from my mother-in-law. Upon my mother-in-laws insistence the tenant initially brought a lease document but due to some printing mistakes in the lease documents it was neither signed by both the parties nor was it notarised / registered. 
From May-2016, the tenant has locked the two shutters (Gift shop) & is absconding. He was in big losses and had taken many hand loans in the vicinity of the shop and so ran away absconding one fine night. Since then he has not paid any of the bills (rent/electricity bills/property tax). We waited for the tenant till last few days and finally gave-up all hopes that he might return back, open the two shutters (Gift shop) and pay all the dues to us. 
Last week we approached the local police to help us with this problem. We requested the local Sub-Inspector of Police (S.I.), to perform the punchanama of the two shutters (gift shop) so that things become clear for us to give it for rent to the next tenant for which the local Sub-Inspector of Police is demanding huge amount as bribe. Also the S.I. is also not assuring to perform the punchanama transparently (openly in public). He is giving only verbal assurance and willing to stay behind the screen. His demand for the amount of money is increasing hugely by each passing day.
Now our present problem has turned two faced:
1)	How to get the legal handover of our two shutters?
2)	How to defend ourselves from the corrupt S.I.?
Its almost 6 months now that the two shutters are closed which is the basic source of earnings for my mother-in-law (who is also a widow). We want to re-open the shutter as soon as possible so that my mother-in-law can get her earnings for her living.
Kindly give your suggestion.
Thank you very much,
Regards.
Asked 3 months ago in Property Law from Hyderabad, Telangana
Religion: Hindu
1)your mother had to file eviction against tenant as he has failed to pay rent a nd has absconded 

2) yiu cannot break open the lock of premises rented out to tenant 

3) not necessary to approach the local police station 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23206 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Inform the police about the absence of the tenant, get the articles removed in presence of the police , witnesses and store the same till the tenant comes back.
2. Inform the higher officials about the harassment of the SI. It works.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5192 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1) the draft lease document woukd bear  his address 

2) you can serve him at last known address 

3) if it is returned unserved you can make application to court for substituted service or paper publication 

4) eviction suit may take  some years to be disposed of 

5) court would direct publication in 2 local newspapers

6) there are no short cuts in litigation 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23206 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. It was a blunder on your part to deliver the possession to the tenant without executing a lease deed. If you have the keys of the shops then open them and take the possession. The absence of lease deed helps your cause. If you are to file the suit for eviction you require the last known address of the tenant so that the court may issue summons to him, and if you do not have it then it will take years for the court to decide the case.

2. Police is acting without authority of law in this case as the dispute is only civil in nature, and can thus be agitated only before the civil court. Do not pay any bribe to cops, just open the shutter and file a caveat against the tenant so that he does not play any mischief of seeking an injunction against you. 

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18096 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Now our present problem has turned two faced:
1)	How to get the legal handover of our two shutters?
2)	How to defend ourselves from the corrupt S.I.?
Its almost 6 months now that the two shutters are closed which is the basic source of earnings for my mother-in-law (who is also a widow). We want to re-open the shutter as soon as possible so that my mother-in-law can get her earnings for her living.
Kindly give your suggestion.

First of all your approach to the police itself is wrong.
As per law, if the tenant is not paying the rent regularly or have kept the dues unpaid continuously for more than a month the landlord/owner should issue a notice o the tenant demanding for the payment of arrears/dues from the tenant and can also instruct the tenant to vacate due to his default in rental and other dues. 
If the tenant has locked the shutters and is believed to be absconding, then the legal notice should be sent to his address from where he was operating his business, even if it is returned undelivered, the landlord should file an eviction petition before court, obtain an  exparte order from court and execute the decree by following due process of law on all further issues.
The police has no role to lay in this except to extract money from you, so ignore police and adopt legal procedures by consulting a local lawyer. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13985 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
 What is the procedure for filing eviction case against the tenant? 
(Unfortunately here we do not have any of the contact details of the tenant. He is from a different state)
=> We do have the keys of the shutter but we want to take legal opinion before opening the two shutters/ gift shop
=> If we are file a case against the tenant we need to furnish the his address which is unknown to us. Also the time required for the issue to be settled in court might be atleast in few months which will hurt her monthly earnings and thus her livelihood. Hence she cannot afford to wait for months to settle. 
Kindly understand her aging condition and widow status and please give a fast relief for her.

The procedure to be followed in this regard had been explained in detail to you in my previous answer to your question, yo may adopt the procedures explained.
Do not open the shutter yourself, it will be considered as taking law into or hand or trespass or dacoity also, hence do not involve in such illegal acts. 
if you were contemplating to give heavy bribe to police, why dont you utilise that money for proper legal procedures, which will be more cost effective. 
Do not rush up things or be in a hurry, have patience and move the things legally so that you can have proper solution to the problem.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13985 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi 
1) In your case, there is no lease / rental agreement and also that the tenant has amassed huge rental dues and electricity bills and also has disappeared and hence you have every right to gain entry in to the property and take possession of the property.

2) Issue an advertisement in two news papers(1 english and 1 telugu) about the dues owed by the tenant and also that he has abandoned the shop. 

3) Wait for 7 days and then break the lock of the stores in front of 5 respectable people from your neighbourhood and also to affix their signatures on panchanama. 

4) Also ensure to videograph the entire process. 

 5) Once you break open the lock, submit the copies of panchanama to the District court, Mandal Revenue officer.

6) You may choose to submit the copy of panchanama to the police station if you so wish. 

7) Hence go ahead and break open the lock in front of 5 respectable people. 

8) No need to go to police station or court as there is no rental agreement subsisting between you and the tenant and you are free to break open the lock of shutters, but after issuing news paper advertisement.
Hope this helps.
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
868 Answers
43 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
You have to  file eviction case before the concern city civil Court at Hyderabad or Secunderabad against the tenant on the ground of shop closed continuously, the tenant indebted in the market heavily and he is absconding. If the monthly rent is below Rs.3500=00 the jurisdiction for eviction case will be in control Courts at Hyderabad or Secunderabad under the AP Rent Control Act.  If the monthly rent is more then Rs. 3500=00 the jurisdiction will Civil Court. Since the tenant is absconding it will take no longer time for eviction. You were rightly approached the local police for conducting punchanama and handing lower the shops to your mother-in-law. No need to go further to police. Once you obtain orders from the hon'ble court , the court bailiff will come breakdown the locks and by conducting punchanama they will handover the shutters.
Lakshmi Kanth
Advocate, Hyderabad
223 Answers
2 Consultations
4.8 on 5.0

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