Landlady’s marriage no ground for tenant’s refusal to vacate: Supreme Court


A tenant cannot refuse to vacate saying his landlady is now married and has her husband’s home to live in, the Supreme Court has held.
Subsequent marriage of the landlady shall not extinguish her bona fide requirement for retaking possession of a rented premises from her tenant, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi held in a 12-page verdict recently.
The case concerns eviction suit proceedings filed by a BSc graduate against her tenant, who is running a hotel on the rented premises at Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Nidhi wanted repossession of the rented portion of her house so that she could accommodate her ailing grandparents from the village. She said that she and her sisters wanted a separate room to study undisturbed.
Her tenant, Ram Kripal Sharma through his legal heirs, countered that the family was influential and lived in a palatial house – Kath Mahal – which had huge halls and plenty of rooms. On the other hand, the tenant said his family survived on the earnings from the hotel.
As the litigation dragged on for the past 20 years, since 1987, Ms. Nidhi and her sister got married and settled in various places.
The fact that they got married went against them when the case reached the Allahabad High Court.
The High Court agreed with the tenant that there was no need to release the rented portion as Ms. Nidhi and her sister were married and lived away from the ancestral home. The High Court held that their “alleged need disappeared long back”.
The High Court further said that Ms. Nidhi’s husband was a high government servant and had separate residential accommodation for his family.
Setting aside the High Court decision, Justice Banumathi, who wrote the verdict for the Bench, held that just because a woman is married does not mean that she does not have her own personal need for space.
The Supreme Court observed that only because her husband has been allotted a government accommodation does not mean Ms. Nidhi’s need for more space has automatically come to an end.
“She requires the scheduled premises for herself as well as for her parents and grandparents and her bona fide requirement has not been properly considered by the High Court,” Justice Banumathi concluded, ordering the tenant to vacate the rented premises within a month.


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