Rent Control

Recovery possession under Bombay Rents, Hotel Rates Control Act 1944

Recovery possession

Bombay Rents, Hotel Rates and Lodging House Rates (Control) Act 1944

LAW EDITION: 2020

Sec 13- When landlord may recover possession

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act but subject to the provisions of sections 15 and 15A, a landlord shall be entitled to recover possession of any premises if the Court is satisfied –

(a) that the tenant as committed any act contrary to the provision of clause (a) of section 108 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882; or

(b) that the tenant has, without the landlord’s consent given in writing, erected on the premises any permanent structure

Explanation.– For the purposes of this clause, the expression “permanent structure” does not include the carrying out of any work with the permission, wherever necessary, of the local authority, for providing a wooden partition, standing cooking platform in kitchen, door, lattice work or opening of a window necessary for ventilation, a false ceiling, installation of air-conditioner, an exhaust outlet or a smoke chimney; or

(c) that the tenant or any person residing with the tenant has been guilty of conduct which is a nuisance or annoyance to the adjoining or neighbouring occupiers, or has been convicted of using the premises or allowing the premises to be used for immoral or illegal purposes; or that the tenant has in respect of the premises been convicted of an offence of contravention of any provision of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 394 or of section 394-A of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act; or

(d) that the tenant has given notice to quit and in consequence of that notice the landlord has contracted to sell or let the premises or has taken any other steps, as a result of which he would, in the opinion of the Court, be seriously prejudiced if he could not obtain possession of the premises; or

(e) that the tenant has, since the coming into operation of this Act, unlawfully sub-let or after the date of commencement of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control (Amendment) Act, 1973, unlawfully given on licence, the whole or part of the premises or assigned or transferred in any other manner his interest therein; or

(f) that the premises were let to the tenant for use as a residence by reasons of his being in the service or employment of the landlord, and that the tenant has ceased, whether before or after the coming into operation of this Act, to be in such service or employment; or

(g) that the premises are reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for occupation by himself or by any person for whose benefit the premises are held or where the landlord is a trustee of a public charitable trust that the premises are required for occupation for the purposes of the trust; or

(h) that the premises are reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for carrying out repairs which cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated: or

(hh) that the premises consist of not more than two floors and are reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for the immediate purpose of demolishing them and such demolition is to be made for the purpose of erecting new building on the premises sougth to be demolished; or

Explanation– For the purposes of this clause, premises shall not be deemed to consist of more than two floors by reason that on the terrace of a building there are one or more of the following structures that is to say, tower-rooms, sitting-out-rooms, ornamental structures, architectural features, landings attics or one or more rooms of whatsoever description (such room or rooms, being in the aggregate of an area of not more than one-sixth of the total area of the terrace.

(hhh) that the premises are required for the immediate purposes of demolition ordered by any local authority or other competent authority: or

(i) that where the premises are land, such land is reasonably and bona fide required by the landlord for the erection of a new  building, or

(ii) that where the premises are land in the nature of garden or grounds appurtenant to a building or part of a building, such land is required by the landlord for the erection of a new residential building which a local authority has approved or permitted him to build thereon;

(j) that the rent charged by the tenant for the premises or any part thereof which are sub-let before the 1st day of February 1973 is in excess of the standard rent and permitted increases in respect of such premises or part or that the tenant has received any fine, premium, other like sum or consideration in respect of such premises or part; or

(k) that the premises have not been used without reasonable cause for the purpose for which they were let for a continuous period of six months immediately preceding the date of the suit; or

(l) that the tenant after the coming into operation of this Act has built, acquired vacant possession of or been allotted to suitable residence.

(2) No decree for eviction shall be passed on the ground specified in clause (g) of sub-section (1) if the Court is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the question whether other reasonable accommodation is available for the landlord or the tenant, greater hardship would be caused by passing the decree than by refusing to pass it.Where the Court is satisfied that no hardship would be caused either to the tenant or to the landlord by passing the decree in respect of a part of the premises, the Court shall pass the decree in respect of such part only.

Explanation.- For the purposes of clause (g) of sub-section (1),

(a) [* * *]

(b) the expression “landlord” shall not include a rent-farmer or rent-collector or estate-manager;

(2A) A landlord shall not be entitled to recover possession of any premises under the provisions of clause (g) of sub-section (1), if the premises are let to the Central Government in a cantonment area, and such premises are being used for residence by members of the armed forces of the Union, or their families.

(3) The Court may pass the decree on the ground specified in clause (h) or (i) of sub-section (1)only in respect of a part of the premises which in its opinion it is necessary to vacate for carrying out the work or repairs or erection.

(3A) No decree for eviction shall be passed on the ground specified in clause (hh) of sub-section(1), unless the landlord produces at the time of the institution of the suit a certificate granted by the Tribunal under sub-section (3B) and gives an undertaking,

(a) that the new building to be erected by him shall subject to the provisions of any rules, by laws or regulations made by a local authority, contain not less than 3 two times the number of residential tenements, and not less than two times the floor area, contained in the premises sought to be demolished.

(b) that the work of demolishing the premises shall be commenced by him not later than one month, and shall be completed not later than three months, from the date he recovers possession of the entire premises; and

(c) that the work of erection of the new building shall be completed by him not later than fifteen months from the said date:

Provided that, where the Court is satisfied that the work of demolishing the premises could not be commenced or completed, or the work of erection of the new buildings, could not be completed, within time for reasons beyond the control of the landlord, the Court may by order for reasons to be recorded extend the periods by such further periods, not exceeding three months at a time as may, from time to time, be specified by it, so however that the extended period shall in each case not exceed twelve months in the aggregate.

(3B) (a) For the purposes of sub-section (3A), the State Government may from time to time constitute a Tribunal consisting of such persons and for such local area as it thinks fit.

(b) The Tribunal constituted under clause (a) may grant a certificate after being satisfied that –

(i) the plans and estimates for the new building have been properly prepared;

(ii) [* * * *]

(iii) the necessary funds for the purpose of the erection of the new building are available with the landlord; and

(iv) such other conditions as the State Government may by general or special order specify, have been satisfied.

(c) The proceedings before the Tribunal shall be in the manner as may be prescribed by rules made by the State Government in this behalf.

(4) For the purposes of clause (j) of sub-section (1) the standard rent or permitted increases in respect of the part sub-let shall be the amounts bearing such proportion to the standard rent or permitted increases in respect of the premises as may be reasonable having regard to the extent of the part sub-let and other relevant consideration.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where the premises let to any person include –

(i) the terrace or part thereof, or

(ii) any one or more of the following structures that is to say, tower-rooms, sitting-out-rooms, ornamental structures, architectural features, landings, attics on the terrace of a building, or one or more rooms of whatsoever description on such terrace (such room or rooms being in the aggregate of an area not more than one-sixth of the total area of the terrace,or.

(iii) the terrace or part thereof and any such structures, and the Court is satisfied that the terrace or structures or terrace including structures as aforesaid, are required by the landlord for the purpose of demolition and erection or raising of a floor or floor on such terrace, the landlord shall be entitled to recover possession of the terrace including such tower-rooms, sitting-out-rooms, ornamental structures, architectural features, landings, attics or rooms. The court may make such reduction (if any) in the rent as it may deem just.

13A1- Members of armed forces of the Union, scientists or their successor-in-interest entitled to recover possession of premises required for their occupation

(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act or any contract –

(A) a landlord, who,

(i) is a member of armed forces of the Union, or was such a member and has retired as such (which term shall include premature retirement), or

(ii) holds a scientific post in the Department of Atomic Energy of the Central Government or in any of its aided institutions hereinafter in this section referred to as “a scientist” or was such a scientist and has retired as such which term shall include premature retirement) and one year has not elapsed since his retirement on the date of making of the application shall be entitled to recover from his tenant the possession of any premises owned by him on the ground that such premises are bona fide required by him for occupation by himself or by any member of his family, by making an application for the purpose of recovery of possession of the premises, to the Competent Authority; and the Competent Authority shall make an order of eviction on that ground if, –

(a) in the case of a landlord who is a member of the armed forces of the Union, he produces a certificate signed by the authorised officer to the effect that, –

(i) he is a member of the armed forces of the Union, or that he was such a member and has retired as such, and

(ii) he does not possess any other premises suitable for residence in the local area where the premises are situated; or

(b) in the case of a landlord who is scientists, he produces a certificate signed by an officer of the Department of Atomic Energy of, or above, the rank of Deputy Secretary to Government to the effect that –

(i) he is presently holding a scientific post in the Department of Atomic Energy or in any of its aided institutions specified in the certificate or he was holding such post and has now retired with effect from the date specified in the certificate;

(ii) he does not possess any other suitable residence (excluding any residential accommodation provided by Government) in the local area where the premises are situated.

(B) A successor-in-interest who becomes the landlord of the premises owned by any landlord referred to in clause (A), as a result of death of such a landlord while in service or where he is member of the armed forces of the Union, within five years of his retirement, or where he is a scientists, within one year of his retirement, shall be entitled to recover possession of such premises on the ground that the premises are bona fide required for occupation by the successor-in-interest himself or by any member of the family of the deceased landlord by making an application for the purpose of recovery of possession of the premises, to the Competent Authority; and the Competent Authority shall make an order of eviction on the ground if

(a) in the case of the successor-in-interest of a member of the armed forces of the Union, he produces a certificate signed by the authorised officer to the effect that,

(i) a successor-in-interest is a widow or any other member of the family of the deceased member of the armed forces of the Union, who died while in service on the date specified in the certificate (or of a member of the armed forces of the Union who has retired and who died within five years of his retirement on the date specified in the certificate); and

(ii) such a successor-in-interest does not possess any other premises suitable for residence in the local area where such premises are situated; or

(b) in the case of a successor-in-interest of a scientist, he produces a certificate signed by an officer of the Department of Atomic Energy of, or above the rank of Deputy Secretary to Government, to the effect that –

(i) the successor-in-interest is a widow or any other member of the family of the deceased scientist, who died while in service on the date specified in the certificate (or of a scientist who has retired and who died within one year of his retirement on the date specified in the certificate);

(ii) such successor-in-interest does not possess any other suitable residence (excluding any residential accommodation provided by Government) in the local area where such premises are situated.

(2) Any certificate granted under sub-section (1) shall be conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, –

(1) “authorised officer”, in relation to a member of the armed forces of the Union, means his commanding officer or head of service, including, –
(i) In the case of an officer retired from army, the area Commander,

(ii) in the case of an officer retired from Navy, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Naval Command, and

(iii) in the case of an officer retired from the Air Force, the Station Commander;

(2) “member of the family” means any of the following members of the family of a member of the armed forces of the Union, or a scientist, as the case may be, who is ordinarily residing with him and who is dependent on him and where member of the armed forces of the Union or a scientist has retired or died, any member of his family who is so resident or dependent at the time of his retirement or, as the case may be, death, namely:Spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, grand-son, grand-daughter, son’s wife, grand-son’s wife, widow of pre-deceased son or grand-son;

(3) “successor-in-interest” means, –

(i) if the deceased landlord has a spouse living at the time of his death, spouse, and

(ii) in any other case, any other member of his family;

(4) “aided institutions” means the Tata Institution of Fundamental Research and the Tata Memorial Centre, and also any other institution which may be declared, from time to time, by the Department of Atomic Energy to be aided institution for the purposes of this section.

13A2- Landlord entitled to recover possession of premises given on licence on expiry of licence

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a licensee in possession or occupation of premises given to him on licence for residence shall deliver possession of such premises to the landlord on expiry of the period of licence; and on the failure of the licensee to so deliver the possession of the licensed premises, a landlord shall be entitled to recover possession for such premises from a licence, on the expiry of the period of licence by making an application to the Competent Authority; and the Competent Authority, on being satisfied that the period of licence has expired, shall pass an order for eviction of a licensee.

(2) Any licensee who does not deliver possession of the premises to the landlord on expiry of the period of licence and continues to be in possession of the licensed premises till he is dispossessed by the Competent Authority shall be liable to pay damages at double the rate of the licence fee or charge of the premises fixed under the agreement of licence.

(3) The Competent Authority shall not entertain any claim of whatever nature from any other person who is not a licensee according to the agreement of licence.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section,

(a) the expression “landlord” does not include a tenant or a sub-tenant who has given premises on licence;

(b) an agreement of licence in writing shall be conclusive evidence of the fact stated therein.


NOTE: The above law is also applicable in the state of Gujarat