Being forced to evict
I run a school, its a family run school since my grandparents, the property is a leased one. in the lease the number of years is not mentioned, its already 50years since we have been paying rent. the owner is now pressurizing us to empty the premises. kindly help me with some advise this. wether we will have to vacate or their can be a solution to this.
Answered by Sammanika Rawat, Lawfarm Researcher:
We are glad to inform you that you need not worry about the unnecessary threats given by the owner. The reason being that in India, a lease in perpetuity is permitted by the law. A lease is inherent and transferable in nature and allows the formation of sub-tenancy or assignment. Here, since the property was leased to your grandparents, it could be easily transferred to you. (Please note that in case of a lease, death does not end/terminate the lease agreement). By the very fact itself, a lease gives exclusive possession to the lessee till the time mentioned in the lease agreement. Since the original agreement does not specify any time limit, the agreement shall be read to be in perpetuity for your purposes. The legal arguments in your favour are as follows:
1. Since lease agreements are contractual in nature, the intention of parties are understood either by the express or implied terms of the contract. Here, by not specifying the time period, it can be implied that the parties intended to create a lease of permanent nature and the termination of the contract must lie with you (lessee) and not the lessor.
2. Assuming that your grandparents created a sub-tenancy or an assignment in your favour, there has been regular payment of rent since past 50 years and hence termination of such sub-tenancy is not possible for the lessor because the mere fact that the other party was accepting the rent (mention the increased rates in case you have changed the amount in the past) clearly indicates the refusal of such right.
3. It is clearly established that the lease agreement was intended to be in perpetuity that is the reason you payed for the construction a school on the leased property in furtherance of your contract. If the party had not intended to create a perpetual lease they could have mentioned in the contract the time period for the lease or should not have had allowed the construction of school in furtherance of the contract. This clearly implies the intention of both the parties to create a perpetual lease. For this you can refer to S. 53 A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 according to which if you have in part performance of the contract done something in furtherance of the contract then the transferor shall be barred from claiming any rights against you, unless expressly provided in the contract.
Hence, it is clear that the lease in your case was a permanent one. The other party cannot force you to vacate the premise without your consent. We would recommend you to go through the agreement again and see whether it has any "option to purchase" clause. If it is there, you can opt for the same and buy the property by mutually agreeing to a fixed rate and can smoothly run the school.
Hope you were satisfied. Feel free to write back. Happy to help. :)
p.s For further clarification you can read this case which says that a lease without a term may be a permanent lease.
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