A Foreigner’s Story of Renting in Bangalore
Replication by the Tenant
To: The Offices of Hemanth and Associates
122, Margosa Road, Malleshwaram
Re: Notice to vacate the premises bearing (Redacted for Privacy)
In regards to your eviction notice dated June 17, 2017, there have been major allegations and false claims made with the pretense of them being correct, as the whole truth has not been explained.
Upon occupying the premises through the services of a realtor, within a week, Mr. Thontadarya told the realtor that he wanted me to leave the apartment and that he did not want me there. Basically, he wished to claim the security deposit of 50,000 INR and then have me leave. This means that your client did not intent to honor a landlord-tenant agreement with integrity and fore rightness from the start.
This systematic harassment did not desist. Upon bring a washing machine and refrigerator to the apartment, Mr. Thontadarya told the delivery men that the items would not fit in the hallway and that they should not come and deliver it. Regardless of his insistence, the delivery men came and infact the items fit in the hallway with more than enough room to spare. After seeing this, Mr. Thontadarya looked extremely disappointed as he felt this was showing that I would not vacate the apartment and in fact would stay for the duration of time that I had rented.
Thus discouraged, Mr. Thontadarya began to embark on an extensive campaign of libel, gossip, slander, and defamation of my name with anyone that he could encounter. This extended to the FRRO (Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office) where he tried to gossip and encourage the officials to create complications and delay with my visa. Infact, Mr. Thontadarya refused to file the C Form that is mandated by the government for all landlords housing a foreign national, instead telling me to “Fill it myself”.
This trail of destructive and malicious gossip continued to the local police authorities, shopkeepers, neighboring tenants, and neighborhood people as in each and every circumstance, hostile and nasty demeanors began to arise. After speaking with Mr. Thontadarya, a detective from Mahalakshmi Layout Police Station began to become very hostile in his demeanor and actions when doing police verification.
During this whole-time period, Mr. Thontadarya’s rent had been paid on time every month, directly to his bank account, along with all utility bills. Yet this was not what your client wished for, as his intent was to cause and propagate trouble.
I approached the local Airtel office to obtain an internet connection. While submitting all documents, the office mentioned that they needed to call the landlord of my residential address to verify that I was a tenant and resided at that address. I agreed and gave Mr. Thontadarya’s details before leaving the office. A few days later, I received a notice that my application had been denied. When I approached the office, they clearly stated that the “landlord had REFUSED to verify my status as a tenant” and thus, he was unable to process my application. This lead to me having to contact the local police station and demand that my application be processed as my landlord (Mr. Thontadarya) refuses to comply. Even upon taking these steps, Mr. Thontadarya refused again to verify, leading to the office having to self-recommend me using their own residential proof in order to get my application processed. This is when the extent that Mr. Thontadarya would go to cause me hardship and struggle became evidently clear. Thus, Mr. Thontadarya accepted me as a tenant only to steal my security deposit (for free basically) and then find a way to harass me (either through having the FRRO reject my visa, or preventing me from bringing appliances to live and survive) and thus, have the apartment to himself while keeping my deposit. This is the true nature and intent of your client.
This was not restrained to a singular occurrence with Airtel. In every referential situation, where our residential address was required, we would try our best to avoid giving our address, despite the fact that we were legally paying rent and legally entitled to reside in the said apartment. This is directly due to the fact that whenever Mr. Thontadarya would be contacted, he would proceed to slander and gossip maliciously about me, thus causing the person who contacted him to become hostile, unhelpful, uncooperative, and nasty. This occurred time without number, restricting both my personal freedom and ease of work.
Infact, Mr. Thontadarya referred to me as “the foreigner” with other people, in an effort to create hate and stigmatism towards me simply for the fact of not being an Indian national. This extended even to me finding talismans (such as crushed lemons, red chillis, and different types of reddish powers) and different religious articles from negative poojas dropped near my door and walkway multiple times. This never occurred with any other tenant in the building, exclusively being reserved for me.
Now, having done this malicious and evil behavior for more than a year, Mr. Thontadarya wishes to distance himself from any ramifications of his actions and wishes to acquit himself as an innocent person to avoid any blame. Thus, he seeks to convolute and twist facts to his nature and desire.
Mr. Thontadarya never presented any eviction notice before me at any time. As per the Rent Control Act, Mr. Thontadarya must present a formal eviction notice and give ample time to vacate the apartment and find new premesis. He never took any of these actions prior, and thus, the statement in Paragraph 3 of your notice which states that “with an ulterior motive you had rudely informed our client that you will not vacate” is false. Furthermore, to imply that requesting my right to be formally notified in writing is an “ulterior motive /rude” is libel and is the epitome of the lack of manner and respect that Mr. Thontadarya has used in his dealing with me.
The stated landlord of the premises is required to present a formal eviction notice if he wishes the tenant to leave. Thus, the statement in Paragraph 3 of your notice which states that “You are liable to pay professional charge of 10,000 INR for issue of this notice” is not only unlawful, but illegal and untrue according to the Rent Control Act. The tenant does not have to pay for any such fees incurred to present a formal eviction notice. That is the responsibility of the owner and the owner alone.
Hence, “willful default” seems to be the excuse of both your office and your client for not having a valid eviction notice. Calling someone on the phone on a weekend (holiday) and telling them you have to leave without a formal date required for vacating is not legal procedure by the law of the land. This is what you state as “our client has specifically requested you to deliver and handover the vacant possession”. He did not in any lawful or orderly manner. “Willful default” would seem to imply that at the time of calling Mr. Thontadarya was not paid rent for several months, no security deposit had been paid, or there was subletting or illegal actions ongoing in the apartment. All these are false, thus the statement that I am responsible for “willful default” is again another commitment of libel and defamation by your office and client, considering that for 2 years, Mr. Thontadarya has received his rent in a timely fashion, directly credited to his bank account.
However, upon trying to illegally evict me without prior notice and harass me by calling me day and night to demand that I leave, I ceased the paying of rent for this month, not knowing what further illegal and unlawful actions he may take. As legal action has been taken, I will not be responsible for the payment of rent to a landlord that subverts the law and tries to use it for his own greedy gain. He can file legal action to resolve the issue and await the judgement of the Honorable Court, as I will do the same.
The only valid and lawful statement of this notice is the notice of eviction and the date of eviction set at 30/09/2017. The rest of the entirety of this notice, with specific mention of Paragraphs 3 and 5, are not only illegal but amount to slander, libel, and intentional defamation. Not very different from the actions of your client for the duration of time that I have resided in his premises.
Therefore, I demand that an apology letter be sent, refuting the above-mentioned Paragraphs and withdrawing the accusations to my name, dignity, and mental/ physical state of well-being or I shall pursue criminal charges against your client for the same.
Replication by Tenant