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  <%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 120 <%-- End Page Title--%>  

December 14, 2003 

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Your Advocate

This week your advocate is M. Moazzam Husain of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. His professional interests include civil
law, criminal law and constitutional law.

Q: I am owner of a five storied house in Pallabi of Dhaka. I have let the flats to different tenants. Most of the tenants are living in the flats for long time. Recently, I let a flat to a businessman without any written document, only on verbal agreement. It was agreed that he will pay me seven thousand taka per month within first week as rent excluding gas and electricity bill. He paid the amount accordingly for two month. But the tenant is not paying me any rent for the last three month. I asked him to leave my flat, which he denied. I want to evict him immediately as he is not a good man. How can I do so? It should be mentioned that I have no deed of agreement with the tenant. Please advice.
M. Kamaluddin Ahmed,
Pallabi, Dhaka.

Your Advocate: The problem you have mentioned is one of the most common problems with the house owners in Dhaka city and other urban areas of our country. Owning a house in Dhaka city particularly, is no doubt incredible but no less bothering. People having no land or houses in Dhaka city consider themselves less fortunate and exploited by their landlords imposing arbitrary rent and other conditions. On the other hand the landlords are often found to express their disgust saying - maintaining a house now a days in Dhaka city is difficult and cumbersome. Moreover, in these days of influx of people from heterogeneous backgrounds seeking rental accommodations, collection of rent from the tenants in regular order in many cases has turned into a challenge. In any case, the whole thing seems to find better expression in the well-known saying- 'the grass is greener on the other side'.
Back to your particular issue, you have five storied building in Pallabi. You have rented out most of the flats quite some time now and the tenants have been living therein paying their rents in regular order. Recently a businessman has rented one of your flats on oral agreement with a condition, amongst others, to pay his rent within the first week of the month the rent is payable against. For the first two months he paid his rent accordingly. But for the three months next following he did not pay anything. You asked him to leave the flat but he refused to comply. It now appears to you that your tenant is not a good man and the sooner he leaves the better. In other words, you want to evict him from your flat.
A plain reading of the words of your query suggests that your mind often recoils by a lurking fear that there is no written agreement with your tenant. Well, there should be written contracts covering the tenancies of the kind. That does not mean that absence of a written contract between the landlord and tenant can weaken the position of a person as landlord. At best an oral contract can saddle you with a bit heavier burden to prove the terms of contract. Never mind, things will go by customs and practices. As far as I know in Dhaka city tenancies of the kind is created in innumerable cases by oral contract.
So far as eviction of your tenant is concerned, it is the only jurisdiction of a competent court. You can do it through execution of a decree passed by an appropriate court. By non-payment of the monthly rental your tenant has turned into a defaulter, a disqualification which renders him liable to be evicted from the rented premises. Now, in the circumstances, it is advisable for you to consult a good civil lawyer without further lapse of time and file a suit for ejectment and for arrears of rent against your tenant having observed other legal formalities. The more you and your lawyer would be up and doing in pursuing the suit the less time would be taken in getting a decree.

The distribution of property as I have mentioned in my reply (published on the 30th November) partially suffers from mistake. In the reply I have mentioned that the daughters of your deceased brother will take 2/3rd of the share of their father and rest 1/3rd will go to you and your sisters. In giving my opinion I fell into error of legal interpretation. As per terms of Section 4 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinace,1961, the two daughters of your deceased brother will get the entire share of their father to the exclusion of others. For clarification it should be mentioned that wife of your deceased brother shall be entitled to her husband's other property as per law. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

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