T. Ramaprasada Rao, C.J.
1. The landlords who failed before the appellate authority in an application filed by them under Sections 10(2)(i) and 10(2)(iii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, are the petitioners herein. The case of the petitioners is that they let out the premises in question to the respondent on a monthly rent of Rs. 700 plus Rs. 300 for fittings, etc., under a lease deed, dated 1st August, 1972, for the purpose of running a boarding and lodging house. The lease deed also provided that the demised premises shall take into its fold a garage. The main contention of the petitioner was that the tenant-respondent did not pay the Corporation tax due and payable for the premises, which, according to the petitioners, was payable by the tenant under the terms of the lease and that the respondent used the garage as a dormitory and had thus committed or caused to be committed such acts of waste as are likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building. On the evidence let in, the Rent Controller was satisfied that there was such imparing of the utility of the building and granted eviction. He also thought that there was a legal obligation on the part of the tenant to pay the Corporation tax due and that not having been paid that could be taken as wilful default on the part of the tenant in the matter of the payment or tendering of the rent payable for the premises.
2. The Appellate Authority found that, on the ground of non-payment of Corporation tax, the tenant-respondent could not be evicted. In fact, be found that there was absolutely no evidence to show that the Corporation tax was payable by the tenant as part of the rent of the building in question. Section 10(2)(i) would be attracted only in a case where the rent which was agreed to as the consideration for the occupation of the premises had not been paid or tendered by the tenant. Inasmuch as there is nothing on record to show that under the terms of the lease, dated 1st August, 1972, the tenant had undertaken to pay the Corporation tax as part of the rent for the premises, the Appellate Authority rightly found that the petition for eviction could not be founded on the ground that there had been wilful default in the payment of rent. I agree with the said finding. Corporation tax is payable by the owner, though, of course, there is a statutory right to the Corporation, in certain circumstances, to collect the same, when it is in default, from the tenant in occupation. But that, by itself, does not mean that non-payment of Corporation tax by the tenant would be a ground for eviction under Section 10(2)(i). As this is a legislation which has to be interpreted strictly, I am of the view that, unless there is default in the payment of rent which is the consideration for the demise, there cannot be any default, if such rent had been paid in accordance with the terms or the lease. I have already referred to the fact that there was no evidence that there was any legal obligation cast on the tenant to pay such Corporation tax, as part of the rent. The finding of the Appellate Authority on this aspect is, therefore, confirmed.
3. Regarding the other ground on which eviction was sought, the plea is that the tenant has converted the garage into a room and is using it as a dormitory, as the main purpose of the lease was for boarding and lodging purposes. Whatever may be the position regarding the nature of the user, as agreed to, the question before us is whether by using the garage as a dormitory, the tenant could be said to have committed or caused to be committed such acts of waste as are likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building. Section 10(2)(iii) of the Act is a very stringent provision, and therefore, it becomes all the more necessary for Courts to administer it cautiously and accept the request of the landlord for eviction only under stated circumstances which satisfy every limb of the sub-section. By using a garage as a room it cannot be said that the tenant has committed acts of waste. In the absence of any evidence to show that by such user the utility of the building has been materially impaired, it cannot equally be said that the tenant has committed any acts of waste which would come within the mischief or meaning of Section 10(2)(iii) of the Act. This position was appreciated by the Appellate Authority, who, after considering the evidence found as a fact that the landlords had not established that any acts of waste had been committed by the tenant. He also rightly laid accent upon the non-examination of any technical person like an engineer, who might possibly speak to the impairment of the value of the building by any particular user of the same by the tenant. I also agree with the finding of the Appellate Authority that, in the absence of any evidence to show that the value of the building had been materially impaired or damaged in any manner whatever, no order for eviction could be passed under Section 10(2)(iii) of the Act.
4. The Appellate Authority has come to the correct conclusion and there is no ground to interfere with the same. The civil revision petition, therefore, fails and is accordingly dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.