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A Residential Lease Deed is a document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of a landlord and tenant when a residential property is being rented. In the most basic landlord-tenant relationship, including those landlord-tenant relationships that exist between friends or family members, having a written lease that outlines all of the terms and conditions of the rental is a necessity. With rental properties, so much can happen between the parties that having everything agreed to in hard copy beforehand will make any disputes down the line a lot easier to deal with. Further, in some situations, it is necessary to list the terms and conditions in writing as stipulated under the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and the Registration Act, 1908 of India.
In a lease, basic information about the rental property - such as rent payments, security deposit information, charges for maintenance and utilities etc.- will be listed by the landlord such that the tenants are aware of their obligations. Additionally, the lease should also list out obligations of the landlord such as payment of property taxes and carrying out of repairs on the property being leased.
Leases can be short-term (a few months) to long-term (a year or more) and are used for all different types of rental properties, such as homes and apartments. A residential lease agreement is a legally binding contract for both parties. It is important to note that if the period of lease is more than 11 months, the lease deed needs to be registered before the jurisdictional sub-registrar as per the terms of the Registration Act, 1908. If the lease deed is not registered, it will not be admissible as evidence in case a dispute arises between the parties to the lease.
How to use this document
This Lease Deed will help the users set forth all the required facts and obligations for rental of a property. In this document, all basic information, such as tenant and landlord names, addresses, and dates of the lease can be listed. More detailed information can also be included.
In this Lease Deed, it is possible to specify what the tenant can and can't do. For example, it can be decided if the tenant will be able to sublet the property or whether he will be subject to special restrictions such as no smoking in the residential premises. Overall, this lease will provide everything to ensure an outline for expectations for the relationship between landlord and tenant. The Lease Deed can be customised to suit requirements and a robust Lease Deed will be created when all the information has been provided.
The Lease Deed would need to be printed on non-judicial stamp paper or e-stamp paper which is available in certain states. The value of the stamp paper would depend on the state in which it is executed as well as the duration of the lease and the lease rent. Each state in India has provisions in respect of the amount of stamp duty payable on the lease deed and the same would need to be determined based on the specific facts of the case. Information regarding the stamp duty payable can be found on the State government websites. For instance, the website of the state of Karnataka provides details of stamp duty payable on lease deeds.
After printing the document on stamp paper or e-stamp paper, as applicable, both parties should sign the lease deed and each party should keep a copy of the lease deed.
Pursuant thereto, the lease deed would need to be registered if, the period of lease is more than 11 months. For the purposes of registration, both the lessor and lessee have to go to the concerned office of the sub-registrar.
Lease Deeds in India may be subject to the rent control laws of individual states. Rent Control Acts provide some rights and benefits to tenants such as protection against eviction, limits on the rent being charged etc. Where a property falls under the rent control law, the tenant may become a statutory tenant. However, these acts apply only to a tenancy of over 12 months.
Further, in terms of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 read with the Registration Act, 1908 all leases for terms of more than 11 months are compulsorily registrable. However, leases for a duration of 11 months or less do not need to be registered with the Sub-registrar.
It would be useful to note that it is required to carry out police verification of tenants in some states in India, prior to giving the residential property on lease to such tenants.
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