Heard of many HAPPY landlord-tenant relationships? Or a landlord who doesn’t believe he owns your life along with the house? If the answer is yes, you're a lucky soul. This relationship is mostly garbed in mistrust, especially in India.
So here's a quick and easy guide to make sure that if you're renting, you don't regret your decision.
If you're renting, be aware
Ask for Title Document to make sure that the person renting or leasing out the premises is the actual owner of the place or someone who has the power of attorney to make that decision on the behalf of real owner.
Second, if you are looking for a house in a co-operative society or colony, insist on looking at Share Certificate also.
Renting vs Leasing
Based on a tenant's stay duration requirement, a Rental or Lease agreement should be drafted. Although renting and leasing a property eventually serves the same purpose, renting is for a shorter period while leasing is usually for a longer period of time.
A rental agreement provides for a tenancy of a short period (often 30 days) that is automatically renewed at the end of the period unless the tenant or landlord ends it by giving written notice. The landlord can also change the terms with a proper written notice.
On the other hand, a written lease gives a renter the right to occupy for a set term, as long as the tenant pays the rent and complies with other provisions. The landlord cannot raise the rent or change other terms during the lease, unless the tenant agrees.
Make A Full Proof Rental/Lease Agreement
A rent/lease agreement is a legal document which binds the landlord and the tenant to comply with the mutually-agreed conditions. It is the most crucial document in case of a dispute between the two. Therefore, utmost care should be taken in drafting the document. It should state all terms and conditions clearly to avoid any dispute in future. You should take the help of a legal expert to draft the agreement or stay tuned till the end of this article for a cheap alternative.
What should Rental/Lease Agreement Include?
It's time to put things on paper. This is what an ideal agreement should include
- Name, address, contact details of the tenant and the landlord
- Details of the property
- Value of security deposit, monthly rent and maintenance charges (if any)
- Rent escalation clause should the parties choose to renew the contract
- Penalty for late payment, non-payment of rent or illegal/disruptive behavior
- Lock in period (if any)
- Permission to house pets or particular food habits expected from the tenant
- List of inventory such as electrical appliances, fixtures, furniture, etc
- Grounds for contract termination
- Eviction clauses
- Notice period clause
- Any special clauses
Both the parties should give a thorough read to all these details and should be free to add clauses of their choice as long as they are mutually acceptable.
Make the agreement legally binding
Once you have drafted the agreement and printed it on Stamp Paper of appropriate value, the owner and the tenant need to sign it in the presence of two witnesses. The next step is to get it registered at the local Sub-Registrar office on payment of required registration fees. However, according to Registration Act of 1908, registration is compulsory only if the lease is for one year and more but it's advisable to register the document even if it is for lesser duration.
Agreement at a click of a button
At the beginning of the article, we promised you a cost-effective alternative but we forgot to mention it is not just cheap but quick and easy too. Online portals like legaldesk.com specialize in producing pre-drafted and lawyer verified ready to use rental agreement templates. These deeds are legally perfect and can be customized in a matter of minutes. These guys can even print it on Stamp Paper of recommended value and deliver it to your address. Isn't that great?
Do remember that the landlord is also legally bound to run checks on you, including the very important Police Verification. Not doing this is a punishable offence under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. This is to make sure you don't have a criminal background. We're hoping you don't!