The majority of the working migrant population in India lives in rented apartments and hence there are a lot of formalities that revolve around the same. The tenant makes you sign a rental agreement before they hand over the keys to you, and the agreement consists of various terms and conditions, binding on both parties. So, if you are planning to rent an apartment, or if you are planning to put your apartment on rent, then you need to know about the rental agreement. And this is the right place.
What Is A Rental Agreement?
A Rental Agreement is a legal contract between the landlord and the tenant. It is also known as the lease agreement. This agreement is a very important legal document comprising all the terms and conditions related to letting out a property on rent. In a rental agreement, you will have information about the property like the size and address, the monthly rent, security deposit, and duration of the agreement. And hence it is highly recommended to read your rental agreement before you sign it as you can negotiate on some points.
Documents Needed For Rent Agreement Registration
- Two passport-sized photos.
- Aadhaar card.
- Identity proof (driving license, voter card, or passport).
- Two passport-sized photos.
- Aadhaar card.
- Voter ID card.
- Passport for people from outside India
Legal Validity Of Rent Agreement
Tenants and landlords avoid executing a rent agreement in order to save costs. Some may also document the arrangement and put terms and conditions with respect to the tenancy but decide not to register the document. This is done in order to avoid the registration charge that both parties have to pay. And a rental agreement without registration is an illegal business. So make sure you get your rental agreement registered and you too keep a copy of the same.
The Stamp Duty On Rent Agreement
While registering a rent agreement, one has to pay stamp duty. And this varies from city to city. This amount is paid, by purchasing the stamp paper of value you owe to the government.
Factors That Must Be Included In The Rental Agreement
Name Of The Occupants
One must mention all the names of the occupants in the agreement, so that one has clarity about the individual living in the house or he/she knows whom to contact in case of any emergency, or it can be put as a rental agreement will help one know who is responsible for the place.
Duration Of Tenancy
The agreement mentions the exact duration of the stay. This will ensure that the tenant will vacate the place on time and won’t unlawfully try to take possession. On the other hand, the landlord, cannot force the tenant to vacate the place before the completion of the term mentioned in the rent agreement.
The Rent Amount
The amount to be paid is mentioned in the rental agreement so that no extra amount is being extracted. The agreement also mentions the sum gathered every month, the date at which the lease is to be paid, the punishment statement for any late installment, and so forth.
Either the tenant or the landlord has to bear with the maintenance cost and this has to be mentioned in the rental agreement. Technically the owner is responsible to care for the minor or the major repairs of the house. In order to get clarity on the same, a rent agreement is necessary.
A particular amount is decided as the security deposit by the owner and it is mentioned in the rent agreement. The tenant needs to sign the agreement so that the clause comes stands valid. The tenant needs to pay this amount before occupying the space. The owner will have a safety assurance in the name of the security deposit, for a scenario where the tenant vacates the place without paying any rent.
Renewal And Notice Period
The notice period and the renewal period must be mentioned in the agreement. As a matter of fact, the date must be mentioned and must be signed by both the parties (the owner and the tenant).
Signature And Date
Once the tenant and the landlord agree to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, they have to sign the agreement, failing which might lead them to face legal penalties. Remember one must read all the clauses in the agreement before signing and you can even alter some things after discussing it with the landlord.
In addition to all this, there is another major part to the rental agreement and that is the police verification of the tenant. This helps in a background check of the tenant so that any unlawful activity must be prohibited from using your property. This is done for safety measures. It is compulsory to conduct verification and not doing it comes under offense Section 188 of the Indian Penal Court.
Rent Agreement In Short Comprises Of:
- Names and addresses of the tenant and the landlord
- Signatures of the tenant and the landlord
- Monthly rental amount
- Security deposit
- Maintenance charges
- Period of stay
- Responsibilities/rights of the landlord
- Responsibilities/rights of the tenant
The landlord cannot implement any hike in the pre-fixed rent for the entire period for which a rent agreement has been signed. It is mostly after 11 months, that a landlord can hike the fees. A new rent agreement is drafted and registered and this is the time when the landlord is empowered to effect a hike in the rent. The amount should not exceed 10% of the existing amount.
Rental Agreement Term
The most asked question is why a rental agreement is usually 11 months. The reason is, due to the Registration Act, 1908, the registration of a lease agreement is mandatory if the leasing period is more than 12 months. Hence in order to avoid stamp duty and additional charges that they will have to pay if they opted for a 12-month rental agreement, they prefer and give a nod ahead to an 11-month agreement.
Final Thoughts: Tips For Tenants
Make sure, every point is mentioned in the agreement with utmost clarity in order to avoid confusion in the future. It will always prove to be a boon to back your verbal agreements with registered documents. In case of any dispute, these documents will help you be on the safer side. If need be, consult a legal expert, before entering into a rental agreement.
It should be noted that a rent receipt is important to get the tax benefits. on the HRA component of your salary. One will have to submit the rent receipts with your employer. Make sure you take these receipts from your landlord, after making the payment. These receipts can be taken on a quarterly, half-yearly, or annual basis.