Checklist for Rent Agreement

In order to safeguard the rights of both tenants/licensee and landlords/licensor, you must ensure that you have a written rent agreement. While finalising this agreement, it is very important to read all the terms mentioned in it.

These terms not only decide your rent amount and security deposit but also covers many other important aspects such as maintenance of the house/property you are leasing, payment of relevant bills, notice period of leaving, etc.

Ensure that the following provisions are present in your agreement (lease or leave and license agreement):

  •  Names of Tenant/Licensee and Landlord/Licensor
  •  Purpose of Agreement
  •  Duration of Agreement
  •  Rent Amount
  •  Date of Payment of Rent
  •  Security Deposit Amount
  •  Maintenance Amount
  •  Assignment of Responsibility of Repairs
  •  List of Furniture/Fittings/Other items
  •  Notice for Termination of Agreement
  •  Notice for Landlord’s Entry into Premises
  •  Declaration to Abide by All Bye-laws of the Society/RWA
  •  Declaration to Not do Illegal Activities
  •  Declaration to Sub-let Only With the Permission of the Landlord/Licensor
  •  Courts to Approach for Dispute Resolution
  •  Rate of Increment of Rent After a Certain Period, if any.
  •  Signatures of Landlord/Licensor or Tenant/Licensee
  •  Signatures of Two Witnesses

Types of Agreements while renting

It is ideal to have an agreement or contract when you renting a house or giving your house on rent so that:

  • When there are any disagreements regarding money, utilities, and repairs, etc. the details of the contract would be enforceable and helpful for you.
  • When you want to file a complaint with the police/court you can show the written agreement/ contract as proof.
  • As a tenant/licensee, you can show your rent agreement as evidence of temporary residence.

Your rights and duties, whether as a landlord/licensor or a tenant/licensee, largely depend on the kind of agreement you sign for the purpose of renting a house. There are two kinds of agreements that are used for renting a property for residential purposes. They are:

Leave and License Agreement

In some cities, instead of a rent agreement, a leave and license agreement is used. By using this form of an agreement, the owner of the property gives you permission to use the house for a specific purpose.

In a Leave and License agreement, the person giving the house on rent is called the licensor and the person renting the house is called a licensee.

Keep in mind the following when you enter into a Leave and License Agreement:

Tenant Protections Not Available to a Licensee

You are technically not a tenant as per law and hence you do not have certain rights. Instead, you are a licensee who has acquired a limited right to use the premises for a specific time period.

Guided by Agreement

The rights and duties of both licensor and licensee are primarily decided by the agreement. If any of the terms of the agreement are violated, it is treated as a violation or breaking of a contract, the remedy for which is going to Court to file a civil suit.

To see a sample leave and license agreement, refer here.

Please refer to this checklist to ensure you have all the essential points covered in your agreement.

Lease Agreement

A lease deed/agreement is the most common form of agreement used in many cities like Delhi, Bangalore, etc. It is also commonly referred to as ‘Rent Agreement’.

Rights Under a Rent Agreement

As a tenant, if you have signed a lease deed with your landlord, you have certain rights that you would not have in case of a leave and license agreement, such as:

Interest in Property

You have a right over the property in terms of its occupation and use since you are paying rent.

Right to Possession

You get exclusive possession to occupy the house being rented to you. This means that if the landlord has rented you a house or space, he cannot use the space assigned to you. It is for your exclusive use for the duration of your lease.

Protection from Eviction

The landlord cannot unilaterally end or shorten the duration of your lease without providing proper legal justification. You have certain protections available against eviction.

Please refer to this checklist to ensure you have all the essential points covered in your agreement.

Signing the Written Agreement

There are certain steps you should follow before signing the written rent agreement.

Due Diligence Before Signing

If you decide to take the house or give your house on rent, then here are some important things you should do before signing the written agreement:

Read Your Agreement

Before signing your agreement ensure that you or your lawyer has read the terms of the agreement. Please ensure that you have not signed a document without knowing the contents of it since you cannot later claim that you are not bound by the agreement because you did not read the agreement.

Ensure the Presence of Witnesses

After reading the terms of your agreement, both you and the landlord/licensor/tenant/licensee have to sign the agreement. Please make sure that there are two (2) witnesses signing the agreement as well. This requirement is not optional as without the witnesses signing the agreement it will not be considered to be valid.


Due Diligence After Signing

Here are some important things you should ensure after signing the written agreement:

Notarizing and Registration of the Agreement

After signing the agreement, make sure that you notarize or register your agreement if you are giving your house on rent or taking a house on rent.

For rent agreements which are for 11 months registration is not compulsory. However, it is compulsory to notarize the agreement.

Police Verification

After signing your agreement ensure that you get the police verification process done if you are giving your house on rent. As a person taking a house on rent you have no obligation to get the police verification done. However, you must co-operate with your landlord when he asks for your details for this process as the landlord is required to complete this process under the law.

Registration or Notarization of Agreement

Registration of Rent/ Lease Agreement

If your lease agreement is for a year or more, it is compulsory to register it with the office of the sub-registrar of the city you are living in. It must be registered within 4 months from when the lease agreement was made. If the agreement is not registered, it will not be accepted as evidence by court, if or when a case if filed in relation to the rented property.

Registration of your agreement is also a measure to ensure that your landlord does not charge you anything extra apart from what was already agreed upon or coerce you into any illegal transactions.

This is the reason why most agreements are for a period of 11 months, so as to avoid this registration process. In such cases, you need not register the agreement, but only notarise it.

However, in some cities, like Mumbai, where a leave and license agreement is used, it is compulsory to register the agreement, irrespective of the duration of tenancy. In Maharashtra, all agreements of tenancy, be it lease or leave and license, must be compulsorily registered by law.

Notarising Your Agreement

It is necessary to notarise any kind of rental agreement, if it is not being registered. This is because the agreement between you and your landlord is a contract and all contracts are usually validated by a notary. Notarising the agreement gives validity to your document and also affirms that the parties signing the agreement are in fact who they are. This not only ensures you of your rights and duties, but in case the matter goes to court, a notarised agreement is likely to not be disputed.

How to register a rent agreement

Follow the steps given below to register your rent agreement. In most cases, your broker will help you through this process.

Step 1

Once the agreement is ready, pay the relevant stamp duty amount.

Step 2

Book an appointment with the sub-registrar of your sub-district. Most states have set up an online appointment system.

Step 3

The landlord/licensor, tenant/licensee and two witnesses must visit the sub-registrar’s office at a given time as per the appointment, along with the following documents:

  • Agreement with duly paid stamp duty
  • Two recent passport size photos of tenants, landlord and witnesses
  • Identity proof of tenants, landlord and witnesses (Aadhar card, Election ID card, Passport, Government issued ID card, Identification verified by gazetted officers).

Step 4

Finally, to complete registration, pay the relevant registration fees while submitting the documents mentioned above.