I live in a rented accommodation. The lease will expire soon and I plan to renew it for three more years. Since I have already paid stamp duty and registration fees under the earlier lease deed, can the lease be renewed by executing only a letter with the owner?
—XYZ First, the renewal of a lease amounts to grant of a fresh lease of the property. It is called a renewal simply because it postulates the existence of a prior lease. In all other respects, it is actually a fresh lease. Second, lease deed for a term exceeding one year is required to be compulsorily stamped and registered. As you propose to renew the lease for a term of three years, the renewed term will only take effect if a lease deed is executed, duly stamped and registered. Signing a letter will not create a valid lease of the property. I plan to buy a flat in Mumbai. Are there any stamp duty benefits available to female buyers?
—ABC Under the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958, currently both male and female buyers are liable to pay applicable stamp duty at equivalent rates in transactions of sale/purchase of immovable property. I am negotiating a lease for a shop in Noida. The owner is demanding a hefty security deposit equivalent to six months’ rent. He insists that as a prospective lessee, I will have to pay stamp duty on the security deposit, too. Is this correct?
—EF Under the Uttar Pradesh Stamp Act, 2008, stamp duty in a transaction of lease of immovable property is required to be paid on security deposit too. Under the Transfer of Property Act, as tenant, it will be your responsibility to bear expenses towards stamp duty on a lease deed, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. However, you may enter into a mutually agreeable arrangement with the owner for payment of stamp duty.