LAW BOOK

HT Estates - - NEWS - Su­nil Tyagi

I am plan­ning to buy a floor in a build­ing. This build­ing was pre­vi­ously owned jointly by three sib­lings. Ac­cord­ing to the seller, he and his sib­lings had ef­fected an oral par­ti­tion of the prop­erty. In the oral par­ti­tion, each sib­ling was given sep­a­rate own­er­ship of a floor each. How can I es­tab­lish my own­er­ship in the floor?

—Ma­hesh Sharma Though a risky propo­si­tion, an oral par­ti­tion of im­mov­able prop­erty is a legally valid and recog­nised mode of par­ti­tion un­der law. Given the ab­sence of a writ­ten and duly ex­e­cuted par­ti­tion deed, the erst­while co-owners of the en­tire build­ing may be made con­firm­ing par­ties in the sale deed ex­e­cuted with the owner for the par­tic­u­lar floor. Le­gal due dili­gence of the prop­erty (chain of ti­tle of own­er­ship) may also be un­der­taken.

I am in ne­go­ti­a­tions for lease of my prop­erty. As the pro­posed lease term is five years and the stamp duty im­pli­ca­tions are hefty, the prospec­tive lessee is of the opin­ion that in the lease trans­ac­tion, both par­ties have to share stamp duty costs. Is this cor­rect?

—Yo­gesh Saraf Un­less both the lessee and lessor have agreed to a dif­fer­ent ar­range­ment in the lease deed, it is the lessee’s (ie your prospec­tive ten­ant’s) sole re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay stamp duty and reg­is­tra­tion fee ap­pli­ca­ble on lease deed.

The pre­vi­ous ten­ant of my apart­ment had de­faulted on pay­ment of maintenance charges for many months, de­spite the fact that the lease deed ex­e­cuted by us con­tained a clause hold­ing the lessee re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing maintenance charges for the en­tire du­ra­tion of the lease. As the lease deed has now ex­pired and the lessee has va­cated, how should I pro­ceed?

—She­fali Sood Most maintenance agree­ments for apart­ment com­plexes con­tain a clause to the ef­fect that the ul­ti­mate re­spon­si­bil­ity of timely and full pay­ment of monthly maintenance charges is that of the owner of the apart­ment, ir­re­spec­tive of whether the apart­ment is oc­cu­pied by the owner, is va­cant or given on lease. Even though the pre­vi­ous lessee had de­faulted on pay­ment of maintenance charges, you are li­able to make pay­ment of the out­stand­ing dues and penalty, be­ing the owner of the apart­ment. How­ever, you may file a suit for breach of con­tract and for re­cov­ery of amounts paid by you against the lessee in the court of com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion.

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