LAW BOOK

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Su­nil Tyagi

In 2001, our fam­ily (in­clud­ing my­self, my par­ents and sib­lings) had am­i­ca­bly re­solved all dis­putes and ar­rived at a set­tle­ment re­gard­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of var­i­ous prop­er­ties held by in­di­vid­ual fam­ily mem­bers. Af­ter a few years, we de­cided to put down our un­der­stand­ing in writ­ing for the pur­pose of keep­ing it as a record. What is the va­lid­ity of this doc­u­ment? Is it le­gal and bind­ing?

—LK Grover In case the doc­u­ment in ques­tion merely serves to record the fam­ily set­tle­ment, which was pre­vi­ously ar­rived at be­tween the par­ties, and does not cre­ate any fresh rights and obli­ga­tions of the par­ties, then such a doc­u­ment will not re­quire to be reg­is­tered, and is valid even if un­reg­is­tered. How­ever, whether the doc­u­ment is a set­tle­ment which would re­quire reg­is­tra­tion or is only a record of a past set­tle­ment would de­pend on the na­ture of clauses con­tained. The owner of a prop­erty that I have taken on rent wants me to file prop­erty tax for it. Is fil­ing prop­erty tax the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the owner or the ten­ant?

—JL Tha­par Own­er­ship of an im­mov­able prop­erty comes at­tached with the owner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay cer­tain dues with re­spect to the prop­erty owned, such as prop­erty tax. It is the owner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to make com­plete pay­ment of his prop­erty tax on time. How­ever, in case the lease deed ex­e­cuted be­tween you and the lessor con­tains a term that the prop­erty tax is to be paid by you for the du­ra­tion of the lease, then it will be your re­spon­si­bil­ity to make timely pay­ment of prop­erty tax. Last year, I en­tered into a lease for five years, with a lock-in pe­riod of three years. How­ever, the lease deed was not reg­is­tered by the lessor de­spite my re­quests to him to ac­com­pany me to the sub­reg­is­trar’s of­fice. Due to other dis­putes be­tween us, I wish to va­cate the prop­erty soon. Can I va­cate the prop­erty?

—Amit Garg A lease of one year or longer du­ra­tion, such as in your case, is re­quired to be com­pul­so­rily reg­is­tered. If not duly stamped and reg­is­tered, such a lease will amount to month-to-month ten­ancy. Cur­rently, yours is a case of month-to-month ten­ancy, where both par­ties have the right to ter­mi­nate such an ar­range­ment any time. How­ever, reg­is­tra­tion of the lease deed would have pro­tected the rights of both par­ties.

THINKSTOCK

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