HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Su­nil Tyagi

My sib­lings and I jointly in­her­ited a plot from our de­ceased fa­ther. Under a fam­ily ar­range­ment, we had de­cided that my el­der sib­lings would hold 40% joint and un­di­vided share each in this prop­erty (ie to­tal 80%), and the re­main­ing 20% un­di­vided share would be mine. Am I en­ti­tled to de­mand par­ti­tion and sep­a­ra­tion of my share be­fore my sib­lings, given the fact that they own a much larger share?

—Su­mati Shah Ir­re­spec­tive of the ex­tent of your joint and un­di­vided share in the joint prop­erty, you are en­ti­tled to seek par­ti­tion and de­mand iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and sep­a­ra­tion of your share in this par­tic­u­lar prop­erty, at any time.

We are a Hindu fam­ily com­pris­ing my fa­ther (de­ceased), mother, my fam­ily and my el­der brother’s fam­ily. Dur­ing his life­time and in the course of many fam­ily dis­cus­sions, my fa­ther had ex­pressed his desire of gift­ing a par­tic­u­lar im­mov­able prop­erty in favour of my ma­jor son, but demised be­fore be­ing able to ex­e­cute a gift deed. What would be the ownership sta­tus of this prop­erty?

—San­jay Singh An oral gift of im­move­able prop­erty, in the ab­sence of a validly ex­e­cuted gift deed, does not con­fer any ti­tle of ownership by the donor (your de­ceased fa­ther) in favour of the pro­posed donee (your son). Hence, oral dis­cus­sions would not con­sti­tute a valid gift of im­mov­able prop­erty. It is not clear if your de­ceased fa­ther had writ­ten his will. If no will was left be­hind by your de­ceased fa­ther, ownership of this par­tic­u­lar prop­erty shall de­volve upon his Class I le­gal heirs (spouse and chil­dren of the de­ceased) in equal pro­por­tion, as per the rules of in­tes­tate suc­ces­sion under the Hindu Suc­ces­sion Act, 1956.

As per the lease deed ex­e­cuted by me with the lessor of a prop­erty, I had de­posited a hefty se­cu­rity de­posit equiv­a­lent to six months’ rent. Al­though the lease term has re­cently ex­pired, the lessor is yet to give me a re­fund of this amount. Can one law­fully with­hold hand­ing over of pos­ses­sion till such time he re­funds th­ese amounts?

—Su­raj Sharma Un­less the terms and con­di­tions of the lease deed pro­vides that you can re­tain pos­ses­sion of the leased prop­erty till re­fund of se­cu­rity de­posit by the lessor, upon ex­piry of the lease term you are re­quired to hand over va­cant, peace­ful phys­i­cal pos­ses­sion of the leased premises to the lessor. Re­gard­ing the is­sue of re­fund of se­cu­rity de­posit, you can cor­re­spond with the lessor and is­sue notice if re­quired. In case the lessor does not re­fund the se­cu­rity de­posit you can also approach com­pe­tent courts for re­cov­ery of the se­cu­rity de­posit. If lease deed pro­vides that you will be en­ti­tled to in­ter­est for de­lay in re­fund of se­cu­rity de­posit by the lessor, you can also claim the same.

The au­thor is a se­nior part­ner at Zeus Law, a cor­po­rate com­mer­cial law firm. One of its ar­eas of spe­cial­i­sa­tions is real es­tate trans­ac­tional and lit­i­ga­tion work.

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