Kerala, located on the south-western tip of India, enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after residential destinations in Asia. Fondly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country, Kerala has an equable climate, serene beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters, lush hill stations, and exotic wildlife. The major cities of Kerala are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, and Kozhikode that are well connected with International airports and dockyards.
Real estate has always been a strong market in Kerala where everyone is keen about purchasing as many homes in their names as possible. With the boom in the IT sector in the state, the demand for rentals has only skyrocketed. For those who are interested in investing in real estate, this blog will help you in creating rental agreements in Kerala.
What is a Rental Agreement?
A Rental Agreement is a legal document that lays down the rental conditions for the leased real estate and must be made between the owner of the land and the tenant. Although the relationship between the owner and the tenant is cordial most of the time, it is beneficial to have a written agreement if the relationship becomes tainted or strained over time.
How to make a Rental Agreement in Kerala?
The procedure to make a rental agreement in Kerala is as follows:
- Incorporating significant clauses: Both the party has to decide on the clauses that will go into the rental agreement to protect the landlord-tenant relationship. A well-prepared rental agreement is also a preventive measure to avoid future legal disputes. Some important clauses that must be included in a rental agreement are:
- Amount to be paid as rent, security deposit, and maintenance charges (if any) must be mentioned in an agreement to avoid conflicts. The frequency and duration of payment must also be mentioned in a contract.
- The minimum duration during which neither party can terminate the rental agreement is known as the Lock-Out period must also be included in a rental agreement to ensure that neither party can back out after the move is made and thereby incur losses to the other party. Such duration of the lock-out period must be specified in a contract.
- Amenity charges, Maintenance charges, Service tax to the leaser, Municipal taxes, Electricity and Water charges, etc. must also be identified in a rental agreement.
- An agreement should also contain a clause that specifies whether a pet is entertained in a property and any altercations or changes have been allowed to a tenant.
- If the tenant continues to occupy the property even after the end of the lease term, the landlord may charge a penalty and the value for the same must be designated in an agreement.
- Consequences for the late payment or non-payment of rent must also be mentioned in an agreement.
- The type of occupation that can be carried on a premise must also be specified to avoid repercussions of any illegal activity.
- Drafting and Stamping: Once the clauses have been decided, draft a deed, review it, and get it printed on stamp paper of considered value. Even though e-Stamping was announced in Kerala, it is still not very prevalent. People still use the traditional Stamp paper for all intents and purposes. They are widely available with many stamp vendors throughout main cities. In Kerala, the Stamp Duty for leases is charged at 7.5% of the rent amount although people stick to INR 100 Stamp paper commonly.
- Signature: The Agreement must be signed by the landlord, tenant, and two witnesses at designated places.
- Registration: After the agreement has been signed, register the rental agreement at the local Sub-Registrar office to discourage frauds and forgeries. It also stands as proof that the people mentioned in the document are the ones who indeed signed the document. And most importantly, all details regarding the property in the document are revealed if a document is registered. Feuds, cases, and past titles of the property become a matter of public record when a rental agreement is registered. Registration charges for leases in the state of Kerala are charged at 2% of the rent amount.
How to make a rental agreement from eSahayak?
For many years, the occupation of making the rental agreement was outsourced to lawyers. Tenants and landlords simply put forth their clauses to the lawyer who in turn handles the stamp paper and registration necessities. While this method is still preferred by many, the fact is that today, people have no time to prepare an agreement this way.
It is also convoluted by the fact that the lawyer is going to charge a fee that he/she sees fit. For those of you who wish to do all of this themselves, eSahayak has pre-drafted, ready-to-use, lawyer verified rental agreements for the state of Kerala. These documents will save you time and a lot of money. To make a rental agreement online, follow these steps:
- Open our ready-to-use, pre-drafted rental agreement.
- Fill in the details of tenant, landlord, property, and select the clauses as per your suitability.
- Allow the soft copy to generate and print it on stamp paper.
So, Click on Get Started button to draft a Rent Agreement of Kerala, Online.
Types of Rental Agreements in Kerala
- Commercial Rental Agreement: Such kinds of rental agreements are signed for business or commercial purposes only and hence they rarely have a standard format as the agreement must adapt to the needs of the particular business being considered for agreement. In this kind of rent agreement, a large amount of money is involved and is signed for a long period. Hence, registration and proper stamp duty are rarely overlooked.
- Long-term Rental Agreement: This type of rental agreement is typically used for residential purposes where a huge lump sum is paid in advance and the agreement is for the long-term. Hence, Registration and proper Stamp Duty are important aspects of this kind of agreement.
- 11- Month Rental Agreement: This is the most commonly used agreement format in the state of Kerala. The term of this agreement is 11 months at the end of which both parties have the freedom to renew/ terminate the contract. Registration is not compulsory as the term is less than a year and such leases will require the tenant to pay a fixed monthly rent to the landlord.
Things to keep in mind while renting a property
It is sometimes common that people from the different states could be tricked easily while taking part in rental transactions like a caretaker can pocket the rent for themselves by posing himself as a landlord or a tenant himself sublet the place to another tenant by posing as the landlord. Many things could go wrong which is why you must pay attention to the following aspects while getting involved in a rental transaction:
- Authentication of an Owner: Always ask for evidence that can prove that the person posing as the landlord is indeed the landlord.
- Payment receipts: Be sure that you will get back payment receipts whenever you make any payment whether it is rent, maintenance, security deposit, token advance, etc.
- Deduction from security deposits: It is the tenant’s job to ask for his security deposits when he vacates the property and the landlord’s duty is to return the security deposit after providing a detailed description about the deduction on it.
- Agreement registration: It is a wise step to make your rental agreement registered to avoid any legal battles in the future because the court will consider your rental agreement as primary evidence and decide the case in one’s favor.
- Token Advance: To block the property for a potential tenant, a non-refundable amount is taken by a landlord from the tenant and if either party backs out after the payment is made, that party is responsible for compensating the losses incurred by the other party.