A lease of immovable property is a transfer of a right to enjoy such property, made for a certain time. The transferor is called the lessor, the transferee is called the lessee. This article disucsses the basic elements of a lease agreements, including rights, liabilities, and termination of the agreement.

Tue Jul 12 2022 | Real Estate, Wills, Probate and Trust | Comments (0)


A lease of immovable property is a transfer of a right to enjoy such property, made for a certain time, express or implied, or in perpetuity, in consideration of a price paid or promised, or of money, a share of crops, service or any other thing of value, to be rendered periodically or on specified occasions to the transferor by the transferee, who accepts the transfer on such terms.


The transferor is called the lessor, the transferee is called the lessee, the price is called the premium , and the money, share, service or other thing to be so rendered is called the rent.

Leases how made

  1. A lease of immovable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one-year or reserving a yearly rent, can be made only by a registered instrument.
  2. All other leases of immovable property may be made either by a registered instrument or by an oral agreement accompanied by delivery of possession.
  3. Where a lease of immovable property is made by a registered instrument, such instrument binds both lessor and the lessee.


The essential elements of a lease are as follows:

  1. Parties-The parties to a lease are the lessor and the lessee. The lessor is also called the landlord and the lessee the tenant.
  2. Subject matter of lease-The subject matter of lease must be immovable property. The word "immovable property" may not be only house, land but also benefits to arise out of land, right to collect fruit of a garden, right to extract coal or minerals, hats, rights of ferries, fisheries profit or market dues. The contract for right for grazing is not lease. A mining lease is lease and not a sale of minerals.
  3. Duration of lease-The right to enjoy the property must be transferred for a certain time, express or implied or in perpetuity. The lease should commence either in the present or on some date in future or on the happening of some contingency, which is bound to happen. Though the lease can commence from a past day, but that is for the purpose of computation of lease period, as the interest of the lessee begins from the date of execution. No interest passes to the lessee before execution. In India, the lease may be in perpetuity.
  4. Consideration-The consideration for lease is either premium or rent, which is the price paid or promised in consideration of the demise. The premium is the consideration paid of being let in possession, such as Salami, even if it is to be paid in installments.
  5. Sub-lease-A lessee can transfer the whole or any part of his interest in the property by sub-lease. However, this right is subject to the contract to the contrary and he can be restrained by the contract from transferring his lease by sub-letting. The lessee can create sub-leases for different parts of the demised premises. The sub-lessee gets the rights, subject to the covenants, terms and conditions in the lease deed.

Rights & Liabilities of Lessor and Lessee

In the absence of a contract or local usage to the contrary, the lessor and the lessee of immovable property, as against one another, respectively, possess the rights and are subject to the liabilities mentioned in the rules next following, or such of them as are applicable to the property leased:


  1. The lessor is bound to disclose to the lessee any material defect in the property, with reference to its intended use, of which the former is and the latter is not aware, and which the latter could not with ordinary care discover;
  2. the lessor is bound on the lessee's request to put him in possession of the property
  3. the lessor shall be deemed to contract with the lessee that, if the latter pays the rent reserved by the lease and performs the contracts binding
  4. on the lessee, he may hold the property during the time limited by the lease without interruption.

The benefit of such contract shall be annexed to and go with the lessee's interest as such, and may be enforced by every person in whom that interest is for the whole or any part thereof from time to time vested.


  1. If during the continuance of the lease any accession is made to the property, such accession shall be deemed to be comprised in the lease
  2. If by fire, tempest or flood, or violence of an army or of a mob, or other irresistible force, any material part of the property be wholly destroyed or rendered substantially and permanently unfit for the purposes for which it was let, the lease shall, at the option of the lessee, be void: PROVIDED that, if the inquiry be occasioned by the wrongful act or default of the lessee, he shall be entitled to avail himself of the benefit of this provision;
  3. If the lessor neglects to make, within a reasonable time after notice, any repairs which he is bound to make to the property, the lessee may make the same himself, and deduct the expense of such repairs with interest from the rent, or otherwise recover it from the lessor;
  4. If the lessor neglects to make any payment which he is bound to make, and which, if not made by him, is recoverable from the lessee or against the property, the lessee may make such payment himself, and deduct it with interest from the rent, or otherwise recover it from the lessor
  5. The lessee may, even after the determination of the lease remove, at any time, whilst he is in possession of the property leased, but not afterwards, all things which he has attached to the earth; provided he leaves the property in the state in which he received it;
  6. When a lease of uncertain duration determines by any means except the fault of the lessee, he or his legal representative is entitled to all the crops planted or sown by the lessee and growing upon the property when the lease determines, and to free ingress and egress to gather and carry them;
  7. The lessee may transfer absolutely or by way of mortgage or sub-lease the whole or any part of his interest in the property, and any transferee of such interest or part may again transfer it. The lessee shall not, by reason only of such transfer, cease to be subject to any of the liabilities attaching to the lease. Nothing in this clause shall be deemed to authorise a tenant having an untransferable right of occupancy, the farmer of an estate in respect of which default has been made in paying revenue, or the lessee of an estate under the management of a Court of Wards, to assign his interest as such tenant, farmer or lessee
  8. The lessee is bound to disclose to the lessor any fact as to the nature or extent of the interest which the lessee is about to take of which the lessee is, and the lessor is not aware, and which materially increases the value of such interest;
  9. The lessee is bound to pay or tender, at the proper time and place, the premium or rent to the lessor or his agent in this behalf;
  10. The lessee is bound to keep, and on the termination of the lease to restore, the property in as good condition as it was in at the time when he was put in possession, subject only to the changes caused by reasonable wear and tear or irresistible force, and to allow the lessor and his agents, at all reasonable times during the term, to enter upon the property and inspect the condition thereof and give or leave notice of any defect in such condition; and, when such defect has been caused by any act or default on the part of the lessee, his servants or agents, he is bound to make it good within three months after such notice has been given or left;
  11. If the lessee becomes aware of any proceeding to recover the property or any part thereof, or of any encroachment made upon, or any interference with, the lessor's rights concerning such property, he is bound to give, with reasonable diligence, notice thereof to the lessor;
  12. The lessee may use the property and its products (if any) as a person of ordinary prudence would use them if they were his own; but he must not use, or permit another to use, the property for a purpose other than that for which it was leased, or fell or sell timber, pull down or damage buildings belonging to the lessor, or work mines or quarries not open when the lease was granted, or commit any other act which is destructive or permanently injurious thereto;
  13. He must not, without the lessor's consent, erect on the property any permanent structure, except for agricultural purposes;
  14. On the determination of the lease, the lessee is bound to put the lessor into possession of the property.

How Does A Lease End

A lease of immovable property terminates -

  1. By efflux of the time limited thereby,
  2. Where such time is limited conditionally on the happening of some event-by the happening of such event,
  3. Where the interest of the lessor in the property terminates on, or his power to dispose of the same extends only to, the happening of any event-by the happening of such event,
  4. In case the interests of the lessee and the lessor in the whole of the property become vested at the same time in one person in the same right,
  5. By express surrender, that is to say, in case the lessee yields up his interest under the lease to the lessor, by mutual agreement between them,
  6. By implied surrender,
  7. By forfeiture; that is to say, (i) in case the lessee breaks an express condition which provides that, on breach thereof, the lessor may re-enter; or (ii) in case the lessee renounces his character as such by setting up a title in a third person or by claiming title in himself; or (iii) the lessee is adjudicated an insolvent and the lease provides that the lessor may re-enter on the happening of such event; and in any of these cases the lessor or his transferee gives notice in writing to the lessee of his intention to determine the lease,
  8. On the expiration of a notice to determine the lease, or to quit, or of intention to quit, the property leased, duly given by one party to the other.

Holding Over-Extended Possession

If a lessee or underlessee of property remains in possession thereof after the determination of the lease granted to the lessee, and the lessor or his legal representative accepts rent from the lessee or underlessee, or otherwise assents to his continuing in possession, the lease is, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, renewed from year to year, or from month to month, according to the purpose for which the property is leased.

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