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Monday, September 08, 2008

Chp 196. Leave and License Agreement, Mumbai.

I’m a migrant.

I don’t deny it.

Plus, I can’t deny it because my facial features give me away.

Back in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and Delhi, the first problem I always had was finding a place to stay. Having spent my entire school and college days in a hostel, no way was I going to live my independent life as a PG (paying guest).

And the moment I find a good place to rent, everything else is smooth from then on. I’m the kind of tenant Landlords love. I don’t blast music at weird hours in the night, bring home strange women (or men) back to the apartment, or sacrifice nearby stray dogs at a makeshift altar inside the apartment. I always pay my monthly rent on time, conserve electricity to the best of my ability, and smile at my neighbors.

According to me, there are three types of rentals.

First, there is the proper landlord-tenant agreement with the affidavit, stamp papers and identification proofs signed by a magistrate or other people with such authority.

Then there is the type of rentals in which everything is based on word of mouth. Landlord says the rent is this much and tenant says ok and landlord comes every month to collect the rent in cash and life goes on. Trust is the key word here.

Finally, there are those guys who hop from one friend’s house to the other, staying for a week at this house and then the next week at that house and so on. Most Mizos staying in a rented place know one or two such individuals who do that Such people seem to carry everything they need/have in just one traveling bag, and they never chip in with the rent or other bills, even though they usually pay for the booze (but again, they themselves drink the most anyway).

Last weekend I discovered there was a fourth type.

It’s actually the true Legal method of renting an apartment!

Last Saturday I spent a solid 4 hours with my sister and our landlord at a Court here in Mumbai because of the “Leave and License Agreement”.

[Some websites refer to it as “Lease and License Agreement”, or are they different?]

The place where we had to go and register was at the Registrar’s office, Family Court, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E).

When I first heard that we were going to a Family Court, I was expecting to see a lot of disgruntled family members fighting with each other, fat saas-bahus pulling each other’s hair and screaming, and even cases of domestic violence with the unfortunate beaten-up wife sporting a sad bruised eye socket. Nah, it was nothing like that.

The place was extremely calm, and dull. Our Agent told us at least 80% of the people there were for the same reason as us – to get the agreement registered.

“Family court is a civil court that deals with marriages, family-related issues, inheritance and settlement of disputes by conciliation. Anything involving violence is transferred to a criminal court,” our agent said.

Saw a very funny sight at the Court too - A man walking around and selling illegal pirated DVDs and CDs, right there in the freaking Court complex! Lolz. This happens only in India, seriously.

We paid our agent 4500 bucks. According to “customs”, the fee to be paid is shared 50-50 between the tenant and landlord, so we paid the agent 2250 bucks. He did all the running around and red-tapes and stampings and chai serving while we only had to sit outside and wait and wait and wait.

Occasionally we had to sign some papers and give our left-thumb prints on a few other papers and have our photographs taken by the official Court photographer.

The Agent explained that the Maharashtra Government is extremely strict now regarding all these procedures, especially with terrorism threats becoming more and more a reality.

I was still a bit dazed because I never used to go through so much trouble like this before just to rent a place. It feels so unnecessary, but at the same time one can’t help feeling a bit more secure.

And here’s the deal about the L&L Agreement. If you are not properly registered at a Court, your Housing society or Landlord can kick you out anytime he wishes, because… surprise surprise, you can actually claim that the house you’re renting is yours if you’ve been renting without signing this agreement for a certain period of time (I think it is 5 years here in Mumbai)!

Hence, your housing society can actually throw you out before you do that. This L&L Agreement assures the landlord that you won’t suddenly take over his apartment one fine day. And the contract has to be renewed every 11 months.

Which immediately brings to my mind a couple of Mizos I know who I’m sure haven’t gone to court to register for this.

Is this a serious issue that the Mumbai Mizo Association needs to handle and instruct every Mizos living in Mumbai to do so? I know most of them are still renting apartments on the basis of “trust” between them and the landlord as mentioned earlier, but one can never know what the future holds. Registering at the Court gives you so much more security.

And is this compulsory registration only for Mumbai? I’ve never heard about it at other States. Maybe it is something to do only with Maharashta, like how security deposits differ from State to State. In Delhi, the amount of security deposit I had to pay was only a month’s rent whereas in Bangalore the security deposit was 10 times the monthly rental!

The main intention of the L&L Agreement is to protect the landlord from the tenant claiming the apartment to be his. I mean, why are people so mean as to actually do that?

Anyway, this incident has made me less ignorant regarding this topic and it really feels good to learn so many new things.

Happy renting.




When I got home the other day, I quickly referred to my teacher, professor google, regarding this topic that I was not so aware of. For those of you who are interested in this topic, please carry on reading. I have listed out the most relevant news I could find on the Net for you.

Here is a Maharashtra specific statement release on the L&L Agreement.

Leave and License Agreement should be registered:

UNDER Section 55 (1) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, any agreement for Leave and License or letting of any premises entered into between the landlord and the tenant or the licensee as the case may be should be in writing and should be registered under the Registration Act, 1908. Section 55 (2) imposes the responsibility of getting such agreement registered on the landlord.

An explanation about the L&L Agreement by the Chamber of Tax consultant, with a sample form of the Agreement.

Leave and License Agreement:

The word ‘licence’ has been defined in section 523 of the Indian Easement Act, 1882 "where one person grants to another, or to a definite number of other persons, a right do or continue to do in or upon the immovable property of the grantor, something which would, in the absence of such a right, be unlawful, and such right does not amount to an easement or interest in the property, the right is called a licence.

Why 11 months period in Mumbai, answered by S.R.Agarwal, Advocate.

Leave and License – Why 11 months only:

There is a practice prevalent in Bombay that Leave & Licence Agreement in respect of a residential premises is entered into and executed for a maximum period of 11 months. The question arise whether it can be for more than 11 months.

Another interesting article! A must read.

Difference between "Rental Agreement" and "Leave & License Agreement":

There is a vast difference between the "Tenancy Agreement" or Lease Agreement and Leave and License Agreement. In the former, there is a transfer of interest, whereas in the latter, there is no transfer of interest although permission is granted. If the premises are given on Tenancy, there is an element of non-eviction of the tenant by the owner except on the grounds of eviction, mentioned under the Rent Act.

Advantages of the L&L Agreement for Landlords.

Making money on Leave and License:

You have a vacant apartment. But, you will never rent it out. After all, what if your tenant decides not to vacate and makes your apartment his own. That's why tenancy has been put on the backburner and L&L is now the most popular option.

A Leave & License agreement does not give the occupants any ownership rights. The agreement only permits occupancy for a specific timeframe which could range from 11 months to 33 months. Should he refuse to vacate, the matter can be brought before the Competent Authority who will then take action.

A lease, on the other hand, generally refers to a plot of land and has a much longer timeframe which could extend to 99 years. Where a lease is concerned, the occupant can sub-lease it to a third party (if permitted in the lease deed), a right not given in the case of L&L.

Pro-tenant laws in India often inhibit rental market.

Pro-tenant laws in India often inhibit rental market:

Even with the application of the Lease and License Agreement system, it is still difficult for a landlord to protect his property from unwanted overstaying tenants. Even if contracts are enforceable in courts, the actual enforcement takes years or decades to accomplish.

Regarding family courts, this is a very good and detailed link regarding the Family Courts Act, 1984.

Establishment of Family Courts:

(1) For the purpose of exercising the jurisdiction and powers conferred on a Family Court by this Act, the State Government, after consultation with the High Court, and by notification,-

(a) shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, establish for every area in the State comprising a city or town whose population exceeds one million, a Family Court;

(b) may establish Family Courts for such other areas in the State as it may deem necessary.

(2) The State Government shall, after consultation with the High Court, specify, by notification, the local limits of the area to which the jurisdiction of a Family Court shall extend and may, at any time, increase, reduce or alter such limits.

Here is a good summary on the proceedings and duties of a family court.

Family courts under the family courts act 1984:

The purpose and aim of establishing the Family Courts is to protect and preserve the institution of marriage and to promote the welfare of children and provide for settlement of disputes by conciliation. The Family Courts Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.

And then here is a list of the number of family courts in India

Ministry of Law and Justice – Department of Justice.:

After the enactment of the Family Courts Act, 1984, 61 Family Courts have been set up so far: Uttar Pradesh-16, Rajasthan-5, Maharashtra -13, Orissa-2, Karnataka-4, Tamil Nadu-5, Kerala-5, Bihar-2, Assam-1, Manipur-1, Andhra Pradesh-6, and Pondicherry-1. The NCT of Delhi has also been requested to take urgent steps for setting up the 15 Family Courts in the NCT of Delhi.

Regarding my earlier query on why domestic violence cannot be tried in family courts, here is a good result:

Court directive on Domestic violence:

The Kerala High Court has held that except magistrate courts no civil courts or family court had the jurisdiction to deal with an application filed under Section 12 of the Protection from Domestic Violence Act.

On the lighter side, this one is a MUST see. I came across it while searching for the location on wikimapia.

Family Court Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, East Bandra:

The seven courts of the Family Court under the Family Courts Act, 1984. Here they work overtime to destroy families and promote feminism and feminist fascism.

Lolz! I wonder who’s the disgruntled dude who wrote that.


luliana said...

A buaithlak deuh nanga a tha zawk in ka hria hetia mumal taka dan ang thlap a tih hi..Mahse zirlai tan a buaithlak deuh a ngem aw? An awm rei vak dawn loh phei chuan...Hostel seat kan chan hma a kan inluah ve chu kum khat chuang kan awm a, kan hming pawh a hre lo..lolzz..pawisa a hun takah kan pe a a duhtawk der.. :D

violette said...

thil rere hi i ziak ngaihnom thei khop mai....ka free deuh chuan ka chhiar char2 xel...hmana i post te poh...keep it up!!!btw ka registration i update har toh e....:P

mesjay said...

Good work, enlightening the community. It's so necessary to be aware of all these.

illusionaire said...

@ mesjay: Yup it is. And we should always know that ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law, or as the popular saying in Latin goes: "Ignorantia legis neminem excusat"

@ luliana: Nia, a awlsam bera, formalities vel engmah awmlo a In luah hi, mahse tiang procedure vel tih loh hi chuan min bum thei reng tih te pawh hi hriat a tha viau, landlord an sual leh phei phei chuan.

@ violette: lolz. Ka lo update ang che ka hman veleh. Bakah mi ho rawn register hi 6-8 vel an awm hnuah hian a rual in ka update vek thin a, achhanchu update hian coding thlak tur a tam lutuk a, a buaithlaks deuh hlek a... dont worry, update chu ka promise che kha :) mi 3-4 vel rawn register leh kan nghaks lawks auh?

Aqua said...

Ah Kima, the knowledge - Disseminator. Informative post for wanna be mumbaikars. you may want to add information on marathi courses.

LOL at the dog thing. i once had a person tell me that his Tibetan neigbours eat dog meat. yes! YES! the bludy fellow didn't realize i was tibetan. and his reasoning was that since the tibetan family moved in, the stray dogs in his colony disappeared LOL :)

aduhi said...

Renting!! I wish I could stop it and start buying, but alas with the prices of flats sky-high and with this meagre income it is like a distant dream. I have rented from a dozen landlords, but never faced anything as complex as this whole license agreement thing. Almost every rental out here is based on trust, just the way you pointed out, and people are quite happy if you pay the rent on time and don't disturb anyone. Take my current landlord for example, I have lived here since June, and not once have we met.I deposit the rent in his bank a/c, and send him a short SMS informing him of it, and that's about the only contact we have for the whole month. He gets his money, we get a place to live, and everyone is happy.

P.S. I didn't read the whole legal claptrap... makes my head spin, plus I'm in no mood to reread each sentence ten times in order to understand it.

DayDreamBeliever said...

hmmmm...soi ve vak tur a vang, mahse hriat ve hrim hrim a tha khop mai, thanks for the info.

illusionaire said...

@ Aqua: lolz. Well, I intend to add such courses too, coz I really want to learnt marathi.

Funny stuff regarding the dog :-) I know, it sucks when people just stereotype us. Happens to me many times too, and it really gets on my nerves sometimes.

@ Aduhi: Yup, trust is very important, and many people rent house that way. But I also know many incidents where the landlord takes advantage of people and try to exploit them... all that cannot happen with this agreement and it is always better to be safer than sorry in the end. lolz at the legality of this whole process. I know it makes my head spin too, but once you get into it, its not that difficult. Its like an acquired taste. Its like beer! :-)

@ Dr.Daydream: Yeah, sometimes it is good to learn a few new things. It doesn't hurt to know a few stuff that may come in handy some day (who knows).

DaGGyLo said...

Hmph. No Komen! :-P

Eveline said...

Good research. Kudos to you.
I know nothing about this landlord-tenant stuff, though my parents are landlords. I don't suppose they have this court hearing formality in b'lore but then again, i don't really know what goes on.

I must say you have quite an interesting blog going on here. Keep writing and I'll keep visiting. :)

Sekibuhchhuak said...

Bengvarthlak hle mai.

Ni e hetia fel tak a tihthlap hi atah ka ti.Helai ah chuan inluah re re hi Estate kal tlangin ania, engkim ziak adahthlap ania , pulis(gonga'n) an kan in register vek bawk. KAn insawn kual dawn pawn kan insawnlehna tur address nen pek vek angai.Buaithlak deuh erawh chu, inluahman hi thla bi te te a pek ani lova, Kumkhat or kumchanve luahman pek angai thin.

toy soldier said...

This is my 3rd/4th time seeing this post..sei ltk a,chhiar hman thlot lo thrin a..
I google story hma lam chin zawng ka chhiar ta e.
Good work..i mean the googling $ then posting part:D

Jerusha said...

The stuff of nightmares! Maybe they should keep this up so that it may motivate us to finally scrimp and save and buy our own.

Joseph said...

nang chu i in luah tur apiangah terrorist emaw an ti ziah che ni lawm ni? chumi vanga hetiang agreement vel hi buaipui i ni thin ni lawm ni? :D

A buaithlak khawp mai a, ka vawikhat hriatna a ni.

mnowluck said...

In pune it is 10 years .. should be more or less somewhere between 10-15 years in mumbai too claim that you are the owner if you haven't signed the agreement.

I really hate the whole drama... as when you are going to the court, I feel that the people at court treated us as criminals and they would blabber around about the blasts and terrorist and all those just to get extra money.(been there done that in the good Ole Pune... Many times :D) But alas, here in mumbai, I don't need to.. there's my uncle to take care of plus we are at his quarter, the govt does it for us.. phew!!!

I know I'll need to go through all over this process again next year when I move to Blore again.. huis!

illusionaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
illusionaire said...

@ Jerusha: Your comment has been awfully nice these days, none of your smart-alecky bitch slap you twice where the sun don't shine kinda comments. See, people can be nice, if you really try! :-) I'm sure YOU must have saved enough to buy a place of your own now. Maybe not in Banjara Hills, but Masab Tank and Mehdipatnam, I'm sure you can afford those areas by now.

@ eveline: Yeah I was in Bangalore for a long time, and I didn't come across anything like this. One house we rented, we had to sign an agreement with the stamp papers and stuff, but we never had to go to court in person to register. And then, the rest of the houses I shifted to in Bangalore were all based on the aforementioned "Trust".

@ mnowluck: You sound as if you once tried to take over your landlord's apartment! :-P i tih duh hmel, i hmel en reng reng hian. lolz!

You're still in Mumbai????? Thought you left a long time ago! :-) Gimme ur new number quick, if you are still around here in Mumbai.

illusionaire said...

@ Toy soldier: ty ty :-) Google chu kan hneh sawh tawh a sin... seriously, I think it is good enough to replace any educational establishment. lolz. Anything you want to know is there!

@ daggylo: Ka rawn reply kha. Mumbai i rawn kal hunah kan Bboy dun dawn nia auh!

@ Seki: lolz, nia a buaithlak hmel khawp mai a procedure vel chu. Bakah khalam kha chu red-tape etc reng reng chu chinese vek in a ni lawmni inziak? A to em in luah man? To vak loh chuan inluah tur mi lo zawng sak. Mumbai chu a to eeee mai, 15-25K for one small BHK! Khatah khan ka rawn luah a nga, chuan nitin office international flight in mumbai ah ka kal a nga, chu pawh chu a tlawm zawk tho ang :-D

@ Joseph: Hahaha. Nangni thanglai ho vang hi alawm, keini "old skool" ho pawh min ringhlelh vek! :-)

mnowluck said...

hets... I hmel en rengreng hiansalah.. nia, ka lo dispute anga lo luah ru.. hahahaha..
Number chu ka pe tawh dawn lo che.. i save peih si lo hian..

Sercop said...

1st category ah ka awm :)
Good info

Anonymous said...

Have done a lot of renting during my time - in Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore - all on rental agreements. Rental agreements are also very similar to the leave and license agreement you mentioned - they are also for 11 months, with no sub-letting the house/ apartment. And this is done on a stamp paper. So how different is that from the Bombay agreement?
- Mizopa

mang buhril said...

Kima, in mumbai,how much do you pay your landlord in advance? (eg. 1 month in Delhi, 10 months in B'lore). First time i read about this in detail,thanks to you. I use to hear that in places like Kolkata, a tenant grabbing( or trying) the flat where they are staying is quite common. So most of our folks back there hesitate in renting their flats to the localites(bangalis).

illusionaire said...

@ Mizopa: I used to do that rental agreement thing too back in B'lore, and for that, our landlord comes with stamp papers and I just had to put my signature there... But for the L&L Agreement, we had to go in person to Court with our landlord and give our signatures there in front of the magistrate or whoever is authorized, and give our thumb prints too, including our photographs taken there on the spot by the official court photographer. Did you go through all that procedure too when you took up the rental agreements at various places?

@ Mang Buhril: urrrmmm... regarding the security deposit, I'll get back to you soon because I don't want to be passing wrong info. I'll just check up on whether the amount we are paying is the amount everybody pays. Tenant grabbing sucks. Only cheap people with cheap intentions can resort to such cheap actions.

@ sercop: lolz. Mahse fimkhur tho chu a ngai in ka hria. You never know what can happen :)

@ mnowluck: hets. plz, min han pe teh i number chuuuuuuuuuuuuuu eka!

Sushma said...

Is it leave and license or lease and license? What do they mean by leave?

illusionaire said...

It is "Leave", and even I was surprised when I first heard about it. I don't know why they called it "leave", but I am guessing its has something to do with a landlord "leaving" his house to the tenant for rent. I think that's where the "leave" came from.

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