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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Property Law Forum » How does a Lease in Sri Lanka differ from Tenancy?

How does a Lease in Sri Lanka differ from Tenancy?

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The terms of a lease in Sri Lanka are more clearly defined than with land tenancy. Leasing a home in Sri Lanka involves drawing up a lease contract, a legally binding document that is recognized by local Sri Lankan authorities according to Roman-Dutch law. Leases are the ideal manner of renting real estate from an outside party. The Sri Lankan lease contract is a reliable agreement that protects both landlord and lessee better than tenancy contracts.

Leases differ from tenancy agreements in that they are set for only a fixed period of time. The time frame of the lease ought to be agreed-upon and clearly expressed in the written terms of the contract.

If the real estate being discussed is not governed by the terms of the Rent Act, both parties will have greater freedom in negotiating the terms of the lease. In such cases, both parties can discuss the lease’s terms and conditions, reaching mutually beneficial agreements regarding price, terms of payment, and more.

If the land under discussion is controlled by the terms of the Rent Act, there are greater restrictions placed on the estate’s landlord. Generally, the terms of the lease will be more clearly established under Sri Lankan law. Landlords leasing properties controlled by the Rent Act cannot, for example, require lessees to pay deposits exceeding three months’ rent in value. Such landlords cannot accept or require commissions or other cash payment for their work, either.

Such agreements as a “pro tanto alienation” can also be negotiated between the two parties considering a lease. Note, however, that such technicalities in drawing up a contract often require parties to engage with further paperwork and may require visits to local administrative offices.

To make the lease contract official, the landlord and lessee must sign the document before a notary and two witnesses. A few additional steps must be taken to legitimize the contract, too. The landlord must procure a Certificate of Conformity for the land, a deed that declares that the premises may legally and lawfully hold residents. Finally, for the protection of the tenant, the lessee must register himself at the local Land Registry office. Once all of these steps have been completed, the lease contract can go into effect.

If you are new to home ownership, consider seeking legal guidance as you research property for sale or for lease in Sri Lanka. A lawyer can help you understand the legal terms and paperwork associated with new apartments and homes. With a lawyer’s assistance, you can feel more confident in knowing that you are engaged in a legal business transaction. Such legal assistance may include: confirming the legality of the lease or tenancy offer, certifying the authenticity of the Certificate of Conformity, confirming that the landlord has legal rights to the land, and much more. Though you can certainly find land for lease without the assistance of a lawyer, enlisting legal assistance will ensure that you are best protected when entering into a lease or tenancy contract.

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