Q&A: Donee must accept deed of gift while donor is alive

Gift is the transfer of certain existing moveable or immoveable property made voluntarily and without consideration, by one person (donor) to another (donee), and accepted by or on behalf of the donee.

The Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958 provides specific responsibility pertaining to payment of stamp duty by either of the parties in certain cases, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary. However, the same is not exhaustive, as it does not include all the instruments set out in Schedule I of the Act. In terms of the provisions of the Act, it is open for any party to make payment of stamp duty before registration with the concerned office of sub-registrar of assurances. Therefore, if the donee purchases the stamp paper in his name, it will not invalidate the deed of gift.

According to The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, acceptance of gift must be made by the donee during the lifetime of the donor and while the donor is still capable of giving the gift. If the donee dies before accepting the gift, then it is void. Ideally, when the donor gifts the property to the donee, the donee should record the acceptance on the same deed of gift, at the time of execution of the deed and registration before the office of sub-registrar of assurances.

I live and pay the rent of a room that my grandmother rented out in Mumbai. She is no more. Though I pay the rent through cheque, the rent receipt I get is not in my name. Do I have a legal claim to the room? The landlord wants to pay me for surrendering the room.

—Anosh Pestonji

The Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 (MRCA) defines a tenant, as any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for any premises and includes any member of the tenant’s family (where they are let for residence), who, at the time of demise of the tenant, was residing with the tenant, or, in the absence of such member, any heir of the deceased tenant, as may be decided, in the absence of agreement, by the court.

Secondly, we presume that you used to reside with your grandmother in the tenanted premises, at the time of demise and/or prior to the time of demise, of your grandmother, and accordingly, you may be construed as tenant and accordingly you may request the landlord to transfer the tenancy rent receipt in your name in relation to the same tenanted premises.

Thirdly, under the provisions of MCRA, it is permissible for the tenant or any person acting on behalf of the tenant, to claim or receive any sum/consideration, as a condition of the relinquishment, transfer or assignment of his tenancy of any premises. So if you want to, you can accept the consideration from the landlord for relinquishing your rights in the premises.livemint


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