Deed of surrender

Deed of surrender
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Deed of surrender is a document that transfers ownership of the property for a certain time period. It describes conditions under which such a transfer is possible. It is sometimes called end of tenancy agreement. The deed of surrender is used when a landlord and tenant agree to terminate lease early. It makes easier the process of discharging responsibilities by both parties.

Deed of surrender is possible if both parties are on good terms. But in case of breaching the contract ending it becomes more complicated.

It is a document which allows parties (a tenant who rents a property and a lessor who is the owner of a property) to resign from a lease agreement. When deed of surrender is signed, a lease agreement between parties ends earlier than it was first stated in a tenancy agreement. A deed of surrender concerns any type of commercial property lease and allows parties to terminate it or to release a tenant and a lessor from their lease obligations under certain conditions. A deed of surrender outlines all the rights and responsibilities of a tenant and a landlord.

In order to ensure equitable conditions for parties, a deed of surrender can be reviewed by a lease lawyer. A deed of surrender is signed by a lessor and a tenant, which is witnessed by a notary public [1].

Conditions in deed of surrender[edit]

The usual conditions are:

  • tenant will pay all rent to certain date
  • tenant will return property in good state
  • both parties release each other from any claims after the date
  • responsibility for removing registered lease (if registered)
  • responsibility for paying the legal costs [2]

When it is used?[edit]

A deed of surrender is applicable only if both parties (a lessor and a tenant) agree on its conditions. The conditions of a deed of surrender usually require a tenant to return a property to a landlord in exactly the same condition as it was before a tenant leased a property: the place should be left clean, all the possible defects which are the results of a tenant activities should be fixed and all the appliances or furniture which do not belong to a lessor should be removed.

A deed of surrender states exactly when a tenant should leave the property which was an object of a lease. The time for any necessary actions such as renovation, appliances or furniture removal will also be stated in a deed of surrender.

Another important requirement is mutual decision of a tenant and a landlord to release themselves from any financial claims. If an agreement between parties included a deposit paid by a tenant, a deed of surrender should state whether it should be fully or partially returned by a lessor. There is also a possibility of an agreement which does not require a lessor to return any money which were paid as a deposit.

All the above-mentioned requirements have to be met before the surrender date. The surrender date is the date when a deed of surrender starts to be in operation. After the surrender date the conditions of a lease agreement are no longer valid. A deed of surrender cancels all the obligations which were the results of tenancy agreement. All the further duties and obligations resulting from a lease agreement cancellation are stated in a deed of surrender [3].

The preparation process[edit]

A deed of surrender is a legal document which requires both parties to discuss some practical aspects of its preparation such as preparing and delivering notices or paying legal costs (a deed of surrender preparation is not free). It is very crucial to divide the roles and costs among a tenant and a landlord and to state who is responsible for fulfilling the abovementioned tasks. This type of agreement usually includes an information about GST payment and laws and jurisdictions connected to the contract. The document contains also the information about the financial obligations which were fulfilled by a tenant [4].

Resignation and consequences[edit]

A very common situation when parties decide to enter a deed of surrender is when a tenant and a landlord want to resign from a lease agreement, for example when a tenant wants to start a business activity with a changed entity name.

Signing a deed of surrender can also be beneficial for a lessor who wants to regain full rights to the property in order to have it for personal use or to let it to another person or company. Parties commonly agree on a deed of surrender in a case when their cooperation is so far impeccable. For example, it is most likely that a lessor will not agree to sign a deed of surrender when a tenant owes him or her some amount of money for a lease.

A deed of surrender is a document which states that parties fulfilled their obligations outlined in a lease agreement until the time when they both agreed on ending their cooperation earlier. In a situation when a tenant owes some money to a landlord the conditions of a lease agreement are fulfilled only partially, by a lessor and not by a tenant [5].



  1. Tsoa-Lee T., Lee M. s. 1-2
  2. Moskovitz, M.
  3. Fulda C. s. 203-206
  4. Law W.&M. s.1375
  5. Arnott R., Shevyakhova E. s. 2-3

Author: Agata Janusz