Demise: Definition and Meaning

The transfer of ownership of estate or property is the common practice that started long back. People transfer their ownership of a property and some other people buy such ownership either permanently or on rent for fixed period of time. Demise is a term that defines one such transfer of ownership of a property.

What is Demise?

In Law, demise refers to the transfer of possession or ownership of an estate or such property, usually in the form of lease or rental agreement. Likewise, "demise" can be referred as the transfer of real estate property (such as land or a building/apartment, or home) or even moveable property (such as equipment or other such machinery). The person or owner who is granting the lease or rental agreement is referred to as the "lessor," and the person, who is receiving the property is referred to as the "lessee." So, it can be said that the term demise is term commonly used in the context of real estate law and commercial leasing.

Origin of the Term Demise

The English term ‘demise’ is an Anglo-Norman legal term i.e. from French démettre, from Latin dimittere, and the meaning is “to send away.” However, in English the term is commonly used for the ‘death of a person’ or also used to describe passing away of something.

Types of Demise

There is as such no official classification of the term demise, but based on the terms and condition of transfer of property or rental agreement, it can be classified as −

  • Long-term leases,

  • Short-term lease,

  • Subleases.

Requirements for a Valid Demise

To create a valid lease, it is important to follow certain legal proceedings, which will not only secure the property of both the parties, but also makes such transactions and transfer valid.

These requirements include −

  • Verification of the property and its paper,

  • Duly signed agreement papers,

  • The agreed amount of rent.

Termination of a Demise

In the agreement paper, the condition of termination of a demise must be explained clearly and it should not one side, but rather both the parties must be given equal an equal opportunity to terminate a demise. However, usually the demise is believed terminated on the expiry of the lease agreement unless it is again revised by both the parties. Besides, if any of the parties breaches the terms and conditions of lease, in that condition, demise will be terminated. Lastly, because of some unpredictable event, if lessee surrenders the lease property, the demise will be terminated.

Remedies for Breach of Demise

Any point in time (especially during the lease period), if any of the parties (either lessee or lessor) breaches the lease agreement, then the other party (victim) has the right to terminate the lease agreement or and claim for the damages.

Depending upon the situation, the plaintiff only can seek the damages and can continue the lease or rental relationship.

Demise in Indian Laws

The transfer of property Act, 1882, Indian Succession Act, 1925, Hindu Succession Act, 1956 etc. are some acts that explain the legal process of transfer of property and directly or indirectly deal with demise.

Likewise, in India, "demise" is a term used in terms of property law, especially in relation to leases and rental agreements. The Indian Contract Act of 1872 governs the terms of leases and rental agreements. Under this act, though the term "demise" is not used rather lease term is used that refers a transfer of possession and control of property for a specified period of time in return for consideration (usually money as rent).


Likewise, demise (specifically) in law, is a term used to define the lease and its terms and condition. Such practice is common in every country. However, depending upon the municipal law of respective country, there may be some differences in creating such lease or demise.


Q1. What is a synonym for demise in law?

Ans. These term ‘demise’ in law refers to the transfer of control or possession of property from one party to another, usually in exchange for consideration, which is a fixed amount (money) as rent. So, synonym for "demise" in law can be "lease," "rental agreement," or "transfer of possession."

Q2. What is the meaning of demised property?

Ans. "Demised property" usually refers to the property, which has been leased or rented from a lessor to a lessee in exchange for rent (which usually is money).

Updated on: 20-Feb-2023


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