Deed Of Surrender

DEFINITION of 'Deed Of Surrender'

A legal document transferring property ownership for a given time period, provided certain conditions are met. A deed of surrender allows one party, such as a renter, to relinquish his or her claims on a particular piece of property to the party holding the underlying title (the landlord). Once the deed of surrender has been signed, any outstanding claims on the property can be resolved. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Deed Of Surrender'

A deed of surrender can be used to terminate any commercial property lease and/or relieve tenants of their lease obligations. In exchange for giving up their rights to a property, the tenant is released from further claims and demands by the landlord, and the landlord is released from further claims and demands by the tenant. The deed of surrender outlines each party’s rights.  

A deed of surrender is typically used in situations where the landlord and tenant are on (at least) somewhat good terms. If either party has breached the lease contract, ending the legal relationship becomes more complicated. For example, if a tenant owes a landlord several months’ back rent that the landlord intends to collect, the landlord may not execute a deed of surrender, because that would give up the rights to back rent.

The deed of surrender states the condition in which the tenant will leave the property, affirms the tenant has fulfilled any financial obligations to the landlord, states the landlord has returned the tenant’s deposit or a portion thereof, or that the tenant is not due a refund of deposit at all. The document is signed by both the landlord and tenant, as well as by a witness like a notary public.