Regarding the law concerning property, land and condominium, the difference between a lease and a tenancy is important in Sri Lanka.

The concept of a lease is recognised by the common law of Sri Lanka, (the Roman Dutch law). Case law has recognised a valid lease as a pro tanto alienation of the land by the Lessor for the period or term of the lease and a lease of property is, in all cases other than where the Rent Act applies, the surest means of securing one's right to possess, use and enjoy the property of another.
The parties to a lease have, broadly speaking, freedom to agree on such terms as they deem fit to be included in the lease, subject to the provisions of the Rent Act, should the Act apply.

Generally a lease will make provision for the following matters:
  1. term of the lease) security deposit) rental and how and when payable) responsibility for repairs) responsibility for payment of rates) Lessee's covenants) Lessor's covenants
  2. mutual covenants

Certain legal formalities must be observed in regard to leases. The Prevention of Frauds Ordinance provides that no promise bargain contract or agreement for establishing any interest in land (other than a lease at will or for a period not exceeding one month) shall be of force or avail in law unless it is in writing, signed in the presence of a Notary and two witnesses.
To safeguard the Lessee from the point of view of the rules governing priority as contained in the Registration of Documents Ordinance, it is necessary that the lease be properly registered at the Land Registry.
As leases often provide for payment of rent annually in advance, it is prudent and advisable for any Lessee before entering into the lease to instruct a lawyer to carry out a search at the relevant Land Registry to verify whether the property is encumbered or not and that the property does indeed belong to the Lessor.

It should be noted that a Lessee or tenant should in most cases also request a copy of the Certificate of
Conformity to satisfy him or herself that the premises can be lawfully occupied, before entering into occupation of the demised premises.