Real estate transactions have become increasingly difficult in recent times, with the rise in disputed properties and misleading deals. In such a scenario, issuing a letter of indemnity (LOI) can offer protection to both parties involved in a trade. It can also help limit liabilities caused by an agreement failure. But what exactly is an LOI, and what is its purpose, benefits, and contents? Let us delve into these details.

What is a letter of indemnity?

You might have come across the term indemnity while filling out an insurance form. However, when it comes to real estate, where significant investments are at stake, an indemnity can offer protection against substantial financial loss. An LOI serves as a promise of indemnity, and its purpose is to protect both parties involved in a transaction. It is especially useful when there is a high degree of uncertainty or risk involved in the deal. In this way, the LOI serves as a risk management tool, enabling parties to agree on the terms of indemnification before the transaction takes place.

In terms of benefits, an LOI protects both the buyer and the seller from financial loss in case of any dispute arising from the transaction. It also outlines the terms and conditions of indemnification, making it easier for both parties to understand their rights and obligations. The contents of an LOI typically include a description of the property, the parties involved, the risks and uncertainties associated with the transaction, and the terms and conditions of indemnification. A letter of indemnity is a crucial legal document that can help mitigate risks and protect both parties involved in a real estate transaction.

It is important to note that a letter of indemnity is a legally binding document and should only be drafted by a qualified legal professional. The terms and conditions of the indemnity must be clearly stated to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future. Below is an example of when and how a letter of indemnity is needed for a clearer understanding.

Example and sample of a letter of indemnity

Let’s say, in a property purchase between Mr Sharma and Mr Verma, to avoid any legal disputes or title defects, Mr Verma may give Mr Sharma a letter of indemnity. This letter assures Mr Sharma that if any such issues arise after the purchase, he will be reimbursed for any financial losses incurred. 

Indemnity bonds can also be issued to protect important property documents. Below is a sample letter of indemnity that safeguards the original property documents.

This Deed of Indemnity is executed on this _________ day of _______________, 2000, at ________________, between Mr. A, son of B, residing at ___________________, referred to as “the Seller” (hereinafter inclusive of his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns), of the First Part, and Mr. C, son of D, residing at __________________________, referred to as “the Purchaser” (hereinafter inclusive of his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns), of the Second Part.

Whereas the Seller has entered into an agreement with the Purchaser for the sale of House no. ________ constructed on Plot No. ___________ Survey No. __________ situated at ____________________________________ in the Registration District and Sub-District of ___________________.

And Whereas the Seller has represented that his title to the said house is clear, marketable, and free from encumbrances, notwithstanding the misplacement of the sale deed dated _______________ executed by Mr. ___________________ in favor of the Seller and other title documents to the said house.

And Whereas the Seller has represented that he has not created any charge, mortgage, or encumbrance over the said house and has requested the Purchaser to acquire the said house without insisting upon the title deeds, provided the Seller gives an indemnity, indemnifying the Purchaser from any demand, claim, action, or rights from any person claiming to be entitled to any right, title, or interest in the said house and/or in the event of anybody claiming any charge, lien, mortgage, or encumbrance on the basis of the deposit of title deeds.

And Whereas the Purchaser has agreed to acquire the said house without insisting on the title deeds, subject to the Seller agreeing to indemnify the Purchaser as specified herein.

Now This Deed Witnesseth As Follows:

1. In pursuance of the said agreement and in consideration of the Purchaser not insisting on the title deeds and other documents concerning the said house, the Seller hereby covenants with the Purchaser that the Seller will at all times hereafter indemnify and keep indemnified the Purchaser against all claims, demands, actions, proceedings, losses, damages, costs, charges, and expenses which may be brought or commenced against the Purchaser or which the Purchaser may incur or may have to suffer as a result, direct or indirect, due to the non-production by the Seller of the title deeds in respect of the house.

2. The terms “Seller” and “Purchaser” include their respective heirs, successors, executors, administrators, and assigns.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed these presents on the day and year first above written.

Signed and delivered by A, the within named Seller

Signed and delivered by C, the within named Purchaser




Purpose of a letter of indemnity

Real estate indemnity is an essential legal protection against the potential risks that may arise from agreements gone wrong. However, a letter of indemnity can serve two additional vital purposes. Firstly, in case of a breach, it can help to mitigate the losses incurred and also highlight the limitations of the defaulter in the court of law. Secondly, it can reduce the risks of agreement breaches, and consequently, give real estate buyers or concerned parties the confidence to proceed with the transaction. Therefore, it is essential to understand the significance of a letter of indemnity when dealing with real estate transactions.

What to include in the letter of indemnity?

When buying or selling real estate, it’s important to protect both parties involved in the transaction. This can be done by including specific details in a Letter of Intent (LOI). An LOI should describe the property, payment terms, and duration of the transaction. Typically, a letter of indemnity should contain the following information:

Parties involved

The letter should clearly state the names and contact information of all parties involved in the transaction. This includes the buyer, seller, and any intermediaries such as real estate agents or lawyers.

Description of property

A detailed description of the property should be mentioned, including its address, size, and unique features. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page and understands the specific property being referred to in the letter.

Indemnification clause

The letter should include a clear indemnification clause, outlining the responsibilities and liabilities of each party. This clause should specify who will be responsible for any potential damages, losses, or legal claims that may arise during the transaction.

Termination clause

Include a termination clause that outlines the conditions under which the letter of indemnity can be terminated. This helps to protect all parties involved in case the transaction does not proceed as planned.

Governing law

Specify the governing law that will be applied in case of any disputes or legal issues. This helps ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations under the law.


Finally, the letter should be signed by all parties involved to indicate their agreement and acceptance of the terms outlined in the letter. This helps to make the letter legally binding and enforceable.

How to obtain a letter of indemnity?

When it comes to real estate transactions, a letter of indemnity is usually issued by the bank or financial institution overseeing the process. As a buyer, there are specific steps you need to follow to obtain an indemnity letter. 

  • Understand the terms stated by the seller. 
  • Conduct research on the property to find out about any past encumbrances or disputes. This information can be leveraged to negotiate the financial terms of the transaction. 
  • Approach your bank or mortgage provider for the letter of indemnity. 
  • Review the clauses stated in the LOI and ensure it is duly signed by all the parties involved in the transaction, including the bank. 

It’s important to note that while a letter of indemnity offers protection, it’s crucial to conduct thorough due diligence before entering into any property transaction. Buyers should verify the property’s legal status, ownership, and any existing encumbrances. Consulting with a real estate advisor or legal expert is recommended to ensure a secure and hassle-free purchase.

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