Legal Documents Required While Buying Property
Before venturing into any property-related adventure, make sure you check all the documents related to a property that you have finalised and legal compliances so that you are protected from any future legal hassles.
The list of legal documents that need to be considered before buying or looking to buy property are given as under:
1. Title Deed
It is one of the most pertinent things to check for. As we all know, nobody can transfer better title than he himself has. A seller cannot transfer his property to a prospective buyer if the title isn’t perfect and free from any encumbrances or defects. A person who claims himself as the seller can’t so sell his property if the property is not in his name and he doesn’t hold any good title over the same. The title search of a property can take place at a Sub-Registrar’s office. The buyer is entitled to receive all title documents of the property and the title document can be asked for properties that are extremely old, title documents that are prepared thirty years prior to the date of the title search need to be traced. The title should be free of any disputes over the ownership of the property. The title deed lets buyers ascertain ownership rights The seller should be the actual owner of the property. Before buying property, you should also ascertain whether the seller has the ownership of the property or just has its development rights.
2. Encumbrance Certificate
It is imperative to know whether the property is free from any legal dues whatsoever. Like in the case of title search, even encumbrances over the property can be searched for at the Sub-Registrar’s office. The office would provide all the background about the property concerned, as to whether there is any mortgage, or any third party claim, liens etc. Care must be taken when buying or investing in a mortgaged property. An encumbrance certificate or an EC would have a record of all the transactions done during a stipulated period of time over the property concerned, for which the EC is sought. The sale deed in duplicate needs to be submitted for obtaining an EC. A form needs to be filled for obtaining the Encumbrance Certificate and submitted to the nearest Sub-Registrar office.
3. Master Plan
More often than not you will come across sellers or builders of properties claiming certain infrastructural development at the place where the property is situated. Tall claims like a shopping mall will be built, schools would be constructed, highways and metros would be constructed often hold no ground and they are merely said to entice more and more buyers. Before buying a property, one should closely scrutinise the master plan of the area concerned and ascertain for themselves whether these claims would actually see the light of the day. These master plans of the area can be procured from the local town planning department of your city. You should also make it a point to carefully check the land use zone as per the master plan for the property.
4. House Plan Approval
It is essential that you ensure that the place where your property is located has been approved and also verify whether the building plan has been approved or not. You should also check to see whether any building bye-laws are violated. The building planning and the layout should be in accordance with the guidelines of the National Building Code of India. The layout also needs to be in accordance with the norms of GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment).
5. Agriculture to Non-Agricultural Land Conversion Certificate
It is important for you to see to it that the plot that you are buying is not classified as agricultural land. Any land which is designated as an agricultural land can’t be used for residential purposes, if t is so done, then it will be rendered illegal. Therefore, if you have reasons to believe that the plot you are purchasing used to be an agricultural property, ensure that you are provided with a conversion certificate issued by the appropriate revenue authorities. A conversion certificate is needed to change the purpose of land use from agricultural to non-agricultural. The town planning department of the concerned city needs to issue a No objection Certificate for use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.
6. Land Use Certificate
Most of you would already be knowing that constructing a property for residential purposes in a commercial zone is illegal. You need to apply to the development authorities of your respective city to verify if the residential property that you are planning to buy is in the residential zone and not in the commercial, agricultural or industrial zones. Residential properties shouldn’t be bought for commercial purposes without the approval of the urban development authorities. Thanks to “Zoning” you won’t be surprised if one fine day you get to know that you bought a plot for residential purposes in a commercial zone and that too without the approval of the authorities concerned and your plot is being demolished by them.
7. No Objection Certificate
No objection certificates should be obtained wherever necessary. The seller should provide you with a copy of the urban non ceiling no-objection certificate and NOCs for water, electricity etc. as well.
8. Commencement Certificate
This certificate is essential for any construction of a property to commence. This is issued by the town planning department after scrutinising the building layout, plan, superstructure etc. The builder should have all the necessary sanctions before he sets out to construct.
9. Property Tax Receipts
Tax receipts should be checked to ensure whether the seller of the property has paid all tax accruing on the property for the past 3 years to the authorities. You should ask for previous receipts of property tax if you are buying a property that is being resold.
10. Sale Deed
Before executing a sale deed, the buyer should ensure that the property has a free title. Sale Deed is one of the most important legal documents. It is a proof that states that the property has been sold and the ownership of property has been transferred from the seller to the purchaser. Before executing a sale deed all charges like property tax, electricity and water charges, maintenance and housing society charges Care should be given to the fact that a sale deed needs to be compulsorily registered.
11. Khata Certificate/ Extract
Khata when translated to English means “account”, it is essentially the account of a seller or the owner of the property. A Khata extract is essential for buying property. This is of prime importance for not only transferring a property but also for the registration of the new property.
Completion Certificate (CC), Power of Attorney, Probated Will, Occupancy Certificate (OC) etc. are few the other legal documents that are essential at the time of buying property.
Property search or land search is also known as title search. Property Search refers to the enquiries made by the property lawyer to gather more information about a property that a client wants to or is planning to purchase. It is one of the parts of the home buying process where real estate attorney will conduct various searches with the relevant parties and local authority.
The following are some of the main aspects of property search or land search or property ownership search:
- Local Authority
- Water and Property
Why it is important to do property ownership search in India?
In India, it is very important to conduct a property title search. Property search must be done to verify if the property to be purchased has any sort of impeccable title and if it is free from any such kind of charges. Considering the budget of the property, a title search of the property will be helpful to avoid any sort of legal discrepancies.
Benefits of Property Ownership Search
Usually, the property search is conducted prior to the purchase of the properties, especially properties owned by banks. A complete title search or property search will provides all details about existing liens and outstanding if any. Apart from that it will also verify the other legal issues and judgments involving the property, deeds or any other important public records.
Irrespective of the above-mentioned aspects, a comprehensive title search or property search by a real estate attorney will make sure hassle free transaction for the client and will protect them from any type of legal discrepancies in the future.
Difference between Government Price & Market Price
Generally, property value is determined by the Government. The estimated market value of the property is determined and maintained by the government. Ideally, it should be the market value of the property. However, in most of the cases the value determined by the government is lower the market value of the property but it may be higher in rare cases. Thus, the State government also has the authority to fix the market value of the properties in their respective states.
Why Measurement of property is required?
Measuring a property’s floor area is important and crucial for various reasons including the calculation of service charge for lease agreements, illustration of property for marketing purposes and etc. The ways to measure properties may differ across India as it depends on the standard area used for measurement. For example, in Punjab, some floor measurement may include car parks, common areas and parking spaces.
Role of Property Management Companies in Property Search / Land Search in India
Property Management Companies helps to ensure the authenticity of the documents of the property. They screen the applications and make sure that the property is not suspicious, disputed or not related to the person who claims to be the owner of the property.