The purchase of a home is a long-term financial commitment and it is important that it is done right. The property documents should be recorded correctly and updated after the ownership has been transferred. The registration of the property is carried out in accordance with section 17 of the Registration Act 1908. The main objective of the Act is to ensure that the information in property documents is correct and that they are correctly maintained. Before registering the property in your name it is very important that the various property documents are verified to ensure a clear and marketable title. It is also a good idea to check the credibility and authenticity of the seller or developer.

Due diligence needs to be exercised before the purchase of any real estate property and the help of the legal experts should be sought to carry out the verification of property documents.

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What is the very best proof of ownership of property?

Assetscan-property documentsThe answer to this question could be that the registration certificate or the title deed would be the best way to prove ownership of the property. As a buyer, you should ensure that the land on which you are building a home is in the name of the developer or there is a memorandum of understanding between the developer and the owner of the property. The sales deed showing the buyer’s name is also the best proof for showing ownership of the property. 

The non-encumbrance certificate is a property document that is granted showing 12-30 years history of the property which is inclusive of the ownership transfer, mortgage status, etc. The records of the land revenues authority can also act as a proof showing the ownership of the property. 

Occupancy certificate and the completion certificate is granted in cases of the under-construction properties. These certificates can also be used to show ownership as it is issued by the municipal authority after a thorough investigation in relation to the legal standards such as height, distance from the road, etc.  They also ensure that the construction works are carried out in accordance with the approved plans. 

What documents confirm the seller’s identity?

Similar to the process of confirming the title of the property, it is also important to confirm the identity of the seller. These confirmations should be carried out to understand whether the person you are entering into a contract, has the legal capacity to make the transaction or not. In India documents like Aadhaar card, election Id, passport or any government-issued documents are all enough proof of the person’s identity. It is important to confirm the identity of each owner in the case of joint owners. It is also important to verify if the person is a minor or any inabilities to contract according to Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act. 

The address proof of the seller should also be verified. The various documents that can be used to do so are Electricity or telephone bills, Ration card, Life insurance policy, etc. In cases of NRI citizens willing to sell their property, it is important that he is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and holder of a passport to prove his identity.

What property documents should buyers check?

The various property documents that need to be checked by the buyer before purchasing the property are:

  • The title deed is one of the most important property documents that need to be verified while purchasing a property. It shows not only the rights confirmed on the owner to make the transaction but also about his rights and obligations of a mortgage. Studying through this property document will help you understand if the seller has a transferable interest in the property. 
  • Construction clearance certificate or the commencement certificate. Both these certificates are a good proof to establish that the construction works of the building are in accordance with the approval, license, and permission of the local concerned authorities. 
  • The building plan or the layout plan also needs to be approved by local authorities.
  • The Encumbrance Certificate helps the buyer to ensure the title along with the title deed. It also helps the buyer to check if there is any kind of dispute in relation to the title and if there is an existing loan or mortgage against the property. 
  • Completion and occupancy certificates are also property documents issued by the local authorities and need to be checked.

How to confirm my property is registered in local municipal records and the construction has been done according to an approved PLAN?

Some of the property documents that can help you understand whether the property is registered with the local authorities and that construction works on your property are done in accordance with the approved plan are:

  • The title deed and the Encumbrance Certificate are certificates that are issued by the sub-registrar and are conclusive proof to check ownership and the lien status of the land.
  • Land Clearance as there are instances in which agricultural lands are being converted for non-agricultural purposes. In such cases, the builder should obtain approval from the concerned local authority to do the same. A zonal clearance also needs to be obtained by the developer after the land title and clearance certificate in order to carry out the construction processes. 
  • The revenue department also provides an ownership certificate for construction purposes. 
  • The building plan and the layout plan need to be approved in accordance with the Building Byelaws, Master plan, and Local Body Acts. The building permit is also to be obtained from the local authority. 
  • The completion certificate and the occupancy certificate is also a mandatory property document as stated above. 
  • The builder of the property should also get permission for the electricity, water, and gas from the concerned local authority. The builder should obtain a NOC from the municipality for digging bore wells. 

What are the property documents required for property registration?

The various property documents that are required for the process for the registration process include:

  • The encumbrance certificate
  • The final deed prepared by the buyer’s lawyer
  • Payment of stamp duty
  • Execution of the deed in the sub-registrar’s office. The various documentation required for this purpose includes:
  1. Copy of the property document registered. 
  2. Two photographs and identity proof of the buyer, seller and two witnesses, all of the age of majority. Pan Card of the seller and buyer is also important for the documentation process.
  3. Copy of the municipal tax bills to indicate the year in which the construction works are being carried on.
  4. Thumb impression and signature of the buyers, sellers and two witnesses are to be taken mandatorily.
  5. Applying for the mutation of the title deed. A mutation certificate needs to be obtained as it shows the change in the title of the property. 

Thus it is to be stated that while purchasing a property, the buyer should check the credibility of documents such as the owner’s identity, the registration and approvals of the local body along with the property documents showing the title and financial history of the property as it is a long financial commitment. It is very important to exercise due diligence and employ professionals to verify the authenticity of each property documents in order to avoid any future troubles as property documents hold high value as evidence in the court of law.