When dealing with property, buyers and sellers deal with the title of the property. The title of a property is an important document that helps in proving the ownership of the property. It contains all the important information regarding the property. The title search provides information for the title report.
Title reports are an efficient way to ensure that the property is free from legal defects. After going through the title report, a person can make a decision regarding the purchase of a property. The investigation of the title is an elaborate matter. A search of the title or legal description of the property is undertaken in most real estate transactions before the sale of the property has been finalized.
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How can I find the chain of my title document?
Before buying a property, it is important to look at the previous records of the property. This can be done by looking into the owners of the property, i.e., the original owner, the successive owners and the present owner of the property. The history of the title of the property, from the original owner to the present owner of the property is called ‘chains of the title’.
The following steps are taken to identify the chain of title.
- The investigation of the property begins with the present owner’s original title deed. The title deed helps in tracing the origin of the property. It helps to identify the manner in which the present owner of the property got ownership over it, be it through sale, partition, gift, or inheritance.
- The title deed should record the references to the previous ownership in a sequence and should be continuous and unbroken. In case of a missing sequence, it is important to refer to records of the registering offices, revenue records, and other documents. The sequence should be updated up to the current owner.
- It is also necessary to check whether the vendor has an absolute right to transfer the property and not that of mere life interest.
- The attorney has to see whether there is any encumbrance on the property.
- The attorney may check the classification of property, survey numbers, boundaries, layout, sanctioned plans, etc from the revenue records.
- No Objection Certificate to be obtained from other co-owners if the property is to be purchased from one of the joint owners.
- Identifying if there is more than one person assigned as the owner of the property, and ensuring that there exists a valid relationship between the original owner and the current owner of the property. For this purpose, the attorney may search for an heir certificate, proving that the person who is selling the property is the person who has the right to do so.
- Issuing a public notice in the newspapers calling for claims in respect of the property. This is to ensure that after the sale of the property has occurred, there is no charge brought by parties having any interest in the property.
What are the ways to cross-check the credibility of the title document?
The genuineness of any title deed document can be ascertained only when the certified copy of the document is obtained from the records of the sub-registrar. This should be compared with the original document and the same should tally in all respects. Title deed frauds occur when fake documents are prepared.
Title deeds may either be presented as a scanned certified copy or a manual certified copy.
- Scanned certified copy: the stamp paper denomination, seal, and signature of the sub-registrar, signatures of all the parties to the transaction should be the same and should match with previous existing documents.
- Manual certified copy: the contents which are present in the certified copy should match with the original document. Names, property description must be correct to prevent cases of fraud. Details with respect to the stamp duty, document number, etc have to be verified with the original document.
How to prove ownership of your personal property?
Proving ownership of a property ensures that the person owning the property is allowed to enjoy his property without any disturbance from any other person. To do this, the owner should be able to prove the valid ownership of the property. There is no one document that guarantees the ownership of a property. Ownership of property is established through various documents. The following is a list of documents that are necessary to prove ownership of a person’s personal property.
- Sale deed, a document through which the seller transfers his interest in a property to the buyer, who then gets ownership over the property.
- Title deed, a document proving the ownership of the property by a person.
- Occupancy certificate, a document issued by local authorities, certifying that a building is ready to be occupied by residents.
- Encumbrance certificate, a document which-* shows if there is any charge which has been created on the property.
- Tax receipts
- Latest electricity bills
- NOC from society/building association
- Allotment letter from the builder/housing society
- Registration documents
How to trace title for the past 30 years?
- The attorney may also visit the office of the sub-registrar to find all the documents relating to the sale deed of the property which is registered. It is advised that the title deeds of the property should be looked into dating back to 30 years.
- A non-encumbrance certificate states the history of a property over the duration of 12-30 years, including the ownership transfers during that period, mortgages, etc.
What are the common discrepancies associated with a title check?
- Error in records – there may exist an error relating to the deed of the property, thus causing a nuisance to the owner of a property.
- Illegal deeds – there are instances where the chains of title on the property are correct and are not a problem, it is possible that there may exist an earlier deed which may have been executed by a person who has not attained the age of majority or a lunatic person. Such situations may affect the agreements which have been agreed upon between the parties.
- Missing heirs – there are situations where it is not able to determine the actual heir of a property. Contesting the rights over the property by family members can affect the rights to the property.
- Forgeries – sometimes documents are forged or fabricated and the same is filed with the authorities. Once these forgeries come to light, the rights that a person has over the property can be affected.
- Undiscovered encumbrances – there may be the existence of encumbrance over the property, due to the presence of a mortgage over the property. This mortgage had not been disclosed by the previous owner of the property.
Title search and title reports are important components that have to be done before buying the property. This allows the buyer to be aware of the true owner of the property and if there is any charge that is present on the property. A title search is time-intensive and it is important that potential buyers are aware of documents that can be used to verify the title of the property. The title report is the accumulation of information that is collected during the title search.