LEGALITY-Legal Check list for Buying a Property-House/Flat/Plot

Buying a house or propertyhas always been a tedious job which involves a lot of caution. One has to be sure about the property and also about the documents involved while purchasing. This will help avoid legal hassles if any. It is essential that one is alert from the initial step to the final stage of purchasing the property.

A number of things need to be kept in mind before buying property. Don’t hesitate from making any inquiries as this involves investment of your hard earned money. There are certain documents involved in the purchase, so let’s discuss them one by one.

Legal Issues/ Title Deeds

Check the title deed of the property, this will tell you in whose name is the property. It should be in the name of the seller, the person selling you the property. It is always better to get hold of the original papers as in most cases people show copies of the originals. Besides this will help you ascertain the sort of usage allowed from the property i.e. is it commercial, residential, mixed etc.

In most cases the legal status of the land on which the property is situated is the primary issue that needs to be addressed before finalizing the deal. It is better not to make any payments before checking the legal position of the property. For instance, a property can be inherited in a number of ways on the death of a title holder. If there is a Will then it should be registered with the authorities and only then do the beneficiaries get a right to transfer their respective shares. At times, it has been noticed that even though a Will is present, the property may be mutated as per natural succession which can be considered illegal. Therefore it is best to satisfy oneself completely before proceeding with any Property transaction.

Kind of Property

It is better to find out if the property is freehold, leasehold or a Government accommodation. Freehold property means freehold property means that you own the land where the property is built while leasehold property is where you have the right to live in a property for a stipulated period of time, in most cases freehold is a better option.

Measuring the land

It is wise to measure the land before registering the property in your name; there are chances where a seller can dupe you by mentioning wrong figures in the documents. Confirm if the measurements of the land are correct by getting a surveyor to measure it.

Tax receipt and bills

There are property taxes which are paid to our government, hence ensure that all taxes have been paid and the seller has all receipts of the paid taxes. Also keep a check for any notices or pending applications relating to the property in question. At times there are electricity bills/property tax dues etc which are pending and are left for the new buyer to pay. According to Manish Saryal, a lawyer, “There have been times when a e seller does not have the tax receipts, in such cases one can contact the concerned office with the survey number of land and confirm the original owner of the land”. Also make sure water and electricity bills have been paid well in time and nothing is pending.

Encumbrance Certificate

Before buying the property, ensure that the owner has the encumbrance certificate. This certificate ensures that that the property is not mortgaged. If the property is mortgaged and there are any pending dues, the owner is liable to finish them before selling the property. This certificate can be acquired from the sub registrar’s office.

Pledged land

In some cases, people take loans from banks by pledging the property. You should ensure that the owner has paid back the entire amount and has no dues. It is important that the owner has a Release issued from the bank. You can also get in touch with a good real estate agent who can guide you in buying the property. This is a huge financial decision so make sure you do it correctly. Take your time to understand the details involved and you are sure to make no mistakes.
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