Avoid landing in a mess

Realty matters

Avoid landing in a mess

Owning a plot is right up there with displaying the maximum number of jewellery. Before you buy, or sell, your land, exercise due diligence to avoid hassles later, urges Manoj Kumar

Saravanan and Rajesh are future neighbours, constructing houses in Chandapura. Incidentally, they bought plots and started the construction at the same time. While Saravanan can put his feet up and breathe easy on the completion of his house, a Herculean task lies ahead for Rajesh as his dream house nears finishing.

Rajesh’s land is far from the area where connections for basic facilities like power and water are available. Now, he has to spend considerable amount of time and, of course, money, in getting water, power and sewage connections all the way to his house.

It may, however, take a few weeks before his prayers fall on the ears of the officials concerned and they pay heed to it. Until that time, he has to make his own arrangements. However, Saravanan has to little to worry about as water, power and sewage services are at his disposal. What made things easy for him is that he bought a plot that had already been converted into a developed layout.

Customers who buy plots in developing areas from individual sellers, which are not Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) or Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) approved or DC converted, or who have converted farmland into residential property, would be in the same predicament.

A private property owner has to get the approval from the BDA if it is within the city and the owner intends to form a residential layout. The agency responsible for town planning and development, BDA, would issue licences on the same provided the property owner abides by the guidelines laid down by the Authority.

In order to get approval by the government, a potential residential layout should have 49 per cent of the area as sites, 15 per cent should be earmarked for parks and playgrounds, 10 per cent for basic amenities like drainage, water connection, electricity and about 30 feet wide neatly paved road among other requirements.

The BDA also undertakes projects to develop residential layouts around the city in a joint venture with land owners. Here, a portion of developed area will be handed over to the land owners in return for their land used for the formation of the layout. In case the concerned land is outside the city, the licence is provided by the BMRDA.

Though the city has been seeing an onslaught of high-rise apartments, which is more likely the order of the day among IT professionals, the demand for plots has not reduced. There are many who still want to buy land and build their dream house.

An approved land has other benefits as well, including easy loan facilities. Several leading banks come forward and lend the required loan amount on the land if it has a BDA or BMRDA seal on it. But everything comes with a price. The buyer has to dole out three times the rate per square foot for a plot from a fully developed layout in an area that would have, otherwise, cost much less before its conversion.

Not everyone intends to build a house when they buy land. Buying land is a great investment. People who had bought properties at throwaway prices back then are reaping gold today. Some buyers with hefty bank balance purchase land as an investment to make high returns in a short period and don’t build houses.

Prudently, buying plots from private owners as part of the investment and not raising a concrete structure on them also involves several challenges. Having plots vacant for a long time paves way for some unscrupulous minds in the business to dupe customers.

For instance, a residential layout near Sarjapur spreading across 3,000 square feet was formed following all the due processes. The sites sold like hot cakes and most of the people who bought the land were government employees. However, none of the buyers really showed interest in using the land even after a few years.

The apparent negligence of buyers prompted the greedy landlord to sell the plots again to a developer who built apartments, pushing the original buyers into a mess.

In reality, buyers who have bought a plot in a layout developed by BDA, and failed to build a house, within a given period of five years, even after being served notice by the concerned department, would have their allotments cancelled. A lot of complexities are involved in purchasing and registering a land.

Confirming the authenticity of a land and the seller is the most challenging aspect in any land deal. One has to sift for information through bulky files of land documents and run from pillar to post at several government offices to check the genuineness of the deal.

Today, in spite of being cautious, several buyers are duped and left in the lurch. In many cases, sellers do not disclose the entire information pertaining to the title, of other rightful heirs or other legal issues etc. Growing awareness among the public and some initiatives from the government, however, has reined in the notorious business to an extent.

Nowadays, an Internet-savvy Bangalorean can access the BDA website to check out the authenticity of any particular property he desires to buy.

Figuring out a genuine piece of land is half the battle won. Buying plots from layouts which are approved by government agencies or DC converted ones will counter most of your concerns.

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