About property registration...

About property registration...

Registration is a critical aspect for any property purchase process and serves as a basis for establishing legal title of the transacted property.

One must follow a thorough registration process as it will act as a check against fraudulent practices, and will be helpful at the time of further sale of the property. Hence, it is highly recommended that buyers inspect various documents and append them in the registration document. Before registration of a property, it is advisable to consult a property lawyer about the documentation and diligence aspects of the transaction. The lawyer will be able to provide a checklist of the documents required for the registration process. In any case, you need to take care of a few things too:

Sale deed

The sale deed to be registered should include accurate description of the property being purchased (subject property). The property description should cover aspects such as carpet area and plot boundaries (in case of row houses and plotted development). Such descriptions should also match with details included in previous transaction documents. Further, property purchasers should consider including the following details to be appended to the sale deed:

Land and/or unit title: In case of purchasing an under-construction unit from the developer, it is advisable to secure land title report from the developer. While the best practice is to seek land title report for the last 30 years, buyers can consider a shorter duration (say five years) as well. If the land was originally purchased for industrial or commercial purposes, it is advisable to check if the builder has received a Change of Land Use (CLU) certificate from the authorities.

In case you are purchasing the unit from secondary market, it is imperative to secure original documents for all previous transactions on the said property from the seller. As an additional precaution, buyers may also consider undertaking independent title search on the land, although the same need not be included in the sale deed. In case of purchase from secondary market, it is also advisable to issue a notice in local newspapers, seeking objections against proposed property purchase. A copy of such notice, if issued, should be included in the sale deed.

Construction & occupancy-related documents: In case of purchasing an under-construction unit from the developer, buyers should secure all construction and occupancy-related approvals from the developer. Some of the key documents that buyers should emphasise on include construction commencement certificate, approved layout plan, approved building plan, construction completion certificate and occupancy certificate.

Similarly, in case of second-hand purchase, buyers should check previous property documents for aforementioned certificates. In case the document trail does not include any of the aforementioned certificates, buyers should ask the seller to secure such documents from the housing society. In the case of a second-hand purchase, it is also imperative for the buyer to procure a ‘no encumbrance certificate’ from the seller. This certificate is proof that the property in question is not already mortgaged.

Seller verification

In specific cases where buyers are relying on Power of Attorney (POA) from seller to seller representative, it is highly recommended that an original POA be included in the sale deed. It is also advisable to undertake KYC of seller representative to assure authenticity of POA.

Stamp duty & taxation-related details

Buyers should verify that the seller has paid appropriate stamp duty charges at the time when the seller bought the property. The receipt for the same should be appended in the sale deed. Buyers should also secure details of property tax paid by the seller until the date of sale.

Housing society-related documents

 Buyers should secure these documents from the housing society, applicable only in case of secondary market transaction. They should secure society registration document from the seller and append it in the sale deed.

In addition, a sale deed should include a copy of the society share certificate of the seller.
Buyers should also secure a no-dues certificate from the society to ensure that the seller has settled all obligations including maintenance charges.

Buyers should also include a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) or transfer certificate from the society with regards to sale of the property from the seller to the buyer.

Seller bank loan

In case the seller has a bank loan running against the subject property, the buyer should secure an NOC from the seller’s bank to secure the lender’s approval on the current transaction. After registering the sales deed in line with aforementioned steps, the buyer should consider the following aspects to complete post sale-deed registration requirements as well.

If the sale deed was registered before making final payments to the seller and does not have a ‘no dues certificate’ from the seller, it is recommended to secure one from the seller and register it as well.

The buyer should also maintain an original copy of tax deducted at source (TDS) deducted at time of purchase. In case of purchasing property from a non-resident Indian (NRI), the seller should secure such a certificate from tax authorities. It should include the amount of tax to be deducted by the buyer from the payment made to the seller. The buyer should then secure a ‘no dues certificate’ from tax authorities after submitting the required tax.

As best practice, the buyer should also ask the seller to provide utility bills (such as electricity and water) for the last three to six months to assure that there are no further dues on the subject property.

(The author is senior director, city-head, Bengaluru, Cushman & Wakefield)

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