Buying a flat is probably one of the most critical personal investments individuals make in India. At the outset, any set of tips for purchasing a home say that one has to fix on a budget, location and demand as per personal or family needs. However, beyond that, once it comes down to making a final decision, we tend to enter the world of the legal process of buying a house in India.
While some individuals have peripheral knowledge of the legalities of “buying a flat process”, others are confused and worried. Homebuyers are typically misguided by ill-informed shady builders or brokers, leading to loss of cash and different legal risks.
To help you perceive this necessary legal process, we’ve tried to break it down into manageable steps. Think about it sort of a property buying guide for property in India – except it covers the legal aspects, not the general ones.
1) Title Verification
As a preliminary step, the buyer should initial ensure the existence and validity of the property title. It should be free from any mortgages or previous unpaid dues. Scrutinise all documents for a minimum period of the last twelve years, increasing to thirty years for any legal discrepancies.
2) Seller’s identification
As necessary as validating the flat’s title documents, if no more, is verifying the identity of the seller(s). Enforce scrutinising valid legal documents sort of a PAN Card, Adhaar Card, etc. just in case of the seller being an organisation, check for legal documents related to the company’s registration, TAN number, etc.
3) Documents associated with Land Use
Ascertaining the sort of land – residential, commercial, industrial, non-agricultural, mixed-use, etc. – could be a crucial step. Many state and national laws forbid the use of land for functions apart from what it is meant for. If the property and its usability have been converted legally, look for land conversion documents.
4) Construction Approvals
In the case of an already constructed building, validating the architecture or layout plan is a must. The municipal authorities should sanction it, government bodies, statutory and regulative authorities, etc. to supply electricity, water, environmental clearances, fire safety, etc.
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5) Occupancy Certificate
The seller should acquire an Occupancy Certificate (OC) before transferring the property titles. A missing OC may produce severe issues for the buyer starting from hefty penalties to the demolition of the property.
6) Payment of Taxes
If the seller has not paid property taxes, it attracts substantial penalty charges leading to poor value. Make sure to verify with the municipal authorities that the vendor has not defaulted on tax payments.
7) Mortgages and alternative Claims
In case the flat or building or land is under dispute for any reason, the probabilities of an encumbrance existing are high. Check government websites wherever property registration data is available. You’ll be able to conjointly issue a public notice in the newspapers, before finishing a monetary transaction. The third-party claims, if any, are invariably better to be aware of at the beginning.
8) Compliance under RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority)
As the last however most vital due diligence, check whether or not the property is registered under RERA. The RERA website additionally provides data concerning any cases or complaints filed against the developer, defaulted payments by the developer, etc. These details can establish credibility regarding the vendor and project, and assist you in building an additional rational decision.
Due to the nature of the investment being giant, it’s invariably higher to be additional cautious whereas buying a flat or property. It’s additionally advisable to require a skilled legal recommendation for proper scrutiny of all legal documents and gain vital data. Whereas scrutinising each small legal facet might take an extended amount to execute a deal, within the long run this can bring you peace of mind and a much better return on investment.
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