The pre NavratraDusshera-Diwali spell is a busy period for buyers and sellers of properties as also the real estate agents who are only too happy to have deals clinched for extracting their pound of flesh.
This is the time of the year when people start their search for property in an attempt to finalise the purchase during the auspicious festive season starting with the Navratras and spilling over into the next year. Even non-resident Indians (NRIs) mostly from the United States, UK and the Middle East aides scout for properties at this time through trusted relatives and property agents.
Those among us who feel that buying property an apartment, an independent residential unit or even a plot of land is easy are in for a surprise. Selecting a home might not be tough but handling the paperwork that follows could be tasking. In Delhi this is even more complex as land and property classify under different heads when it comes to `type of property’ and also come under the purview of different land-owing agencies. The rules governing buying and selling of property under different heads vary. So does the kind of paperwork required for a clean, trouble free purchase.
There are over half-a dozen land-owing agencies in Delhi. These include the Land and development Office (L&DO), the Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi State Industrial Corporation (DSIDC), WAQF Board Delhi government and land governed by the Punjab Act.
Then there is freehold property.
Properties can broadly be also divided into five categories: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and lal dora. Different landowning agencies will require different kind of paperwork.
In this article I will focus on freehold properties. Many areas in Delhi are owned on a freehold basis. This means the holder owns the property as well as the land on which it stands. When it comes to multilevel properties with different owners the land ownership of the property is generally proportionate to the floor each owner possesses. Freehold property is different from leasehold property which is land given on lease for a specified number of years to the owner by the land-owning agency.
The usual practice for most sellers is to show prospective buyers a bunch of papers without giving them the time to scrutinies these. It is advised, however, that the buyer get at least a photocopy set of these documents and check them out. The best thing to do would be to get a lawyer or a trusted property agent to see if the papers are in order. Check the seller’s title is mentioned in the land owing agency record. The land-owning agency records will tell you if the title is disputed and if the matter is in court because usually the rival claimant would have ensured that a notice to that effect has been sent to the agency. Also check if property tax payments have been made and are updated.
(The writer is a senior columnist) checklist LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST Since property deals involve transfers of vast sums of money, safety checks are of utmost importance. One should meticulously check the property papers before entering into a sale agreement. The papers that need to be looked at are : The title deed Ownership document Completion certificate of the house or building Form C & D and B-I relating to electrical conduits and sanitation Building plans of the property (these should have the necessary sanction by the concerned authority) A copy of the latest property tax bill with receipt to ensure that property tax payment for the said property is updated Latest water and electricity bills with a ‘paid’ stamp to again ensure that the water and electricity dues have been cleared