Vakila Varte

15-06-2008                         Fortnightly                         Four pages


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Scrutiny of Property Documents

Checking of valid ownership and possession of properties through their associated available property documents is as important as checking oneís health. It eliminates future risk since the owner can take appropriate legal steps to rectify defects if any once they are detected. Moreover, purchasing, Owning and Selling of lands, sites and buildings will be problematic , unless one possess required property document to prove his / her marketable title over the properties.

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Personal Laws

  1. Property Documents are obtainable:

  2. A mere sale deed , katha, tax paid receipt and encumbrance certificate are not enough to arrive at oneís clear marketable title. Relying on just these documents, some times may be misleading and even dangerous. Few more documents which unequivocally prove ownership and possession of property owners over the their properties are should be collected and verified. Almost all of these documents are obtainable from different sources, even now, in case they are not available with the owners.

  3. Property documents are not similar:

  4. The type and quantum of required property documents vary from one property to another. What is required for a Land will be different from that of a Building. The documents pertaining to a BDA site will not be similar to Corporation or Gramthana site.

  5. Few basic documents are must:

    All property owners need to possess few basic documents which are common to all type of properties. They include ,

    1. The mother deed which is the parent deed along with itís subsequent documents which show the flow of title atleast for 13 years.
    2. Encumbrance certificate for atleast 13 years which reflect the property title or interest effected or changed through registered documents
    3. The Khatha extract which would depict the present owner of the land.
    4. The latest Tax paid receipts.
    5. The sanctioned plan of the building. Few more documents in case of agricultural lands
    6. Mutation extracts which registers the names of land owners and show the flow of title.
    7. R.T.C which is shows the names of persons own and who are in possession of the land
    8. Land records such as Akarband, Tippani. Atalas , survey sletch along with village map to know the location , shape and size of the land
    9. Nil tenancy certificate which indicates that there are no pending tenancy proceedings
    10. Nil 79 A & B proceedings which indicates that owner of the land has not violated laws while purchased the land.

  6. Title should be clear and marketable:

  7. It is sensible to check all your property documents, verify them , rectify mistakes if any and find out any more documents are required and collect the required from available sources to ensure that your ownership and possession is legal , your title to the property is valid, clear, marketable and free from all encumbrances.

  8. Verification is to assess valid ownership and possession:

  9. Basically scrutinize the title deeds of properties starting from parent deed to the present , verify the documents of possession and encumbrances and look in to applicable State Laws.

    The title deeds may of different types and forms such as sale deeds/ gift deeds/ grant/ mutations and collect them and trace ownership of properties. Look in to possession documents such as katha, possession certificate, RTC, tax paid receipts to ensure that possession of the owners is valid and continuous for not less than 13 years. Find out whether the properties are free from encumbrance by looking into the details in the encumbrance certificates obtained in respect of the properties for not less than 13 years. Ask for Endorsements and No Objection Certificates wherever whether applicable from Authorities to get confirm that the transfer and possession from original owner to the present owner are as per the prevailing provisions of law.

  10. Written Legal opinion is advisable:

  11. Donít attempt to do this important job yourself , in case you are not well versed with property matters. Obtain guidance from an experienced hisadvocates or property consultants and act on their advice. It is preferable to obtain written legal opinion from them and obtain second opinion on the legal opinion given. It may cost few hundreds but may save your properties worth crores.