Buying a property can be an overwhelming experience, both financially and emotionally. Verification of flat purchase documents or any other property documents is of the most tedious parts of the whole process. It is absolutely necessary to ensure that all the legal intricacies are unambiguous to avoid any legal hassle in the future. While hiring a lawyer to do that for you is a simple solution, however, if you don’t wish to hire one, you may even do that on your own.
Let us explore what is property verification, why it is essential, the process, documents required and its benefits.
What is Property Verification?
Property verification is a process to check the ownership of the property or ownership of the person who is selling the property. It is a process carried on to check whether the person is having complete right over the property and there is no legal hurdle in transferring the property in the buyer’s name.
Why Verification is a Must?
Due diligence and awareness of your rights will certainly protect you against unscrupulous practices followed by the developers. It is best to physically inspect all documents before buying any property.
Process of Verification
There are various online Verification portals that help you with it. They seek certain documents from you and then they analyze and let you know their veracity. Yes, you need to pay for the services.
Similarly there are many websites that provide details of documents that you may check on your own for property verification. Here you don’t pay a penny for the services.
Documents Required for Property Verification
Let us have a look at the checklist of documents and tips to verify your property.
Sale Deed & Agreement to Sale
The agreement must capture the seller’s complete details including father’s name, address, PAN number and bank account information. It must also provide exact details of the property’s location and municipal, tehsil (administrative division) or collector’s land record number. The agreement must also be witnessed by two people, each from the buyer’s and seller’s side.
Check for Property Title Documents
Title documents are the base of a real estate transaction. You must demand the earlier transaction papers from the seller. You may get it cross-verified with the concerned sub-registrar’s office for Verity. An ad in the local newspaper may also be given regarding your intention to purchase the said property.
Date of possession
It is the date on which the purchaser is to get possession of the premises and binds the developer to hand over possession by the date set out in the agreement. If possession is not given by such date, the purchaser has a right to sue.
The ‘time of essence’ clause in an agreement lays down the contractual deadlines for the parties to perform their due obligations.
The clause which sets out the payment schedule, lays down the total amount to be paid and the time frame within which it is to be paid. In cases where the payment is made in instalments, the payment schedule specifies details of each instalment. The agreement must provide complete payment details by the buyer, including that of the mortgage, if any.
This clause defines the consequences imposed on the parties in case of deviation from the code of conduct expected to be adhered by them. The agreement may have a clause such as ‘termination by convenience’ clause where either party can end the agreement.
This clause is alternative to settling the matter through litigation. Besides this, there are other processes that may be used to settle commercial contracts include adjudication and mediation.
This clause helps the buyer to know the additional benefits he is entitled to and also mentions the supplementary amount towards maintenance charges. In case of any default on the amenities sought to be provided, the buyer may consider it as a breach of contract.
This clause is generally incorporated in the purchase agreement, clearly specifying milestones and the penalties in case of failure from both, seller and buyer.
In case, it is a builder, look for reviews and other articles in the press through which you can check for their reliability.
Encumbrance Documents from the sub-registrar’s office
An encumbrance certificate shows if the property in question is free from lien and encumbrance of any sort. If the earlier owner had taken a loan and not cleared it, the same will be shown in the encumbrance certificate.
Property Tax Details
These details help you in getting an insight if the property is regularized or illegal and ensuring that there are no tax dues on the property. Tax Receipts prove that the seller has been paying tax on the property to the government on regular basis.
Verify the Approved Plan Against Actual Property
If there are variations among approved plan and actual property, it is good to ensure that the authorities regularize them. It is also important to ensure the exact measurement of the building matches with the actual plan.
Check all building approvals
Each building needs approval for construction and occupation. These construction permissions provide guidelines for construction, and the occupancy permit ensures that all these conditions have been met and the building is fit for living. Many times, builders allow possession of the flat without Occupancy Certificates and later residents bear the brunt. Thus, it is good to ensure that all permissions are in place before you buy a property.
If there are any mortgages on the property then the documents related to it must be verified and buyer must be willing to buy it along with mortgages or mortgage must be paid by the seller.
Sanctioned plan and built up are
Sanctioned plan is something that has been sanctioned by the government and built up area is something where actual construction on property has taken place. If there is difference in these two, it might create trouble.
Suggested Read: Carpet Area, Built Up Area & Super Built-up Area – All You Need to Know
Khata Extract/Khata Certificate
Other documents according to type of property and state requirements and case to case basis.
Benefits of Property Verification
The seller might try to sell the same property multiple times and fraud people. You may avoid getting into this situation
It is said that 70% of cases in courts are related to property. This is basically due to improper property verification which can be avoided now post reading this piece. Be vigilant and verify property documents before investing your money. All the best!