Personal Finance

Property matters

Meera Siva | Updated on January 20, 2018

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Many property buyers will find the process to be legally challenging. Advocate Shyam Sundar’s second edition of Property registration, land records and building approval procedures followed in various States in India helps a buyer understand the common pitfalls and do the right checks to reduce risk.

Power of attorney

For example, various documents such as sale deed, power of attorney (PoA), memorandum of deposit of title deeds are explained and basic checks that must be done to ensure authenticity are detailed. In a PoA, for instance, you must ensure that the power agent (the person authorised to act on behalf of the owner) is granted authority to sell the property.

This can be done by checking if the PoA has a sale clause. While PoAs are valid until they are revoked or the person granting it is no more, you must be aware of the rules in different States. In Madhya Pradesh, for example, the document is valid for only one year and must be renewed annually.

Frauds in property transactions are not uncommon and the book describes various scenarios such as fabricated records, fake title document and impersonation of owner. Revenue records may be fabricated when there are no parent tilt deed documents to support the ownership and the only proof is land revenue records. This usually is the case for government lands that were either granted to the seller or being sold without permission.

To avoid succumbing to such fraud, you must cross-verify the revenue records either online or with the revenue department authorities.

When you buy a flat, check the floor space index (FSI) from the approved building plan drawings. If a builder is constructing, say, 1,000 sq ft and the FSI is 1.4, then the proportional undivided share of land (UDS) for the buyer should be 714 sq ft (which is 1,000 divided by 1.4).

Check it out

Builders may however reduce the UDS to a low number due to a few reasons. The builder may have constructed an unauthorised apartment or has retained some apartments with higher UDS to get a higher sale price.

Often, a buyer may be given a certified copy of the title deed document. In case of manual certified copy, you must check whether the stamp paper denomination and stamp vendor details match the original document.

The signatures of the authorities on the original and the certified copies must also match. The book covers in detail the procedures followed in 19 States and two union territories with regards to registration, revenue as well as norms set by the town and country planning departments.

Published on February 28, 2016

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