Why it is imperative to verify documents while buying or purchasing a land

LAND DOCUMENTS:

Before buying the property, we must get all the parent documents from the respective seller. All the documents should be well read and the links to these documents must be checked i.e A purchased it from B, while B purchased it from C and so on for a minimum of 50 years. Get the Encumbrance Certificate (EC) for the last 40 to 50 years. Make sure that all the transactions are reflecting in the EC. If any other transaction is (sale, mortgage etc) entered in the EC, it has to be thoroughly checked and clarified. For inherited property, the death and legal heir certificate have to be checked. In the entire document, the spelling of the person’s name along with the name of his father/husband must be checked thoroughly. The present holder of the Patta and whether the patta is original or duplicate should be checked with the VAO. Nowadays, EC and Patta can be checked on the government websites also.

The next step would be to personally verify the land at the site and check its dimensions and all the four boundaries and ensure that it matches the values given in the doc. The site’s approach road should also be checked. Now check the original documents available with the buyer w.r.t the Xerox copy given to us. If everything is in place, you can now finalize the rate and payment schedule. It is better to get these documents checked by an expert/consultant/Lawyer.

On the day of document registration in SRO, the buyer should get all the original mother documents from the seller. In case the plot is purchased from the layout which contains many plots, the seller would only get a copy of the documents. In case of any doubts regarding any particular document, it is better to get a copy of the document from SRO and check with the Xerox copy.

1. One person purchased a housing plot in Arokonam from a layout promoted in 2005. He kept his sale deed original document safely but forgot to get the mother documents, EC and the Patta Xerox copy.

After 5 years, he approached the revenue dept for Patta. They asked for the other link mother documents, Patta etc. He went to the promoter office to get all these required documents. To his shock, he found that the land promoter left the place 3 years back. He was not able to trace him despite all his efforts.

The mother documents and the sale deed document give the link about the property and how it has changed hands from one person to another and in which year. If the property is inherited from your father after his death, his death certificate and the legal heir certificate are also required.

2. In Chennai Perambur, Mr.AA gave the original property documents as mortgage to Mr.BB and got Rs. 15 lakhs as loan. In the mortgage deed, it was written that within 6 months, the Rs. 15 lakhs, along with the interest would be paid and the property document would be taken back. In case of failure to pay back the loan amount, the property will be sold by Mr.BB and he will take his due and will give the balance to Mr. AA.

At the end of 5 months, Mr. AA was not able to pay the amount and so he approached Mr.BB to buy the property. But Mr. BB gave a much lower estimate of the property, so Mr. AA sold the property to some other person at a better rate. After sale deed registration, the buyer asked for the original document. Mr. AA took the buyer to Mr. BB and gave the loan amount back and asked for his property document. Mr. BB asked Mr. AA how he can sell the property when it was mortgaged and refused to give the documents and went to the court. The buyer who purchased the property doesn’t know what to do.

Conclusion:

Verify all the records and follow legal process from history verification, land sizing, public notice and family tree, and check with the revenue records. Title risks- With computerized records, this risk is limited to checking of history and family tree. We get both of these validated by local officials and our lawyers.

So it is always better to be careful. Believing anyone in the real estate field in good faith can have dangerous consequences. If any dispute arises later on, it will be only be a civil case and would take at least 2 to 3 generations to arrive at the conclusion.

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