Non Resident Indians (NRI) increasingly feel worth investing in land and other real estate properties in India for better reasons. The primary reason being they develop a sense of attachment with motherland and also feel it is financially rewarding. There is substance in their later belief because it is the product of India’s thriving real estate industry assuring good profitability.
Those who are moving to foreign nations therefore refrain from disposing off their properties, unlike in few decades back. Those well settled NRI favour land investment options in India. While it is a welcome phenomenon, people do not like to go beyond. A property left deserted has the potential of inviting risks causing fiscal and emotional apprehensions.
There are stream of reports of land and buildings being fraudulently traded, mortgaged and possessed. While anyone is at risk in real estate business, the chances are more in the case of NRI because of multiple factors. The very reason that the owner is away from India encourages those who indulge in fraudulent activities more. These people spend months, surveying the area and the property and finally try owning them or rent them out. In the case of apartment buildings, they are very easily prone to such occupancy by squatters. It is more prevelant in metro cities.
Safeguarding the properties is one of the primary concerns of people away from the property in general and NRI in particular. The foremost act to safeguard your property is to possess all legal documents under your custody for proving ownership of the property. The Government has introduced on line facilities for checking, updating and getting information.
In the case of land property, Patta and EC can be checked and copies can be downloaded. In the case of constructed property, in addition to Patta and EC property tax also should be remitted on line. For flats individual patta cannot be obtained but EC can be checked and downloaded. In all the three cases it is recommended to check these documents on line at random periodicity. It is also suggested as a caution, to personally oversee such verifications of documents on line so that nothing goes out of your hands.
If the property has been inherited and the title deed is not available with legal heir due to loss or misplacement it is recommended to take appropriate action and get the documents as soon as possible, following certain official procedures.
With respect to land property we advise you to put up an effective fencing around and display a board warning any trespassing. Additionally, someone who is trustworthy can be vested with the Power of Attorney (POA) to monitor the property. If needed, a professional service can be sought to have effective watch over the property including frequent visits.
While renting a property additional care should be exercised as several cases of rent violations are reported in India in recent years. Especially the NRI are more susceptible to such violations and subsequent litigation. Even though tenancy laws are intact in India people are clever circumventing them. Hence it is advisable to consult a lawyer and get the rental agreement drafted to protect owner’s interest. As additional safety the tenant agreement can be registered.
It must be ensured that the rental agreement is renewed periodically without any gap between and incorporating new terms that are deemed necessary. A due diligence on the tenant should be conducted through reliable sources including background, financial status, previous history etc before the property is rented out.
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