All that you wanted to know about the Encumbrance Certificate, Patta and Chitta

Encumbrance Certificate (EC):

EC indicates all the registration details of the property. The following details are covered under the EC:

  • Survey number with subdivision
  • Buyer and seller agreement date, registered date
  • Is it a Sale deed or a Mortgage deed or an Agreement
  • Buyer name, seller name and the value of the property
  • Document no, registered year, vol no, No of pages.

EC indicates that the property is free from any monetary and legal liabilities. EC indicates the liabilities in the form of a mortgage or a loan against the property that has not been cleared. The encumbrance certificate is provided by the sub-registrar’s office where the particular property is registered.

All the details of any transaction on the property will be listed in it. It is important to get this certificate if you plan to buy the property, take out a home loan for it or take a loan against it. In all the cases, government authorities will insist on a 30-year encumbrance certificate.


A Patta is a legal document issued by the Government in the name of the actual owner of a particular land. It can also be issued for lands having buildings or individual houses etc.. It can be obtained from the Tahsildar’s office in the concerned administrative district. If there are several owners for a single property, separate Pattas will not be issued. In such cases, there will be one Patta with the names of all the co-owners mentioned clearly.

The following details are available in a Patta:

  • Name of the District, Taluk and Village
  • Patta Number
  • Name of the owner
  • Survey number and subdivision
  • Is it a Wet land or a Dry land (Nanjai Nilam and Punjai Nilam in Tamil)
  • Area of the land and Tax details

It is one of the most critical records from the point of view of ownership. Transactions involving the land in question require a Patta. It can also be used to establish the right of ownership in the court of law. Compensation for the land acquired by the Government is a major problem. But it can be easily resolved if the owner of the property has a Patta in her/his name. This proves, beyond doubt, that the ownership of the property and remuneration could be obtained without much of a hassle.

In some cases, Patta can be transferred from one person to the other. These are usually special situations. For example, when there is no Will drafted by a person before his or her death. In such cases, the next of kin (Legal heirs like wife, son, daughter or adopted son) are automatically entitled to the Patta and can apply for the transfer to their name(s) with Death & legal heir certificate. A convenient feature of Patta is the fact that it need not be renewed from time-to-time. A renewal must be done only after a transfer or a transaction has taken place with respect to the property.

Seller should have the valid patta for the land that he is selling on his name, and once it is sold, the buyer would have to apply for the transfer of patta to  his or her name.


The land ownership details record is called Chitta. This document will be with VAO, and a copy would also be kept in the Taluk office. Chitta will indicate all the properties owned by an individual person in that particular village. FROM2015 ONWARDS, THE CHITTA IS MERGED WITH PATTA AND THE CHITTA IS NO MORE GIVEN SEPARATELY. CHITTA DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE IN PATTA ITSELF.

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