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Home Buying FAQs
 
 
 

FAQs before purchase of residential/commercial property :

What documents are required while buying commercial or residential property?

When buying commercial or residential property you would need to check for the following documents:

  • Market Trends about prevalent rates of property in the vicinity and last known transactions.
  • Identify the property you wish to purchase
  • Formulate commercial terms.
  • Distinguish between terms and conditions of the contract which are negotiable and those which are fixed e.g. price, payment schedule, time of completion etc.
  • List your requirements with a reputed broker.
  • Ask for photocopies of the all deeds of title related to the property to be purchased. Examine the deeds to establish the ownership of the property by seller, preferably through an advocate. Ascertain the survey number, village and registration district of the property as these details are required for registration of the sale. Previous encumbrances and loans, if any, on the property must be cleared before completion of purchase of the property. The title of the Vendor to the property must be clear and marketable.
  • Finalise commercial terms of purchase of the property. Ascertain transfer fees, stamp duty and registration charges to be paid on purchase of the property.
  • Ascertain outgoings to be paid for the property i.e. property tax, water and electricity charges, society charges, maintenance charges.
  • Request Vendor to obtain, if applicable, consent, permission, sanction, no objection certificate of various authorities such as the (a) society (b) the income tax authority (c) Municipal Corporation (d) the competent authority under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (e) any other authority.
  • Will you require a loan for making payment of the consideration amount? Ask for a pre-approval letter from the lending institution.
  • Permanent Account Number of Vendor and Purchaser under Income Tax laws Payment of stamp duty on the formal agreement or document for transfer of the property, signing by both the Vendor and Purchaser and registration
  • After payment of the entire sale price, take over legal possession of the property along with documents of title in original from the Vendor of the property
  • Change name of the holder of the property to the purchaser in the records of the society, electricity company, municipal corporation, Index II etc.

    The liability of paying stamp duty is that of the buyer unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Section 30 of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 states the liability for payment of stamp duty


    Which documents are to be verified before purchase of a Flat?

    Before you purchase a flat, you have to have a title and document search conducted by a competent advocate. You cannot do it yourself. You have to use the services of a competent advocate. It is a professional job to be done with professional assistance.


    What are all the important documents one should check before buying any property?

    If you want to purchase a property, you have to look at the approved layout plan, approved building plan, ownership documents, carryout search, etc. Contact an advocate before you purchase a property so that he can advise you.

    Before you purchase a flat, you have to have a title and document search conducted by a competent advocate. You cannot do it yourself. You have to use the services of a competent advocate. It is a professional job to be done with professional assistance.


    Can an Advocate get inspection of all title documents for the property?

    The lawyer can be allowed to take inspection of all original documents pertaining to the property.


    How to verify the authenticity of the various documents submitted by the seller of the house, particularly with regard to the possibility that the house has not been sold earlier to a third party ?

    Regarding authenticity of documents, again, you have to take the help of an advocate to verify.

    Are there any formalities to be completed or forms to be filled on execution of the agreement or document of transfer?

    Yes. The formalities and forms may vary from State to State depending on where the property is situated.

  • Every State has its set forms under the Registration Rules that are required to be filled and filed along with and at the time of Registration of Sale Deed/Transfer Deed.
  • Under the provisions of the Income Tax Act and Rules for a transaction of sale, it is now compulsory for the Purchaser and Seller to give their Permanent Account Number and in the event of either the Seller and/ or the Purchaser would be required to fill Form 60 of the Income-Tax Rules.
  • In case of either the Purchaser or the Seller being a Non-Resident Indian, not assessed to tax in India, such a Party would be required to file Form 60 of the Income-Tax Rules.


    Which documents must be compulsory registered?

    The following documents are required to be registered compulsorily under the Indian Registration Act, 1908:

    (a) Every time the immovable property is sold/purchased, the agreement needs to be registered.

    (b)Instrument of gift of immovable property;

    (c)Other non-testamentary instruments which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in future or in present, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards to or in immovable property.

    (d)Non-testamentary instruments which acknowledge the receipt or payment of any consideration on account of creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest;

    (e)Lease of immovable property from year to year or for any term exceeding one year or reserving a yearly rent. But the State Government may publish an order in official gazette exempting any district or a part of a district or a lease that does not exceed the term of five years and the annual rent of which does not exceed Rs. 50/- .

    (f)Non-testamentary instruments transferring or assigning any decree or order of a court or any award when such decree or order or award purports or operates to create, declare assign, limit or extinguish, whether in future or in present, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards to or in immovable property.

    (g)Authorities to adopt a son that is not conferred by a will.



    Which are the instruments that attract the payment of Stamp Duty?

    The instruments like Agreement to Sell, Conveyance Deed, Exchange of property, Gift Deed, Partition Deed, Power of Attorney, settlement and Deed and Transfer of lease attract Stamp Duty on market value of the property.


    What is meant by Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up Area?
  • Carpet Area is the area enclosed within the walls, actual area to lay the carpet. This area does not include the thickness of the inner walls. It is the actual used area of an apartment/office unit/showroom etc.
  • Built up Area is the carpet area plus the thickness of outer walls and the balcony.
  • Super Built Up Area is the built up area plus proportionate area of common areas such as the lobby, lifts shaft, stairs, etc. The plinth area along with a share of all common areas proportionately divided amongst all unit owners makes up the Super Built-up area. Sometimes it may also include the common areas such, swimming pool, garden, clubhouse, etc. This term is therefore only applicable in the case of multi-dwelling units.

  • How can knowing the Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up Area of a flat help me in purchasing a flat?

    This break up is extremely essential as builders can place anywhere from 65% to 85% per cent of the super built area as carpet area. That means, if the price is quoted as 1,000 sq ft super built up area, the carpet area could be anywhere from just 650 sq ft to 850 sq ft. If this break up is not mentioned in the agreement, demand that the vendor/ builder mention it in the sale deed.


    What exactly do we mean by a Free Hold flat? What are the advantages and disadvantages, if any?

    A freehold property (plot or a flat) is one where there is a whole and sole owner(s), ownership is full and unconditional (within the provisions of the laws of the land) and there is no lessor / lessee involved.


    What Is Leasehold Property?

    Leasehold Property is property leased to a lessee for a stipulated period. The Lessee pays lease premium and annual lease amount as fixed and mutually agreed by the Lessor and lessee. The land ownership rights remain with the Lessor and a prior sale-permission is normally required if you plan to transfer the property.



    General FAQs after purchase of residential/commercial property :

    What constitutes conclusion of sale of a property?

    An agreement of sale, coupled with actual possession of the property would be considered as a conclusion of the sale. Usually, the entire amount is paid at the time of handing over possession.


    What is a Sale Deed?

    Sale Deed also known as conveyance deed, is a document by which the seller transfers his right to the purchaser, who, in turn, acquires an absolute ownership of the property. This document is executed subsequent to the execution of the sale agreement and after compliance of various terms and conditions detailed in the sale agreement.


    What is meant by valuation of property?

    The valuation process evaluates the market value of the property. Demand and supply forces operating in the market, as well as other factors like type of property, quality of construction, its location, the local infrastructure available, maintenance, are all taken into consideration before the market value is decided


    Who is the appropriate authority for knowing the market value of the property?

    The Sub-Registrar of the area, in whose jurisdiction the property is located, is the appropriate authority for knowing the market value of the property


    What is Stamp Duty and who is liable to pay the Stamp Duty, the purchaser or the Developer?

    Stamp Duty is a tax, similar to sales tax and income tax collected by the government, and must be paid in full and on time. A stamp duty paid instrument/document is considered a proper and legal instrument/document. The liability of paying stamp duty is that of the buyer unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Section 30, of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 states the liability for payment of stamp duty.


    What is meant by the market value of the property and is Stamp Duty payable on the market value of the property or on consideration as stated in the agreement?

    Market value of the property as ascertained by the stamp duty authorities on the basis of a ''Ready Reckoner'' which gives the per sq. mtr. value of each village, zone and sub-zone . The ready reckoner is normally published on 1st January of every year. The Stamp Duty is payable on the agreement value of the property or the market value which ever is higher

    Usually different rates for stamp duty are applicable for residential and non-residential property. In Maharashtra, the rate of stamp duty is 5% for both residential and commercial property. However, for residential property there is a slab wise concession.


    How much is the Registration Fees on sale of immovable property?

    The registration fee in case of sale of immovable property is 1% of the market value or Rs 30,000, whichever is lower. There could be some additional charges for scanning of documents were the office of the Sub Registrar has been computerized.


    How often does the state government issue a ready reckoner indicating market value of properties?

    A ready reckoner is published on the 1st day of January every year.


    What are the prerequisites for a document for sale of a flat or shop or office to be registered in Maharashtra?
    The following are the prerequisites for registration of a document for sale in Maharashtra:-
  • Duly completed, stamped and signed instrument printed on single side only.
  • Receipts for payment of Stamp Duty and Registration Fees.
  • Property Register Card
  • Commencement Certificate issued by the Municipal Corporation for premises in a building under construction and Occupation Certificate for a completed building.
  • Property Tax Bill in case of depreciation in market value for old buildings

  • Do I have to go personally for the registration?

    It is advisable to go personally but in case it is not possible, a power of attorney can be issued to some other person. This Power of Attorney should mention all the relevant clauses and preferably be registered before the Sub Registrar.


    Will someone escort us for the registration?

    Yes, the POA holder of the developer is present at the member escorts our customers for registration.


    When and where should a document be registered?

    Every document which is required to be registered under the Registration Act, except a Will, should be presented at the office of the Sub Registrar of Assurances for the registration within the prescribed time of four months from the date of its execution. A document is registered with a sub-registrar appointed by the State Government, under the Indian Registration Act, 1908.


    Can a document be registered after a lapse of four months?

    Yes. A Deed of Confirmation with the original document attached is signed and registered.


    What are consequences of non-registration of a document?

    An instrument, which is not registered, is inadmissible as evidence.


    Is Stamp Duty payable when a flat is from a relative to other relative by way of a gift?

    Yes. Stamp duty has to be paid on the gift but the rate of duty is lower. In Maharashtra the sale of a flat attract levy of duty of 5% and a gift attracts levy of 2%.


    What are the consequences of delay or non-payment of Stamp Duty on an instrument?

    Delay in payment of stamp duty attracts penalty at the rate of 2% per month on the amount of the stamp duty that has to be paid, up to a maximum of twice the amount of the stamp duty payable. An instrument, which is not properly stamped, is inadmissible as evidence.


    What is adjudication?

    In case you wish to ascertain the correct stamp duty payable on an instrument, an application can be made for to the Collector of Stamps.


    What constitutes completion of the sale?

    The transfer of a flat is concluded when you have an sale deed/ agreement for sale coupled with actual possession. Generally, in all cases the entire amount is paid simultaneously with the handing over of physical possession and signing of the transfer documents.


    In whose name are the stamps required to be purchased?

    The stamps are required to be purchased in the name of any one of the executors to the Instrument.


    What is meant by the market value of the property and is Stamp Duty payable on the market value of the property or on consideration as stated in the agreement?

    Market value means the price at which a property could be bought in the open market on the date of execution of such instrument. The Stamp Duty is payable on the agreement value of the property or the market value which ever is higher.


    Is a POA revocable?

    Yes, a POA can be either revocable or irrevocable, depending on what sort of a POA one has made.


    Can a Power of Attorney be issued to someone else to register the document?

    Yes, the same is required to be registered in the office of the Sub Registrar in the city you are staying in.


    Can a Power of attorney be issued to someone else to register the document in case of being out of country?

    Yes, the Power of Attorney Draft can be signed and attested by the Indian Consulate/ Indian Embassy/or local notary. Once the Power of Attorney is received in India, the same has to be submitted to the Collector of Stamps for adjudication. After the same is adjudicated the POA holder can submit the same at the time of registration of the document.


    Types of Power of Attorneys?

    1. Special Power of Attorney 2. General Power of Attorney. Both can be revocable or irrevocable and should confer the authority as desired by the person issuing the POA.


    Can premises already encumbered to a bank be leased out to a Company with a high deposit and in case of a default who holds the first lien? And will the Company/Occupant be evicted?

    Yes premises already encumbered to a bank can be leased out to a Company with a high deposit. However you may require the No-Objection of the bank. If the deposit monies are with you and in case if you default on payment to the bank, obviously you will continue to hold the deposit money. The Co./occupant can be evicted only if there is a provision to that effect in the lease Agreement.


    Is registration of a Leave and License mandatory and what are the consequences if the same is not registered?

    As per Section 55 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 registration of Leave and License Agreement is compulsory and it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure registration. If the same is not registered, the landlord would be prosecuted and on conviction he's subject to up to three months imprisonment or be subject to fine not exceeding Rs.5000/- or with both. Further in the absence of a Registered Agreement, the contention of the tenant, about the terms and conditions on which the premises have been given to him by the landlord shall prevail unless otherwise proved.


    Is the leave and license agreement generally signed in multiples of 11 months or 12 months? Is there any stipulation of time?

    Formerly leave and license agreements used to be signed in multiples of 11 months or 12 months. After The Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 came into force from 1.3.2000 there is no stipulation as to whether leave and license agreement should be in multiples of 11 or 12 months, and there is no stipulation as to total time period. However, Leave and license agreement generally does not exceed three years.


    Is registration of a Leave and License mandatory and what are the consequences if the same is not registered?

    As per Section 55 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act,1999 registration of Leave and License Agreement is compulsory and it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure registration. If the same is not registered, the landlord would be prosecuted and on conviction he's subject to up to three months imprisonment or be subject to fine not exceeding Rs.5000/- or with both. Further in the absence of a Registered Agreement, the contention of the tenant, about the terms and conditions on which the premises have been given to him by the landlord shall prevail unless otherwise proved.


    What is the difference between lease and leave and license agreement?

    Lease is defined under Section 105 of The Transfer of Property Act,1882 and a lease of immoveable property is a transfer of a right to enjoy such property for a certain time or in perpetuity on consideration to be rendered periodically or on specified occasions, while a license is defined in Section 52 of the Indian Easement Act,1882 and it does not create any interest in the premises in favour of the licensee excepting a mere right to use and occupy the premises for a limited duration. Both documents have now to be registered. A lease deed is required to be stamped and registered. However the stamp duty payable on lease is more than on Leave and License for a period up to three years. For a period exceeding three years the stamp duty is same for both agreements. The implications of entering into a lease agreement would be: i) That stamp duty would have to be paid ii) That the document would have to be registered iii) That Municipal taxes may go up iv) Of course, Income-tax would have to be paid on your income; and v) The question of Wealth-tax would have to be considered. One property is exempt from Wealth-tax. However, if you have any other property, this implication would have to be considered.


    Can possession be handed over to do a Pooja ?

    While the possession cannot be handed over until completion of the formalities, temporary arrangement could be made to have the apartment kept open for a few hours for the purposes of performing the pooja.


    From what date is the maintenance amount due?

    The Maintenance amounts are due from the date the apartment is ready for possession


    From what date is the Property tax due?

    Property taxes area due from the date the unit is occupied or the date of completion certificate whichever is earlier.


    When there are apartments of different sizes in a complex, how is the maintenance charge calculated?

    Legally, the actual area owned by the individual is the basis for calculation of maintenance charge.


    What is the purpose of collecting amounts towards Sinking Fund in Co-operative Housing Society? What should be the contribution from members towards Sinking Fund? When can the amount collected for Sinking Fund be spent by the society?

    The purpose of collecting Sinking Fund is to accumulate and keep sufficient funds with the society so that the property of the Society i.e. building can be reconstructed in future. The contribution to Sinking Fund is a statutory obligation. Sinking Fund has to be contributed as decided by the General Body of the Society. It should be at least @1/4 per cent per annum on the cost of the each flat excluding the cost of the Land. On the resolution passed at the meeting of the General Body of the Society and with the prior permission of the Registering Authority, the Sinking Fund may be used by the Society for reconstruction of its building/s or for carrying out such structural additions or alterations to the building/s as in the opinion of the Society's Architect is required for carrying out such heavy repairs as may be certified by the Architect. However permission is not usually granted by the Registrar to withdraw amounts from the sinking fund.


    What are non-occupancy charges?

    Non occupancy charges are levied by the society when the flat owner himself does not reside in the flat but rents it out to a third party.