How to Do Legal Verification of Property, Documents Required for Property Verification, and More
Legal verification of property ensures that the property you're purchasing is free from any legal troubles and encumbrances, the seller is the actual owner of the property, and that all due property taxes have been paid. Skipping this crucial step might lead to major financial loss and legal hassle in the future.
As a new property owner or someone looking to buy or sell a property, there could be many important questions that cross your mind like "how to verify the property?", "is it possible to do property document verification online?", "is it possible to carry out legal verification of property without a lawyer?", and many others.
The answer to all these questions is YES.
This comprehensive property document verification guide will tell you how to go about the property verification process, covering all the details you need to know, like what are documents required for property verification, essential steps to follow to verify the property, how to do property verification online, when you should verify the property, and most frequently asked questions about property document verification.
What We Have Covered in this Blog:
- Documents Required for Property Verification
- Steps to Follow for Property Document Verification
- How to Do Property Verification Online?
- When Should You Verify the Property?
- How will a Lawyer Help in Legal Verification of Property?
- What are the Fees for Property Document Verification?
- FAQs on Property Verification
Documents Required for Property Verification
Let's start by understanding the significance of property document verification in determining the legal status of a property, the list of documents required to verify the property and its authenticity.
Here is a list of the documents you will need to gather to verify the property:
- Mother Deed (Title Deed/Sale Deed)
- Mutation Certificate
- Encumbrance Certificate
- Property Tax Receipts
- Conversion Certificate (NA Order)
- Approval from Local Authority (Commencement Certificate)
- Building Approval Plan
- Occupancy Certificate (Completion Certificate)
- No Objection Certificate (NOC)
- Power of Attorney (if applicable, especially if landlord is NRI)
- Joint Development Agreement
Also Read: 150+ Real Estate Terms to Know
What are the Documents to Verify Before Buying a House?
Before buying a house, make sure to verify these documents: Sale deed, Mother deed/Title deed, Building approval plans, Sale and Purchase agreement, Encumbrance certificate, Completion certificate (or occupancy certificate), No Objection certificate,
What are the Documents to Verify Before Buying a Plot?
The documents to verify before buying a plot are: Title Deed, Mother Deed, Encumbrance certificate, NA Order (make sure it is "NA-Residential"), Power of Attorney (especially if the landowner is NRI), Property Tax certificate, and Approvals from local authorities.
Note: This list is not exhaustive and the legal documents to verify the property may vary depending on the type of property, location, and specific regulations of the state and municipal authorities. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with a legal expert or property adviser.
Steps to Follow for Property Document Verification
Verifying property documents is a crucial aspect of property transactions, providing you with peace of mind by confirming the legality of the property. Follow the steps to verify property ownership in India:
Step 1. Collect Documents from Seller
Gather all the necessary documents pertaining to the property from the seller based on your specific jurisdiction and the type of property involved.
Step 2. Preliminary Document Inspection
Review these documents carefully to confirm their authenticity and to check for any discrepancies. Make sure the details provided in the documents match the seller's information and the property's details.
Step 3. Verify from the Local Administration
Verify the information present in the property document from local government authorities. This could include visiting the local municipal corporation, registrar's office, or the land record office. Here, you can check the property details, its legal status, the real owner of the property, and whether the property taxes are up-to-date.
Note: The Registry of Deeds (or Registrar's Office) is a government office where all transactions involving real estate such as sales, leases, mortgages, and other types of real estate interests are officially recorded. Title verification at the Registry of Deeds is an essential part of property verification.
Step 4. Survey the Property
Carry out a property survey which involves checking the physical attributes of the property, its measurements, boundaries, and comparing them with the details mentioned in the sale deed.
Step 5. Check Encumbrance Certificate
The encumbrance certificate can be obtained from the Sub Registrar's office where sales deed of the property has been registered. This document will help you verify if there are any legal claims or unpaid dues on the property.
Step 6. Get a Legal Opinion
Although you can verify property documents without a lawyer, seeking a legal opinion is beneficial. An experienced property lawyer can offer valuable insights and can spot any legal issues that might not be apparent to the untrained eye.
Step 7. Issue Public Notice
Issuing a public notice in local newspapers about your intention to buy the property can be an additional step to uncover hidden issues. The notice should invite claims or objections, if any, to the proposed sale.
Step 8. Final Agreement and Registration
Once the agreement is finalized, the next step is to register the property in your name at the registrar office or the local registrar's office.
Also read: How to Negotiate Property Prices Like a Pro
How to Do Property Verification Online?
With the advent of digital technologies, performing property document verification online has become more streamlined and accessible. You can now verify property documents online in India without engaging a lawyer, though professional legal advice can still be invaluable in spotting discrepancies or potential issues. Here are the steps to verify property documents online:
Step 1. Visit the Appropriate Government Portal: The first step is to visit the website of the appropriate government body in your state. Different states have different online platforms, and you should find the one relevant to your location. For example, Bhoomi Online Portal for Karnataka, e-Dharti Geo Portal for Delhi, MeeBhoomi for Andhra Pradesh, and so on.
Step 2. Search Property Records: Navigate to the appropriate section of the website that allows you to view property records. You'll typically need to enter some specific information about the property, such as the district, zone or circle, village, or property ID.
Step 3. View Property Details: Once you've submitted the required information, you'll be able to view the property's details. This includes information such as the name of the property owner, the size of the property, its market value, and any encumbrances such as loans or liens on the property.
Step 4. Verify Property Ownership: Check that the seller's name matches the name of the property owner as listed on the website. This confirms that the person selling the property is its legal owner.
Step 5. Check for Encumbrances: It's also important to verify that the property is free from encumbrances, such as a mortgage or lien. If the property is encumbered, it could complicate the purchase process.
Step 6. Download and Save the Records: If the website allows, download a copy of the property records for your files. This could be useful later in the purchase process.
When Should You Verify the Property?
Verification of property ownership is an essential part of the property acquisition process, and its importance cannot be overstated. Here are some key instances when property owner verification becomes necessary:
#1 Verify Property Documents Before Purchasing a Property
This is the most common scenario where property verification is required. Before buying a property, you need to ensure that the seller is the rightful owner, the property is free from encumbrances and complies with all relevant laws.
#2 Carry out Property Paper Verification if You are Inheriting a Property
If you've inherited a property, it's a good idea to verify the documents to ascertain your legal ownership and to ensure that there are no legal disputes associated with the same property.
#3 Verify Property Documents Before Taking a Home Loan
Banks and financial institutions often conduct property verification before approving a home loan to ensure the property's legal soundness and to safeguard their investment.
#4 Verify Property Ownership Before Renting or Leasing a Property
If you're planning to rent or lease a property, verifying all the property documents can help confirm the landlord's ownership and avoid potential legal issues in the future.
#5 Do Legal Verification of Property Before Investing in One
If you're an investor buying property for business purposes, such as renting out or reselling, property verification is critical to ensure the legality of the investment and to avoid potential legal complications.
#6 Do Land Document Verification Before Converting Agricultural Land
If you're planning to convert agricultural land into residential or commercial land, it's necessary to verify the property to ensure that the conversion is legally possible.
How will a Lawyer Help in Legal Verification of Property?
While it's possible to verify property documents without a lawyer, the role of a legal expert cannot be undermined. Lawyers can meticulously inspect documents for any legal discrepancies, understand the complex language, and can offer advice on dealing with potential legal problems. Their expertise can provide you with peace of mind during the entire process. Here are some key role property lawyers play in property verification:
- In-depth Document Verification: A lawyer meticulously checks all property documents to ensure their authenticity. This includes verifying the title deed, sales agreement, tax receipts, and encumbrance certificate among others. Their expertise can help uncover discrepancies or missing documents that a layperson might overlook.
- Legal Opinions: Lawyers provide a legal opinion about the property after a thorough analysis of all the documents. They identify potential legal issues that might impact the purchase, and advise on ways to mitigate them.
- Interpreting Encumbrances: Lawyers help in obtaining and interpreting the encumbrance certificate, which is crucial in establishing that the property is free from any monetary liabilities or legal disputes.
- Checking Compliance with Laws: They ensure the property complies with local laws, building regulations, zoning laws, and environmental guidelines. This step is essential in avoiding potential legal complications post-purchase.
- Drafting and Reviewing Agreement: Lawyers assist in drafting the sale agreement to ensure it is legally sound and protects your interests. They also review the agreement to ensure all terms and conditions are fair and clearly defined.
- Assistance with Registration: They help with the property registration process, ensuring all required documents are correctly submitted and the process is legally compliant.
- Mediating Negotiations: Lawyers can mediate negotiations between the buyer and seller to resolve any legal issues that may arise during the property verification process.
- Helping with Litigation: In case of legal disputes related to the property, your lawyer can represent you in court, if necessary.
Also read: How to Navigate the Rental Market
What are the Fees for Property Document Verification?
The fees for property document verification can vary greatly based on several factors. These include:
- Lawyer's Fees: If you're hiring a lawyer to verify the documents, the fees can vary depending on their experience, expertise, and the complexity of the case.
- Government Charges: Certain documents require payment of government fees. For instance, getting a certified copy of an encumbrance certificate or a registered document from the sub-registrar’s office will have an associated fee.
- Online Verification Charges: Some state government portals may charge a nominal fee for online verification of property documents.
- Notary Fees: If documents need to be notarized, there would be a notary fee involved.
- Miscellaneous Charges: There may also be additional charges for courier services, photocopying documents, and other miscellaneous expenses.
It's important to note that the fees can greatly vary from one location to another and depending on the specific requirements of the property verification process.
FAQs on Property Verification
How to do title verification of property?
Verification of title deeds is the process of determining the rightful owner of a property. This process involves:
- Checking the title deed: The title deed is a legal document that indicates the rights of an individual over the property. It should be in the name of the seller.
- Verifying the chain of title: Ensure the property has a clear and unbroken chain of ownership. Check all past deeds and trace back to the original owner if possible.
- Checking for encumbrances: Encumbrances could be mortgages, liens, or any outstanding dues. A title search at the local sub-registrar's office will reveal any encumbrances on the property.
How to do land document verification?
Land legal verification helps determine the legality and validity of the land on which the property is located. Here are the documents to check:
- Land record verification: Verify the land records with the local municipal authority. They should match the seller's documents.
- Survey plan: It shows the dimensions of the land, its shape, and its location. It also reveals any adjacent roads or landmarks.
- Land use certificate: Ensure the land is not in an agricultural or non-residential zone if you plan to build a house.
How to do sale deed verification?
The sale deed is the core legal document that acts as proof of sale and the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. You can also do sale deed verification online, by checking:
- Details of the seller and buyer: Confirm that the seller is the lawful owner and the details of the buyer are correctly noted.
- Property details: Ensure the property's size, location, identification number, etc., match the actual property.
- Payment details: Verify that all payments are clearly mentioned and agree with the agreed terms.
How to do property tax verification?
Property tax is a mandatory tax levied by the local municipal authorities. You should verify:
- Property tax receipts: Check that all property tax payments are up to date. Any outstanding dues can lead to legal complications.
- Assessment orders: These are documents from the local tax authorities that assess the property's value. It helps to calculate the property tax.
How to do house tax verification?
House tax is a type of property tax specific to a residential property. When buying a house, you should verify:
- House tax receipts: Check that the house tax has been regularly paid by the current owner.
- Tax rate: The house tax rate varies depending on factors like location, size, and age of the property. Ensure the correct rate has been applied.
How to verify construction approvals?
If you're buying a flat or an apartment in a building, it's essential to check if the builder has obtained the necessary approvals and permits from the concerned authorities for constructing the building. The approvals may include:
- Building Plan Approval: The builder should have an approval of the building plan from the local municipal authority.
- Occupancy Certificate: This document is issued by the local municipal body certifying that the building is in a suitable condition for occupancy.
What are the benefits of property document verification?
There are several benefits of conducting thorough property verification.
- Risk Reduction: It minimizes the risk of falling into legal traps or being scammed.
- Ownership Confirmation: It helps confirm that the seller is the actual owner of the property.
- Transparent Transaction: It ensures that the property transaction is transparent and legal, preventing future conflicts.
- Secure Investment: It guarantees that your hard-earned money is being invested in a dispute-free and legally sound property.
While the process of property verification may seem daunting, it is an essential step to safeguard your investment and ensure a smooth, legal transaction. With the options to verify property documents online, the process of property papers has become significantly more accessible and manageable, even without legal assistance. Yet, the role of a lawyer remains important for their expertise and advice. So, take that leap of faith into the world of property ownership with the safety net of property document verification. Happy investing!