Legal Literacy

Things You Must Check With A Lawyer While Buying A House

Buying a house of your own is one of the most overwhelming experiences for any person. However, purchase of involves a lots of legal issues. The dream of buying and owning a house can turn into a nightmare if anything goes wrong with the legal processes.

This, however, can be easily avoided with little attention and investment in a good lawyer.

Below is a list of important things that you must consult your lawyer about, if you are planning to own a property.

Chain Of Documents — Everything You Need To Know

The documentation required for a ready-to-move apartment and an under-construction house is different.

For a ready-move-apartment, being bought directly from the builder, obtain and verify:

  •  Title Deed or Sale Deed of seller – to ensure that he is rightful owner of the property and has the right to transfer ownership of the property to you
  • No Encumbrance Certificate – to ensure that there are no mortgage or claim against the property
  • NoC from Bank, in case there is a loan involved
  • Share Certificate from Society, in case of cooperative housing society
  • Entire Chain of Documents from first Sale Deed, also called the Mother Deed
  • Utility Bills & Tax Receipts
  • Society Related Documents
  • Possession Certificate
  • NoC from Society
  • Completion Certificate (CC)
  • Occupation Certificate (OC)

While all these documents may seem obvious, it is easy to miss them when there is no lawyer involved.

For Under Construction Properties

At the time of booking:

  • Check the Title and Ownership of builder by checking the Sale Deed and  Land Records
  • Change of Land Use or CLU Certificate from Agricultural to Residential
  • Layout Approval by the development or the municipal authority
  • NoC & Clearances obtained from Environment, Electricity, Water, Fire and Safety Authorities
  • Certificate of Commencement
  • Allotment Letter

Apart from all these docuemnts, you must ask your lawyer to check terms of the Allotment Letter as well as Builder-Buyer agreement to ensure the safety of your interests.

After the Construction is Completed:

  • Ask the builder for Completion Certificate
  • Ask for Occupancy Certificate
  • After complete payment, don’t forget to collect Possession Certificate from the builder

And never ever forget to get all these documents checked by your lawyer.
For sale/purchase of independent, pre-constructed houses, obtain and get verified

  •  Sale Deed and Land Records
  • Change of Land Use (CLU) Certificate
  • Layout Approval
  • No Encumbrances Certificate
  • Property Tax Receipts and Utility Bills

In case of independent houses, a Mutation Certificateis required to be obtained from the municipal body after the sale is complete.

What Can Go Wrong And Why A Lawyer Is A Must?

The list of documents provided seems to not require a lawyer to acquire. But plenty of things can go wrong despite the knowledge of basics.
Documents may be fake – The only way to ensure that they are not fake is   proper legal due-diligence which includes verification of documents by a Sub-Registrar.

Double Mortgage/Undeclared Encumbrances/Antecedent Titles – Again, independent due-diligence is required. Most property lawyers have their own agents who sift through years of records/documents in the offices of authorities. Only a lawyer can look through the intricacies and peculiarities of the issue.

Fraudulent Builder Practices  This is an extremely common problem, the only way to avoid this is to be aware about one’s rights as a buyer. It is important to always have a lawyer and be aware of what and where you are signing for before getting into any agreement.