The most important thing to do before you buy a particular piece of land you are interested in is to see whether the land can be sold by the person who is selling it. Just like how "Bunty & Bubly" sold the Taj Mahal, you do not want to be on the other side of a "Bluffmaster's" brilliant plans.
So before you even take the first step towards buying the land you are interested in, you got to check a few things.
What is a title deed?
A title deed is "a legal document proving a person's right to property" as defined by a law dictionary. An advocate prepares a title deed after studying and scrutinizing the property and verifying that all is in order.
So as a buyer what you need to do is ask the owner of the land you wish to purchase for the tile deed and review it properly. Do not accept a xerox copy of the deed. Ask for the original "Title Deed". Some times the seller might have taken a loan and given in the original deed.
You need to make sure through the title deed that the land is in the name of the seller. Also you need to verify that he has full right to sell the land and that he is the sole owner of the land and no one else is. It would be wise to get the title deed reviewed by a trusted lawyer just to make sure that there are no loop holes.
As a buyer you may also ask for previous title deeds of the land and get these verified too by a lawyer.
The next step is to demand an "Encumbrance Certificate". This is basically a certificate that says that the land is not under any sort of legal dispute. The encumbrance certificate can be obtained from the sub-registrars office where the deed for the land has been registered. The encumbrance certificate for the past 13 years should be taken and verified. You could even ask for the encumbrance certificate of the last 30 years for more clarification.
Some people may have pledged their land previously for taking a loan. In this case, it would be wise to ensure that all the loan payments have been made and that no amount is due. Ask, the seller to produce the "Release Certificate" from the bank that is necessary to release all debts over the land legally.
Get a recognized surveyor to measure the land and see that the dimensions, area, borders etc. are accurate as stated by the seller.
If there is more than one owner, it would be wise to get a "release certificate" from everyone involved before going ahead with the process.
If the owner of the land is a NRI, then the seller of the land in India should be given "Power Of Attorney" to sell the land on behalf of the NRI. The power of attorney has to be signed by an officer of the Indian embassy in the presence of a witness.
After all these initial checks are made you can go about the actual process of buying the land.
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