Property Documents Required for Buying a Land, a Bungalow or an Apartment.

What are the property documents required from the title holder when you have decided to buy?

Even though the registration office or law requires minimum set of documents, the buyer has to be extra cautious to get all the documents to check if the title is free of all disputes and other title holders, those that may not be disclosed in the title deeds, but may claim or harass. Knowing the enforcement of laws and legal system in the country, fighting with non-title holders would be a big issue. Especially, if the title is a vacant land, more the problems!

Sale Deed

A sale deed is a document registered with the government body for transfer of ownership of the immovable property from the seller to the buyer. Under the State Government, the Sub-Registrar office of the Revenue department maintains the registration of sale deeds of properties. A fee is collected on the registered sale value of the property mentioned in the sale deed. This fee varies from location to location based on the guidance value of the property fixed by the government body. Even though precautions are taken by the Sub-Registrar office, there are numerous cases where a property has been registered under multiple sale deeds in spite of computerization of land records in the country. Hence, extra care must be taken to verify the authenticity of sale deeds and the title ownerships through other documents such as the encumbrance certificate. This document must be verified from the date of buying of the property to at least 30 years back to see the succession of titles and verifying with the earlier sale deeds. You may also check khata certificates and land transfer documents and survey sketches.

Khata certificate

It is a document that provides the ownership details of the property. It is provided by the government agency, that maintains the locality/town/city, typically the municipal/corporation. The document certifies that the property belongs to a particular person.

Khata Extract

In addition to Khata certificate, which provides only the property khata number or identification number and the owner name, a Khata Extract provides additional details of the property such as location of the property, size of the property, built-up area and the taxes paid.

Property taxes paid receipt

The property taxes are to be paid for all kinds of properties yearly to the local government body either a village/municipal/corporation body. Make sure that at least 3 years tax paid receipts are collected from the current owner of the property along with a mention of the use of property. The use of property either residential/commercial has to be mentioned, as the property taxes vary based on the type of property (land/building, type of building and interiors). If falsely mentioned and rebates are claimed, the new owner has to pay penalty and interests from the time of change of usage of the property. It is better to be proactive, and not repent later.

Allotment letter

The allotment letter is generally provided when the land or building is allotted to the owner of the property. It is another proof in the succession of the property. This is a document that shows the change of use of the property from a land to a plot in a given development zone/area or a land to a building/apartment by the builder. This document is needed for registration of the property. Check the legitimacy and authenticity of the document provided, signatures, date, purpose, owner’s name, size of the property, property number etc.

Possession Certificate

This certificate is issued by the Society or Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), who is the original owner of the land to the allottees at the time of allotment of the site. Thus a possession certificate becomes the first thing one needs to get in any property deal. The BDA issues this to all the layouts approved by the BDA. BDA is the allotting authority. After the Possession Certificate is obtained a sale deed or a title deed is signed. More about BDA is on their website:

Occupancy Certificate

This is given by the engineering department of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Once the building license is obtained and the building is ready for the construction, at the plinth level itself the builder has to apply for the commencement certificate. After which the BBMP officers inspect the property to ensure that it does not have any deviation from the sanctioned plan. The occupancy certificate is obtained at the end of the construction. Once the builder applies for the certificate an inspection is done again to confirm if the construction has happened according to the sanctioned plan. This certificate is mandatory for any builder before he allows people to take possession of the property. This certificate was made compulsory by the BBMP to ensure proper construction in the city. The Joint director of Town Planning is in-charge of this certificate and the engineering department takes charge of issuing, inspecting and acts as a regulatory body to ensure that each builder obtains it. More about BBMP is on their website:

Non Encumbrance Certificate

This certificate is issued by the registration authority and it provides details of all the ownership and mortgages on the property since it came into existence. One has to look through at least 30 years of the property’s history if available or a minimum of 15 years from the date of registration.

Building Plan

If there is a building on the property you are buying or an apartment, you need this document with the approvals and signatures from the concerned authorities of the village/town/city/corporation. Any building to be constructed on the land needs a prior approval for the purpose it is being built and how much area/floors is to be built and it should be according to the laws of the locality. Most of the owners and builders bypass the restrictions and regulations and build additional area and floors, thereby violating the laws. Check if there is excess violation of the laws of the constructed building against the approved original plan. If there is a gross violation, the building may face cases for demolition of additional structures or floors in the building. Also check with the local authorities, if the road is getting widened in near future or any notice served to the owners earlier for vacation of part or full. You may inspect other buildings in the area for such deviations. Check the approved plan sanctioning authority, date, stamp, khata number/survey number, dimensions of the building, details of rooms, parking, offsets, floors etc.

Survey Sketch

A document showing the sketch of the survey numbers in the land acquired for forming a layout by the society or developer. You can trace your plot location to the survey and the corresponding owner of the land by survey number.

Electricity and Water/Sanitation bills paid in respect of the property

These are important documents for the apartment or bungalow which further proves the ownership of the property.

Owner’s KYC documents

It is important to get to know your seller’s key information like Address proof, Aadhar Card, PAN Card, Driver’s license, etc. to see the authenticity of the person. Now there are online portals available to find if there are any issues with the person or if he/she is a defaulter or if there is any case against him/her.

Family Tree

Check how the owner earned his property, whether it is self-earned or inherited. Even if self-earned, it is better to check the dependents, including his parents and get their consent on the agreement or sale deed that they have no rights on the property and provide consent for sale. If the property is inherited, get the family tree of the seller and get their consents in the agreement and sale deed. Always make your due diligence and consult a lawyer who deals in real estate cases to review all the documents once. Make your own assessment of visiting the place and talking to neighbors in the area on why the seller is selling the property and if there are any disputes or cases.
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