Buying a property? Then start with a legal opinion!

Property

When we buy jewelry, clothing or anything we research a lot about it with reviews and feedback from friends and family and then finally we choose from a vast range of products and designs.

So isn’t it important to take a legal advice/opinion when we are to make a huge investment and enter into a commitment of paying EMIs over the next 10 years? It is very important and in fact a prerogative to take a legal opinion to ensure that what we purchase is in due diligence with the law.

The property could be anything varying from a plot to an apartment to an independent house or a commercial shop; be it any, but a legal clearance from an expert is a mandatory point with which you should start your plan of purchase.

At many instances, the seller might be in a position to offer you a legal opinion from a renowned expert in those matters in your city, which he might have acquired to ease the sale process of his property. Even so, it is advisable that seeking a legal clearance on self-sources is very important as there are chances that the most important points might have been one sided/missed or even hidden.

This will later play a vital role when in case of purchasing an independent house or plot and your neighbor accuses of encroaching the affixed limits to the property. Should there be a clear documentation and clearance right from the title to the dimensions and the bounds of your property, it would ease the process of solving the situation. In fact, it would be the primary move you should execute when you wish to avail a loan towards this purchase of property. In case of buying resale property and in the event of that already being under a loan, the bank which might have funded the seller would have given a legal clearance which the seller might try to impart on you. But what if the seller had made deviations post availing the loan from the bank which would now cause an issue in the purchase, which you might know only when you get a legal opinion on the current status of the property.

Let us understand this process in two situations:

  1. Purchasing a new/resale property from an individual or small-time builder/developer
  2. Purchasing from a reputed builder

Purchasing a new/resale property from an individual or small-time builder/developer:

Purchasing a property in this situation would actually save you a lot of other in-built costs which would happen when buying from a reputed builder or when buying in the huge township. But it also involves a lot of due diligence which needs to be religiously executed to keep clear in mind of what is being purchased

A few points which might be helpful in understanding a legal opinion in this case:

  • Is there a loan availed already or mortgaged in case of resale?
  • Is there easement rights involved – this could be applicable even for new purchase
  • Does it have all the government approvals?
  • Any encumbrances?
  • Any court orderings or clearances?
  • Encroachments?
  • Existing lease/tenancy?
  • Association/maintenance unpaid dues?
  • In case of the rightful owner to the property being deceased, is there a legal heir certificate / will in place?

Without clarifying the above or to more of it, would give no understanding on what is the current status of the property and it could lead to serious trouble should there be another rightful owner who can claim your property, even after you have completed registering it in your name.

The legal due diligence clears the below doubts to a buyer:

  • Ownership of the property
  • Title documents of the property relating to a minimum of 15 years
  • Draft conveying the title from the seller to the purchaser
  • Appropriate stamp duty affixation and registration process
  • Legal heir certificate if applicable
  • If in case of a power of attorney agent, then a valid instrument which states the authority to convey the land and receive sale consideration
  • In case of the seller being a firm, then the board of resolution and all the necessary documents related to it
  • All applicable approvals
  • To ensure if there is no adversity prevailing in this sale execution by any other third parties
  • In case of a minor’s property, then the necessary court approvals in having it sold
  • Ensures on the ceiling towards land holdings
  • Encumbrances
  • Checks and verifies dimensions and bounds of the property

 

Purchasing from a reputed builder:

Usually as a new purchase, when purchasing a residential/commercial/plots from developers, the ease of having it legally cleared is a benefit that comes along. This happens as most of the banks would have associated themselves with that project to help people avail loans in purchasing the property. Banks, in these cases, appoint a panel of lawyers who execute all the above-mentioned criteria, clarify or point out the legal nuances and deliver a report stating either the approval or rejection of funding customers towards purchasing that respective property.

In case of not availing a loan, seeking a legal opinion should still not be deviated even if it is a reputed builder, as there have been situations, where, even reputed builders have brought projects with legal problems and hideous promises that it would be cleared in due course of time.

So, do not worry about the charges which you might have to bear in seeking a legal opinion, as it is the price that you are paying towards a peaceful purchase of an asset.

 

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