Legal Forms India
Real Estate



LEGAL CHAT
Issues to focus on before purchase of plot
R.L. NARAYANAN
There are some critical issues which the buyer may not be aware of while purchasing a plot
Apprisal: The title scrutiny often takes the backseat in buying a plot.
Purchase of plots particularly in the outskirts and also anywhere in the State is seen as a good source of investment. Many NRIs are also interested in purchase of plots. At times, people make bulk purchase with the hope that they will get good return on investments. In these types of purchases, the title scrutiny often takes a backseat and only the value of the plot is considered as paramount factor for making the purchase decision.
Further, the purchase of plots is made on the basis of advertisements and without understanding the implications involved. Technology has improved to such an extent that it is possible for a buyer sitting at a long distance to view the land or plot that the person desires to purchase.
Based on this and also on the basis of certain maps and topo plans, a decision is made for purchasing a property.
While one may get an idea of the location , the actual issues relating to the sale or purchase are not addressed and may surface at a time which is critical to the buyer.
The process of purchase of land is basically like purchase of any other property.
However, there are some difficulties. It may not be possible to know always as to who is in possession of the property.
Certain other particulars relating to the land like the interest of a tiller or any other third party claiming certain rights may not be immediately perceptible.
Various factors, which affect the title of the owner like adverse possession or encroachment, are also not easily identifiable. Implications
The first thing that one has to check is whether the plot is approved or otherwise. In Tamil Nadu, approval for plots can be granted only by the CMDA or the DTCP. Certain other approvals like Panchayat approvals for plots, may not meet legal requirements. Please understand the implications of lack of approvals and also lack of approval from proper Authority before making the decision.
In the context of approvals, extent of plots is also relevant. Certain given extents of plots, though sold as agricultural lands, are capable of being put to intended use at a later date by undertaking a process. Certain plots may not be capable of being put to such use. Therefore, the extents of plots would be relevant.
The original classification of the land and the revenue records have to be checked. When large extent of land is promoted as plots, then there is a method of looking at title. This is a fairly difficult process and it is best to obtain opinion from a professional. If you are not planning to get it from your own counsel, then you have to get the opinion from the Promoter’s Advocate at least.
Certain banks and institutions fund for purchase of plots and though the process is not a substitute for your undertaking of screening of title by your Advocate, at least the opinion of the advocates for the bank would be helpful. Case-to-case basis
At times, the plots may be approved under a particular Approval Number. However, the specific plot being sold to you may not be approved under the said approvals. This has to be checked. There could be a variance in extent. Certain plots could have been renumbered. It is possible that the revenue records may not match the plans produced to you as approved. Certain area reserved for Government of Public purposes may be sold. All this has to be checked on a case-to-case basis.
Another factor, which complicates the issue is the fact that immediately after the approval, a Patta is not usually obtained for a specific Plot. One has to cull various facts and inferences from other documents. These factors present difficulties.
In rare cases, it is possible that the approvals relating to another plan are superimposed on the copy provided to you. Only if a thorough process is adopted, these types of issues can be found out. There could be a description of a road or a pathway, which may not tally with the facts on ground.
One will find that the value of the plot may appreciate faster in certain localities and many issues, which appear to be insignificant at the time of purchase, may loom large when it comes to sale of valuable property. The possibility of a building being immediately put up on the land after obtaining proper approvals will definitely make the land much more valuable than otherwise.
At times, the land is purchased only for appreciation and one is able to actually transact with the land by getting the benefit of good appreciation notwithstanding the location and also many issues that may arise in the process. Some developers and promoters also assist in sale of land and have come up with various ways of selling the land in such a manner that it is convenient for the purchaser to make a decision of investment. There is also a system of collecting the purchase price by instalments and some of these schemes have also proved beneficial to the purchaser.
By and large, if at least the title of the property is in order and either the Promoter or the purchaser has checked the basic title and has an opinion or a certificate to that effect, then the decision to purchase becomes much easier .
One should also consider as to whether the land can be secured suitably after purchase and whether a promoter offers such assistance. Immediately after the purchase, certain steps like transfer of Patta and also making the documents in order in case there is any insufficiency should be undertaken.
In the event that you have purchased a land and you have not transferred the Patta in your name and if the land is acquired by the Government, then it is most likely that the notice will only be sent to the person in whose name the Patta is available and you may lose the chance of contesting the matter or receiving the benefits. You may also lose valuable time if the land is acquired because you have not transferred the Patta in your name. It is likely that you will miss the public notice issued by the Government for acquisition and may not be able to make effective representations in the process.
By:Partner, RANK Associates

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