Property

How to Inherit Property in India?

Soumya Shekhar
Soumya Shekhar 04 min read 197 Views
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Inheritance of Property After Death

Throughout your life, you have accumulated a number of properties. All of these properties, taken together, comprise your estate. If you want to choose whom your properties pass on to, you should frame a will of inherited property. If you do not frame a will then the property succession will happen as per law of inheritance. Let us see how property is inherited in India. 

Inheritance of Property in India

The Law of Inheritance, also known as the Law of Succession, controls the process of inheritance. Property succession in India is of two types:

  1. Testamentary Succession: You may choose to execute a Will. The Will, by definition, will specify who will inherit what shares of your estate. In such a case, succession will take place according to the instructions contained in your Will. When succession takes place in this manner, it is known as testamentary succession. 

  2. Intestate Succession: You may also choose not to execute a Will. However, someone must still inherit your property. The Law of Inheritance has a built-in contingency for such cases. The law specifies certain persons as your legal heirs, who are entitled to defined shares of your estate after your death. When succession takes place in this manner, it is known as intestate succession. 

Succession will be either testamentary or intestate. It cannot be both at the same time. If you leave behind a Will, the succession of your estate will be testamentary. If you don’t, it will be intestate. 

Legal Inheritance of Property

Testamentary Succession

Testamentary succession will occur if you leave behind a Will. 

Every mentally sound adult is capable of executing a Will. A Will is a legal document that contains instructions to govern the inheritance of your estate. It will specify (i) who will be entitled to your estate and (ii) the shares of your estate each of them will be entitled to. The persons who are entitled to inherit under your Will are known as your legatees. Any person can be a legatee, even a person who is not your relative. 

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 is the uniform Law of Testamentary Succession which governs everyone except Muslims. Muslims are governed by their own Muslim Law of Testamentary Succession. 

You have practically unlimited discretion to decide, your legatees and the shares of your estate each will inherit. Generally, all of your property can be bequeathed by a Will. However, if you are a Muslim, then you cannot bequeath by a Will any more than 1/3 of your estate, unless your legal heirs consent to exceeding this cap. There is no such limitation for anyone else. 

The manner of executing a Will differs, based on whether you are governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925 or the Muslim Law of Testamentary Succession: 

  1. Unless you are a Muslim, you must follow the procedure in the Indian Succession Act to execute a Will. The Will must be written, and you must sign or affix your thumb impression on it. It must be attested by at least two witnesses who have seen you sign it. A Will can be executed on plain paper. It is not necessary to execute it on stamp paper. It is also not necessary to be registered. 

  2. If you are a Muslim, there is an even simpler procedure to execute a Will. Your Will need not be signed or written. It can even be oral. There is no need for attesting witnesses. The only requirement is that your intention should be clear. However, oral wills are notoriously difficult to prove. Hence, it is always prudent to execute your Will in writing, even though it is unnecessary. 

After your death, someone has to take the responsibility of carrying out the instructions in your Will. This process is known as the execution of the Will, and the person who does it is known as the executor. They will ensure that the specified shares of your estate are bequeathed to the respective legatees. There can be multiple executors. You have the option to specify the sole executor, or co-executors, of your Will in the Will itself. Remember to take their consent. Do give some thought to your choice of an executor, as this person will be the one responsible for executing your Will. If you don’t appoint an executor, or the executors refuse to act as executors after your death, the competent court can appoint some of your legal heirs as the executor[s]. 

Intestate Succession

Intestate succession will occur if you don’t leave behind a Will. The applicable Law of Intestate Succession will govern the succession of your estate. 

There is no uniform Law of Intestate Succession in India. Rather, it varies based on one’s religion. Thus, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, etc., are all governed by their own separate Laws of Intestate Succession. For instance, the law for Hindus is contained in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the law for Christians is contained in the Indian Succession Act, 1925, etc. 

Your religion will determine which Law of Intestate Succession will govern the succession of your estate. Thus, if you are a Hindu, then the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 will govern; if you are a Christian, then the Indian Succession Act, 1925 will govern, etc. 

Regardless of which Law of Intestate Succession applies, at the highest level, all of them operate similarly: each of your legal heirs will inherit specific shares of your estate. The legal heirs, and the shares they are each entitled to, will vary based on the number of legal heirs alive and their relationship with each other. For instance, consider a married Hindu male. If you are a Hindu married male, ordinarily, your wife, sons, daughters, and mother are your legal heirs. They will each take an equal share of your estate. Thus, if you are survived by a wife, mother, one son, and one daughter, each of them will take a ¼ of your estate. However, if your daughter is dead, but she is survived by her only daughter (your grand-daughter), the grand-daughter will become an additional legal heir entitled to her mother’s share. Thus, she will inherit ¼ of your estate.  

Hence, the inheritance of property in India is a complex process, and in the absence of a will, is governed by property succession laws. 

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Know About Flat Registration

Owning a home is a dream for many. But, did you know that you need to Register your flat after you buy it? A flat needs to be registered in accordance with the law prevalent in the state in which it is bought. Every state in India has different rules for Flat Registration. Builders need to register their property under RERA, whereas buyers need to register their flat with the local registrar. Let us examine what all is required to register a flat. 

 

Importance of Flat Registry

Have you bought a flat recently? It is necessary to register this transaction. Registry of your flat is necessary for 2 reasons: 

  1. A flat is an immovable property. Thus, buying a flat is a transaction of immovable property. Such transactions do not take effect unless registered. Hence, it is necessary to register for the purchase of your flat. 

  2. Your flat, quite obviously, is standing on a particular land. As the owner of the flat, you have certain rights over that land. Once you register your flat, the state's land records will record your name as the lawful owner of your flat. This is a crucial piece of evidence which records what rights you have over your flat. 

You can also register an under-construction flat. The common misconception is that a flat cannot be registered before possession and that it can only be registered after possession. But, this is not the case. In fact, banks insist on the registration of under-construction flats before granting home loans. While such registration protects the interest of banks, the entire risk is put on the shoulders of the homebuyer.

 

Procedure for Flat Registration

When you bought your flat, you and the builder/seller will have executed a Sale Deed. This Sale Deed needs to be registered with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances, who has jurisdiction over the locality in which your flat is located. Flat agreements in most states are registered online; however, the final step needs to be completed in the registrar's office.

The entire process typically involves the following steps: 

  1. Book an appointment for registering the Sale Deed: You need to register on the government's website and create a Login ID in most states. Then you need to upload the documents and book the appointment. 

  2. Pay the prescribed registration fees. 

  3. Attach copies of the Sale Deed and the identity proofs of the parties and the attesting witnesses. 

  4. The parties, and their attesting witnesses, have to be physically present at the Sub-Registrar's office at the date, and time, of the appointment. 

Depending on which state your flat is located in, some of these steps can be conducted online. However, in every state, Step 4 must be conducted offline: one visit to the Sub-Registrar's office for this purpose is necessary. 

For instance, for flat registration in Bangalore and the rest of Karnataka, Steps 1, 2, and 3 of the flat registration process can be conducted online on the Kaveri Online Portal. Similarly, for registering a flat in Pune and the rest of Maharashtra, Steps 1, 2, and 3 of the flat registration process can be conducted online on the IGR Maharashtra Portal. 

 

Cost of Flat Registration

The exact registration cost for your flat will vary from state to state. Typically, the registration cost is about 1 - 3% of the market value of the flat. 

Note that the flat's market value need not be the same price at which you have bought it. The sale price for your flat was determined between you and the builder/seller. This price can be quite literally anything. However, the market value of the flat is fixed and is calculated according to the rules of the state in which the flat is located. Most states now have online calculators available, which will give you a fairly precise estimate of the registration fees of your flat. 

 

Documents Required for Registration of Flat 

The following documents are required for the registry of flats: 

  1. Appointment letter, obtained after booking an appointment with the respective Sub-Registrar's office.

  2. Proof of payment of the required registration fees. 

  3. The original Sale Deed for your flat.  

  4. Identity proofs of the parties to, and the attesting witnesses of, the Sale Deed. 

  5. Copy of the Possession Letter issued by the seller/builder. 

Know About Property Rights of Daughters in India
Property

Know About Property Rights of Daughters in India

In India, daughters did not always have property rights. Women have always been treated inferior to men, both in terms of inheritance rights and the capacity to hold Property independently. There were many restrictions on both inheritance rights and women's property rights, which did not exist for men. 

Today, the Law of Inheritance's entire body has undergone significant reforms through subsequent legislation and amendments. Daughters now have an equal share in Property.

 

Daughter's Right in Property

Today, your gender as a woman is of little consequence for your property rights. Hence, the property rights of daughters are almost entirely the same as the property rights of sons. 

A daughter can acquire, hold, and dispose of, Property at par with any other man. Today, there are practically no restrictions on a woman's capacity to acquire, hold, and dispose of, her Property. Daughters have an equal share in their father's self-acquired Property as well as ancestral property. Daughters after the Supreme Court judgment of 2005 have become coparceners. Hence, they have equal rights in all Property, including agricultural lands. Both men and women are equally capable of holding their own, separate Property. Any restrictions on property rights are the same for all genders. Hence, daughters today have virtually equal rights in Property as a son does.

 

Equal Property Share for Daughters

Your gender as a woman does not place you at any significant disadvantage in the arena of inheritance rights. 

As a daughter, you have the same inheritance rights as a son of your generation. Thus, a daughter has the same inheritance rights as a son; a granddaughter has essentially the same inheritance rights as a grandson, and so on. In most cases, the daughter is entitled to inherit the same share of her ancestors' Property as a son of the same generation is. Marriage does not affect a daughter's inheritance rights. A married daughter has the same right to Property as an unmarried daughter. 

In India, the Law of Inheritance varies based on religion. The religion of the deceased governs, which Law of Inheritance will apply. Thus, Hindu Inheritance Law applies to the death of a Hindu, Christian Inheritance Law applies to the death of a Christian, Muslim Inheritance Law applies to a Muslim's death, etc. 

 

Hindu Property Law for Daughters

Both sons, and daughters, are equally capable of acquiring, holding, and disposing of their own property. There is almost complete equality between sons and daughters in this regard. 

In the inheritance arena, the Hindu Law of Succession has undergone a great transformation over the past century. Classically, the property rights of daughters were significantly inferior to the property rights of sons. Subsequent legislation and amendments have nullified discrimination against daughters. After enacting the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, sons and daughters now enjoy virtually the same property rights. 

 

Equal Rights of Daughters in Joint Family Property

In Hindu Law, for the purpose of inheritance, Property is classified into two types: (1) Joint Family Property and (2) Self-Acquired Property. Essentially, all Property inherited by a son from their father, paternal grandfather, and paternal great-grandfather is considered Joint Family Property. All other Property is considered Self-Acquired Property. Depending on where you reside in India, the character of these types of properties is either the same or different. In regions where this distinction is followed: 

  1. Joint Family Property is inherited differently (compared to Self-Acquired Property). 

  2. Multiple persons have rights over the Joint Family Property by birth. This is unlike Self-Acquired Property, over which rights can be acquired only if you have acquired them yourself. 

The rights of both sons, and daughters, to inherit, acquire, hold, and dispose of the Self-Acquired Property of their ancestors is essentially the same everywhere.  

However, in regions where this distinction is maintained, daughters did not enjoy the same rights as sons in Joint Family Property for a long time. Daughters were at a disadvantage compared to sons in terms of both their rights to control the property and their rights to inherit it. Legislation after legislation has gradually diluted this inequality over the past century. Finally, with the enactment of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, sons and daughters now have equal rights to inherit the Joint Family Property of their ancestors.

In 2020, the Supreme Court decision on property rights of daughters, Vineeta Sharma vs. Rakesh Sharma, confirmed that sons, and daughters, indeed have exactly the same rights in the Joint Family Property. The inheritance rights of the daughter do not change on her marriage, the death of her husband, the death of her father, or anything else for that matter. Hence, the case used what has now become a famous expression: "once a daughter, always a daughter." Thus, an unmarried daughter and a married daughter are all entitled to the same property rights in the Joint Family Property of their parents. A daughter-in-law is too entitled to inherit her father-in-law's Property. This rule holds true for a widowed daughter-in-law as well. As long as the daughter is alive, she is entitled to control and inherit her ancestors' Joint Family Property at par with a son.

Society Conveyance Deed: All You Need to Know
Property

Society Conveyance Deed: All You Need to Know

Did you know that a Conveyance Deed is required to acquire property in a housing society? Many people do not know that such a Conveyance Deed exists.  After developing a housing structure with a number of flats, common areas, etc., the developer sells these flats to multiple buyers for a price (making a profit in the process). The buyers come to own the individual flats, and they all have a common right to utilize the common areas. The flat-buyers then come together to form a housing society. The housing society regularly raises subscriptions from the members. It uses the proceeds to service the common areas, provide common services (such as electricity backup and water supply), hire employees for maintenance and housekeeping, and so on. Having a Conveyance Deed confers the legal ownership of the common areas of the housing society and plays an important role in proving legal ownership and later redevelopment projects. 

 

The Importance of a Conveyance Deed in Housing Societies

The ownership of the land is first transferred from the original landowner to the developer. With their newly acquired rights over the land, the developer can now develop society on this land. They commence construction and meanwhile begin marketing the to-be-completed society to prospective buyers. Those who agree to buy the completed flats enter into an agreement with the buyer. This agreement may be called by different names, such as ‘Sale Agreement’ or ‘Purchase Agreement’ and so on, but they are all the same in essence. There may be a number of clauses in this agreement. Amongst these, the most important one typically states that the developer promises to hand over the flats to the owners once the construction is completed.

When construction is completed, the developer hands over the flats to the respective buyers. However, there’s a catch. As a buyer, you have only acquired possession of your flat. The developer continues to own the whole land and all the buildings which stand on it. A possessor has some but lesser rights than an owner. Hence, in some sense, the developer can still continue to lord over you since they have more rights over the property than you do. To transfer the ownership of the whole land and the buildings standing on it to the respective buyers, the developer must execute a Conveyance Deed. 

A Conveyance Deed is a legal document that conveys some rights over an immovable property from one person to another. The developer must execute the Conveyance Deeds of flats and common areas to transfer their ownership rights to the respective owners and the housing society. Thus, the buyers will then become the owners of their respective flats, and all the buyers will then become the common owners entitled to jointly use the common areas.  

 

How to Execute the Conveyance Deed 

Keep the following pointers in mind while executing each required Conveyance Deed: 

  1. It must be written and signed by the parties. 

  2. It must be attested by at least two independent witnesses. 

  3. The required stamp duty must be paid. To ensure this, the Deed must be executed on non-judicial stamp paper of the same value as the stamp duty required to be paid. 

  4. It must be compulsorily registered with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances. 

  5. It must clearly identify, at the very least, the land and other properties being transferred, the identity of the parties, the title history of the land and properties in question, and the fact that ownership rights are being transferred. 

 

Documents Required for Executing the Conveyance Deed

  1. The duly executed and stamped Conveyance Deed must be presented to the office of the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances for registration. 

  2. Some states may require the advocate, or registered deed-writer, who drafted the Conveyance Deed to affix a declaration, and their registration number, on the Deed. 

  3. Proof of payment of the registration fees payable, if any. 

  4. Identity, and Address, Proofs of all the parties and the attesting witnesses. 

 

Deemed Conveyance Deed

In practice, members of housing societies often have trouble getting developers to execute Conveyance Deeds for their buildings. In such cases, some states allow the members of the housing society to request the State Government to provide them a Deemed Conveyance Deed. For instance, Maharashtra allows members of housing societies in the state to request a Deemed Conveyance Deed. 

Once the State Government provides a Deemed Conveyance Deed, although the developer has not really executed the required Conveyance Deed, the law will consider that it has been executed. This is a fiction of the law. Consequently, the members of the housing society will be entitled to the same rights they would have possessed had the developer executed the required Conveyance Deed. 

If your state allows you to obtain a Deemed Conveyance Deed, you have to file an application for this purpose before the competent authority, supported by the required documents. The authority will usually hear both the parties and pass a reasoned order. Accordingly, they will either accept or reject your application. If they accept the application, you will be able to obtain the Deemed Conveyance Deed. The documents typically required to obtain a deemed conveyance deed are:

  • Relevant land records, such as municipal records, land revenue records, etc. 

  • Copy of development agreement between landowner and builder. 

  • Copies of registered and stamped agreements of each flat

  • Approved building plan. 

 

In Maharashtra, the fee for deemed conveyance is INR 2000. Earlier, there was also a need to submit an occupation certificate from the builder, but now this requirement has been scrapped. The housing society can obtain an occupation certificate from the municipal corporation after the conveyance has been done. 

It is always preferable to take legal help while drafting a Conveyance Deed. Many builders do not adopt the traditional Conveyance method, and the flat-owners have to resort to deemed Conveyance.

Know About Inheritance Rights in India
Property

Know About Inheritance Rights in India

You inherit property when your parents or grandparents, or any other relative pass away. This inheritance can either be through a will or intestate succession. Intestate succession means that the property will pass on to your legal heirs through rules created by the laws of succession. Different personal laws govern the rights of heirs to an estate. Many people do not know how inheritance rights function and this lack of knowledge leads to issues during partition or succession. Through this article, we will tell you how heirs' rights to property function in India. 

 

The Right to Inherit Property

Before we discuss the heir property rights, it is essential to understand the two types of property. Typically, a property is of two types: 

  • Ancestral property: Such property is passed on through generations. An heir typically has a right over an ancestral property by his birth. 

  • Self-acquired property: A self-acquired property is a property that the owner has earned through his efforts. 

A property becomes your own only when you can legitimately claim to exercise some rights over it. For instance, your neighbor's house is not your property because you don't have any rights over it. However, your own house is your property because you can legitimately exercise some rights over it. Thus, acquiring a property means becoming capable of exercising some rights over it. 

Property can be acquired in many ways. You can enter into an agreement with another person, such as a sale deed for the sale of their land to you, and thus acquire that property. There are many other such modes. Inheritance is one of them. Thus, when you inherit a property, the consequence is that you will be able to exercise some rights over it. 

As mentioned above, the Law of Inheritance will decide who the new owners of your estate will be. Certain persons will inherit defined shares of your estate. These persons are known as your' heirs'. Each of your heirs will have a right in your estate. 

Illustration — According to the applicable Law of Inheritance, your son S, daughter D, and mother M are your successors. Each of them is entitled to inherit 1/3 of your estate. Thus, S, D, and M will each have the right to inherit 1/3 of your estate. These are the inheritance rights of S, D, and M about your estate. Once inheritance occurs, S, D, and M will have acquired 1/3 of your estate each. 

 

The Law of Inheritance in India

There is no uniform Law of Inheritance in India. Instead, the Law of Inheritance varies based on one's religion. A small part of the Law of Inheritance is the same for all religions. However, the vast majority of it varies by religion. Thus, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, etc., are each governed by their largely by their own, unique Laws of Inheritance. 

The religion of the deceased governs, which Law of Inheritance will govern the succession of their estate. Thus, when a Hindu dies, then the succession of their estate will be governed by the Hindu Law of Inheritance; when a Muslim dies, then the succession of their estate will be governed by the Muslim Law of Inheritance, and so on. 

 

Inheritance Rights in Parents' Property

As a child, you generally have the right to inherit some portion of your parents' property. However, your parents are perfectly capable of varying your share, or depriving you of your full share (thus completely disinheriting you), by executing a Will to this effect. 

In India, the traditional mindset has excluded women's rights in parents' property. Before 2005, a daughter was only a member of the family and not a coparcener. A coparcener has the right to inherit the property; a member does not. A member can only ask for maintenance. After 2005, now daughters have also become coparceners and have an equal right to inherit parents' property.

Classically, in some religions, a daughter's marriage deprived them of their right to inherit their parents' property. However, this is no longer the case. Today, marriage alone will not affect your inheritance rights. A married daughter has the same rights to inherit her parents' property as an unmarried daughter does. 

 

Women's Inheritance Rights in India

Women, before 2005, were looked upon as members and not coparceners. Hence, they did not have a right to inherit the property. Let us understand women's inheritance rights in India vis-à-vis the different positions women hold in the family: 

Wife: A wife is entitled to her husband's property. A woman's property rights do not vary after her husband's death. 

Daughter: After 2005, if you are a daughter, you are also a coparcener in your father's property and hence have a right to inherit property. Today, your gender as a woman alone is of little consequence. As a woman, you have more or less the same inheritance rights as a man of your generation. Thus, a woman has essentially the same inheritance rights in her parents' property as a son; a granddaughter has essentially the same inheritance rights in her grandparents' property as a grandson, and so on. A woman can acquire, and hold, property at par with a man. Marriage generally does not deprive a woman of her inheritance rights. 

While rules of Intestate Succession govern the distribution of a property where no will is left behind, it is preferable that you take legal help and prepare and register a Will. Inheritance through a Will is easier and smoother.

What is a Possession Certificate?
Property

What is a Possession Certificate?

You can have many rights over a property. An owner of a property has the maximum possible bundle of rights over that property any person can have. The relationship of an owner to their property is termed as OWNERSHIP. A possessor is just a step below the owner in status. The possessor has the maximum possible bundle of rights over a property after the owner. The relationship of a possessor to their property is termed as POSSESSION

Generally, every person who is physically residing in, and exclusively enjoying, a property is the possessor of that property. If multiple persons are doing the same thing, they will all be possessors of that property. Thus, if you are residing in a house, and you are enjoying it exclusively in the sense that you are excluding others from using it except with your consent, you are the possessor of that house. 

 

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

An occupancy certificate certifies that the building has been constructed according to permissible norms and is fit for occupation. A builder obtains the occupancy certificate from the local municipal corporation. Many banks also look for an occupancy certificate for the purposes of granting loans. While a possession certificate is important, you should also check with the builder whether he has obtained a valid occupancy certificate for the building, before you buy a house. 

 

What is a Land Possession Certificate?

A Possession Certificate for Land, true to its name, is a legal document that certifies that you have possession of a particular land. In a sense, it is a certificate of authenticity that proves that you indeed have possession of the land. Naturally then, a Possession Certificate of Land is always issued for a particular land. 

If you are the sole possessor of land, the Possession Certificate for that land will be issued in your name alone. If you are one amongst multiple possessors, the Possession Certificate of Land will obviously state that all of you are possessors of that land. 

Note that a Possession Certificate is different from an Occupancy Certificate. A Possession Certificates prove possession of the land, an Occupancy Certificate proves occupation of land. Since possession and occupancy have different legal connotations, the two certificates are not the same. If you want proof of possession, you should apply for a Possession Certificate, not an Occupancy Certificate.

 

When is a Possession Certificate Issued?

A Possession Certificate can be issued, either by a private person or the government: 

  1. When the property is transferred, the deed of transfer may require the transferor to deliver the possession of the property in question to the transferee in a specified manner. This delivery of possession is evidenced by a Possession Certificate issued by the transferor to the transferee. 
  2. A Possession Certificate issued by the government is an authentic document that will substantiate your claim that you have possession of a particular property. Such a certificate is helpful to prove the possession of your property in a variety of cases. 

 

Online Issue of Possession Certificates by the Government

A Possession Certificate for a property can be issued by, the Revenue Department of the Government of the state in which that property is located. You have to file an application to obtain a possession certificate online, accompanied by the prescribed fees, and supported by the required documents. 

In most states, you can make such an application through the e-District Portal of that state. 

 

Documents Required for Issue of Possession Certificates by the Government

To apply for a Possession Certificate, you will need the following documents. 

You need to obtain the following documents from the builder before taking possession of the land: 

  1. An extract of the land record, or a property deed, which proves the title of the builder over the land in question. 
  2. Sale Agreement, which is the document of sale executed by you and the builder. This should contain, the terms of the sale, and a promise to deliver possession of the land once construction is completed. 

 

You need to obtain the following documents from the builder after taking possession of the land: 

  1. Conveyance Deed, the document by which the builder has transferred their rights over the land in question to you. 
  2. Possession Letter, the document by which the builder has formally handed over possession of the land to you. 

You also need to attach copies of the following: 

  1. Your identity (name and address) proofs.
  2. Proof of payment of the required fees.

 

Hence, if you own a piece of land or possess the same, it is important that you apply for a possession certificate. Remember that law gives more importance to actual possession than to ownership. 

In the middle of land dispute, a land acquisition lawyer can be your saviour
Property

In the middle of land dispute, a land acquisition lawyer can be your saviour

Many of us may have plans to buy land parcel(s) – residential, commercial, or agriculture. I mean having an independent house or a commercial store or a farmhouse is one big dream for most of us. However, we must be aware of the fact that the piece of land that we acquire by way of purchase or lease, or inheritance has clear demarcations and is free from any disputes. Ultimately, no one wants to bear an unnecessary headache while putting in life savings.

There is this other scenario where you already are an owner of a piece of land with a clear definition of its title and demarcation. However, the Government announced a development plan that mentions that the piece of land, which is in your name, will get acquired in due course. The biggest question that arises in your mind in this situation is, what are my options now?

So, it becomes important to understand certain basics of land acquisition, disputes arising out of it, parties affected, the need for a land acquisition lawyer, and so on.

 

What is land acquisition?

In simple words, it is defined as:

  • The power of the government to acquire land for the purpose of development and urbanization.

  • Until 2013, it was governed by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. A bill was proposed for amendments that were passed by Lok Sabha but the same is still pending in the Rajya Sabha.

  • The government does not require the consent of the landowner for executing this process.

  • The government issues a notification to the landowner about the land being acquired.

  • The government compensates the landowner reasonably in the process.

 

What is a land dispute?

It is simply defined as a disagreement between two parties over the legal right of a particular piece of land. The legal rights include the title, possession, and control of land parcels under consideration.

 

Who can get affected by land disputes?

Anybody who is a rightful owner of a piece of land can get affected by land acquisition and the related disputes arising in the process. Generally, the affected parties include:

  • Individual owner(s)

  • Organizations such as NGOs

  • Indigenous Groups like tribal and mobile communities 

  • Corporates

  • State Government

  • Central Government

 

Reasons for Land Disputes

India as a country has so much diversity and multiple interests. However, many-a-times, it becomes an unavoidable reason for land acquisition disputes. Disputes can arise while the government announces the acquisition of land parcels. But there are several other reasons due to which a dispute may arise and the help of a land acquisition lawyer is needed.

Some common ones are:

  • Announcements made by the government for development and industrialization

  • Conflicts related to the improper demarcation of boundaries

  • Ownership conflict between multiple owners

  • Conflicts arising out of the inheritance

  • Land grabbed violently

  • Discrimination based on gender or religion

  • Sale of a single land parcel to multiple buyers

  • Issues related to payment while using or buying land

 

Who is a land dispute lawyer?

He or she is a qualified person in land acquisition law and can represent you to defend your dispute settlement claims in a court of law.

 

Why do we need a land dispute lawyer?

The land-related laws generally tend to be complicated. Especially, in a country like India, where land is a state subject and is governed by multiple legal frameworks. Interpreting the laws correctly is the most essential when you are in the middle of a dispute or your land property is getting acquired. Ultimately, getting the right advice is the only thing that matters the most apart from getting a timely redressal to the dispute.

Getting proper legal advice is not a choice but a necessity and hence there is a strong need of consulting a qualified expert who will help in charting your further course of action.

A land dispute lawyer can assist you in the following:

  • Doing research related to land records

  • Advising you how a particular dispute affects your land property

  • Suggesting the possible and correct legal remedies

  • Representing your case in courts

  • Getting your land-related titles cleared in government records

  • Helping clear liens (if any) on your land parcel

  • Helping you to avoid mistakes that can lead to financial liabilities in the future

 

Summing Up

While no one wants to be in the middle of such an ugly situation, several times many of us become a victim of an unwanted unpleasant legal tussle. The biggest problem of such a dispute is that no one knows the time it will take to get a proper resolution. So many different legislations built around land acquisition and disputes further complicate the already twisted situation and make matters worse. The only immediate redressal that comes to one’s mind is a qualified and experienced land dispute lawyer.