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Importance Of Technology For Lawyers in the Coming Times

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Technology has become an integral part of our society. It plays a vital role in human lives now transforming every section and strata of society. From children to the oldest people, all are using technology and it has made things simple and easier for people. From education to the corporate world, technology has proved useful and supportive providing numerous benefits than drawbacks.

Technology is not limited to Business sectors only, but it has paved its way into the legal industry as well. Corporate law firms have adapted and embraced the technology as it has made their work process much easier and simpler. Technology is proving best friend to lawyers in various areas of work and many litigation lawyers have already started embracing technology in their daily routine.

 

 

Why Embracing Technology is Crucial Now More than Before?

COVID-19 has proved the need and vitality of certain changes in the legal industry. Whether law firms or litigation practitioners, usage of technology is growing daily. From e-filing to hearing via video conferencing, Courts have gone virtual although certain difficulties are being faced by the judges and the advocates. However, coping with the change and need has left not much space.

 

Time is unpredictable and Coronavirus outbreak has proved and forced people and every small and big business to a standstill for an unknown time period. In such a situation, it turned out to be extremely essential to embrace technology as it will make the process of work much smoother and easier. It will also save the cost of time and avoid other unnecessary stuff.

 

The present situation has taught people to find an alternative and long-lasting solutions over the available resources. Amid this crisis technology adoption has become the key to survival and success.

 

 

Software Available for Lawyers and Law Firms

 

Time and Billing Software

This software tracks time spent on working on a project accurately and creates invoices accordingly. Time and Billing software is helpful in creating accurate time deadlines and crucial for the firms or companies in the professional field. Some of the law firms are benefiting from this software already now.

 

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management or CRM software is essential for business companies and law firms are no exception in my opinion. CRM is very critical to businesses as it helps to consolidate company data in one space. Law firms can access customer data, send bulk emails to their clients and newsletters, invitations, etc.

 

Document Management Solution

This software is used for the collection of secure data. It helps to organize, store, access, and share documents including confidential files. Through this application, Documents can be stored on the cloud and can be accessed from smartphones or tablets.

 

Finance and Accounting Software

This software can make work much easier and simpler by providing financial tools and features that can help lawyers and law firms in tracking and managing their book of accounts, profit, and loss, monitoring all financial performance, etc.

 

Proofread and Review

Proofread and review helps read and review large files that can take hours to read and review by a man. This is less time consuming and more reliable in terms of errors.

 

Knowledge Management Software

Knowledge management software can help lawyers and law firms organizing, publishing, and sharing important documents including opinions, transaction files, judgments, etc. This software also helps to lessen the cost while maintaining the quality of work.

 

Case Management

It helps to manage your cases and it works as a reminder keeping the details of all your cases. This is proved to be less hectic for lawyers and law firms.

 

In addition to the above list of software, other digital tools which are helpful to lawyers for a better experience for their clients are Live Chat, Artificial Intelligence enabled document scanners for scanning large and heavy documents and other data; this is already being used by most of the law firms and lawyers in their offices. This software is commonly used in countries like the USA and UK.

 

 

Benefits of Technology

  1. Technology takes less time in comparison to humans
  2. Fewer chances of error as technology will increase accuracy and transparency.
  3. More reliability unless the software gets corrupt and hacked.
  4. Large data files storage.
  5. Easy Access, Time management, and fast process
  6. Reduces large stack of papers into a device that is also environment friendly.

 

 

Drawbacks of Technology

Every coin has two facets so it is with technology usage. Drawbacks are as follows: -

  1. Cyber-attack risk
  2. Lack of fully trained users can cause the risk of data loss.
  3. A mistakenly given command can corrupt the device.

Cyber-attacks are emerging rapidly since the lockdown started as various big organizations and companies have allowed their employees to work from home and home internet networks and systems are not fully cyber secure. Security can be breached easily, and the organization’s confidential data can be stolen. Therefore, the risk is high using the unsecured system.

 

 

Limitation of Technology for Lawyers in the Present Scenario

 

Necessity is the mother of all invention. Definitely, lawyers are trying to learn and adapt to present scenario, however, subordinate courts lack basic IT facilities including lawyers practicing there and Bar Council of India in its letter addressed to Chief Justice of India has shown emphatic concerned towards advocates and judges as well mentioning “I can emphatically say that 90% of Advocates and hon’ble judges though out the length and breadth of the county are themselves unaware about the technology and about its nuances,..” (Source: LiveLaw).

 

19 lakhs advocates practice in India and the majority of lawyers lack the basic IT infrastructure so it is not hard predicting that 90% of advocates and judges lack technical knowledge and find it hard to learn and adapt technology.

 

 

Future Scenario

The present situation is enough to teach the lawyers and law firms that their staff and they shall be well versed with technology and changing aspects of society. Only survival is not enough but co-existence with the unseen situations has become crucial.

 

 

What Can Be Done to be Future-Ready?

To avoid such chaos in the future, lawyers can facilitate themselves with technology advancement and provide proper training to their staff. So that they don't find themselves in the pool of unknown. Some suggestions are as below that lawyers can avoid the present crisis in the future by: -

  1. Update and upgrade with technology.
  2. Bringing technology to practice in their daily routine of work.
  3. Research and exploring Artificial Intelligence including other aspects of technology.
  4. Encouraging more virtual meetings and usage in their work style.
  5. Not restraining themselves to a particular software or application.

 

 

Conclusion

Technology can help lawyers and law firms in various positive ways. It improves communication and efficiency. It also helps to keep employees engaged, increases the quality of their work, provides an unlimited supply of knowledge. Lawyers and law firms can get maximum benefit by training their staff and themselves. Technology has revolutionized the legal industry with its advancement. It can help law firms and law offices to achieve higher milestones driving their work capacity and sorting their small work issues for instance case updates, client management, etc. However, considering the available IT infrastructure of our country, technology adoption amongst lawyers, law firms and law offices will take some time. So, for progress, growth, and success in the future, every lawyer should prepare themselves and learn to adopt technology and become future-ready.

“Technology can become the wings that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before-if we will allow it.” – Jenny Arledges

 

Authored By: Asha Singh, Advocate

Practicing in High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

 

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is solely the author’s personal analysis and interpretation. In case you wish to act upon on the basis of the content of this article, please seek legal advice. The author shall not be responsible for any loss you may incur as a result of your actions relying upon this content. The content herein is the copyrighted material of the author and is informational and shall not be used for commercial purposes other than for personal reading.

 

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Suggested Articles

Importance Of Technology For Lawyers in the Coming Times
Legal Technology

Importance Of Technology For Lawyers in the Coming Times

Technology has become an integral part of our society. It plays a vital role in human lives now transforming every section and strata of society. From children to the oldest people, all are using technology and it has made things simple and easier for people. From education to the corporate world, technology has proved useful and supportive providing numerous benefits than drawbacks.

Technology is not limited to Business sectors only, but it has paved its way into the legal industry as well. Corporate law firms have adapted and embraced the technology as it has made their work process much easier and simpler. Technology is proving best friend to lawyers in various areas of work and many litigation lawyers have already started embracing technology in their daily routine.

 

 

Why Embracing Technology is Crucial Now More than Before?

COVID-19 has proved the need and vitality of certain changes in the legal industry. Whether law firms or litigation practitioners, usage of technology is growing daily. From e-filing to hearing via video conferencing, Courts have gone virtual although certain difficulties are being faced by the judges and the advocates. However, coping with the change and need has left not much space.

 

Time is unpredictable and Coronavirus outbreak has proved and forced people and every small and big business to a standstill for an unknown time period. In such a situation, it turned out to be extremely essential to embrace technology as it will make the process of work much smoother and easier. It will also save the cost of time and avoid other unnecessary stuff.

 

The present situation has taught people to find an alternative and long-lasting solutions over the available resources. Amid this crisis technology adoption has become the key to survival and success.

 

 

Software Available for Lawyers and Law Firms

 

Time and Billing Software

This software tracks time spent on working on a project accurately and creates invoices accordingly. Time and Billing software is helpful in creating accurate time deadlines and crucial for the firms or companies in the professional field. Some of the law firms are benefiting from this software already now.

 

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management or CRM software is essential for business companies and law firms are no exception in my opinion. CRM is very critical to businesses as it helps to consolidate company data in one space. Law firms can access customer data, send bulk emails to their clients and newsletters, invitations, etc.

 

Document Management Solution

This software is used for the collection of secure data. It helps to organize, store, access, and share documents including confidential files. Through this application, Documents can be stored on the cloud and can be accessed from smartphones or tablets.

 

Finance and Accounting Software

This software can make work much easier and simpler by providing financial tools and features that can help lawyers and law firms in tracking and managing their book of accounts, profit, and loss, monitoring all financial performance, etc.

 

Proofread and Review

Proofread and review helps read and review large files that can take hours to read and review by a man. This is less time consuming and more reliable in terms of errors.

 

Knowledge Management Software

Knowledge management software can help lawyers and law firms organizing, publishing, and sharing important documents including opinions, transaction files, judgments, etc. This software also helps to lessen the cost while maintaining the quality of work.

 

Case Management

It helps to manage your cases and it works as a reminder keeping the details of all your cases. This is proved to be less hectic for lawyers and law firms.

 

In addition to the above list of software, other digital tools which are helpful to lawyers for a better experience for their clients are Live Chat, Artificial Intelligence enabled document scanners for scanning large and heavy documents and other data; this is already being used by most of the law firms and lawyers in their offices. This software is commonly used in countries like the USA and UK.

 

 

Benefits of Technology

  1. Technology takes less time in comparison to humans
  2. Fewer chances of error as technology will increase accuracy and transparency.
  3. More reliability unless the software gets corrupt and hacked.
  4. Large data files storage.
  5. Easy Access, Time management, and fast process
  6. Reduces large stack of papers into a device that is also environment friendly.

 

 

Drawbacks of Technology

Every coin has two facets so it is with technology usage. Drawbacks are as follows: -

  1. Cyber-attack risk
  2. Lack of fully trained users can cause the risk of data loss.
  3. A mistakenly given command can corrupt the device.

Cyber-attacks are emerging rapidly since the lockdown started as various big organizations and companies have allowed their employees to work from home and home internet networks and systems are not fully cyber secure. Security can be breached easily, and the organization’s confidential data can be stolen. Therefore, the risk is high using the unsecured system.

 

 

Limitation of Technology for Lawyers in the Present Scenario

 

Necessity is the mother of all invention. Definitely, lawyers are trying to learn and adapt to present scenario, however, subordinate courts lack basic IT facilities including lawyers practicing there and Bar Council of India in its letter addressed to Chief Justice of India has shown emphatic concerned towards advocates and judges as well mentioning “I can emphatically say that 90% of Advocates and hon’ble judges though out the length and breadth of the county are themselves unaware about the technology and about its nuances,..” (Source: LiveLaw).

 

19 lakhs advocates practice in India and the majority of lawyers lack the basic IT infrastructure so it is not hard predicting that 90% of advocates and judges lack technical knowledge and find it hard to learn and adapt technology.

 

 

Future Scenario

The present situation is enough to teach the lawyers and law firms that their staff and they shall be well versed with technology and changing aspects of society. Only survival is not enough but co-existence with the unseen situations has become crucial.

 

 

What Can Be Done to be Future-Ready?

To avoid such chaos in the future, lawyers can facilitate themselves with technology advancement and provide proper training to their staff. So that they don't find themselves in the pool of unknown. Some suggestions are as below that lawyers can avoid the present crisis in the future by: -

  1. Update and upgrade with technology.
  2. Bringing technology to practice in their daily routine of work.
  3. Research and exploring Artificial Intelligence including other aspects of technology.
  4. Encouraging more virtual meetings and usage in their work style.
  5. Not restraining themselves to a particular software or application.

 

 

Conclusion

Technology can help lawyers and law firms in various positive ways. It improves communication and efficiency. It also helps to keep employees engaged, increases the quality of their work, provides an unlimited supply of knowledge. Lawyers and law firms can get maximum benefit by training their staff and themselves. Technology has revolutionized the legal industry with its advancement. It can help law firms and law offices to achieve higher milestones driving their work capacity and sorting their small work issues for instance case updates, client management, etc. However, considering the available IT infrastructure of our country, technology adoption amongst lawyers, law firms and law offices will take some time. So, for progress, growth, and success in the future, every lawyer should prepare themselves and learn to adopt technology and become future-ready.

“Technology can become the wings that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before-if we will allow it.” – Jenny Arledges

 

Authored By: Asha Singh, Advocate

Practicing in High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

 

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is solely the author’s personal analysis and interpretation. In case you wish to act upon on the basis of the content of this article, please seek legal advice. The author shall not be responsible for any loss you may incur as a result of your actions relying upon this content. The content herein is the copyrighted material of the author and is informational and shall not be used for commercial purposes other than for personal reading.

 

Appearing in court hearing through video conferencing?  8 important tips for you
Legal Technology

Appearing in court hearing through video conferencing? 8 important tips for you

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, videoconferencing is the new normal & Indian courts are adopting videoconferencing as a critical measure to continue the judiciary to work & to ensure the implementation of social distancing as a mandatory safety measure for all.

 

Now, most of the courts don’t have in-person appearances and have started using videoconferencing tools to facilitate and streamline the administration of justice.

 

We have seen a sudden rise in court proceedings via videoconference but lawyers are still to catch up with the new technology and their new normal of pleading in the court. Lawyers are trying to navigate the not so easy screen of video conference software & the attached new etiquette of it. Unfortunately in a country like India where technology penetration among Lawyers is low and not all practicing lawyers have become accustomed yet with the digital techniques of practice. Recently an honourable Judge made an observation and requested that lawyers appearing before him through videoconference should at least wear shirts and dress in a manner that is appropriate to the courtroom.

 

So the key question is WHAT IS THE RIGHT ETIQUETTE FOR COURT APPEARANCES via VIDEOCONFERENCE? What steps can – and should – you as a Lawyer take to ensure that your videoconferences are professional and suitable for the hearing?

 

Court appearances using videoconference are very new methods and there are no well-established rules or accepted practices available as of now. Having said that, I feel common sense along with practical knowledge can be used to make sure that you put your best foot forward when pleading for your clients via videoconference. I have collated a few practical tips for you so that you can follow these tips and stay ahead in the practice of the online representation in courts.

 

 

1. Your Professional Attire

It’s very practical & common sense that you should dress appropriately for the online hearing, at least on the top half of your body, since that’s all that will be visible on the screen. Put on a white shirt and/or a black coat, this is applicable to both the genders. This can make a huge difference. Comb your hair and make yourself presentable. We all are homebound during lockdown, but if you’re appearing in an online video court proceeding, dressing is the key. By doing that, your looks will not distract from the point you’re trying to make. And if your client is also asked to appear in the hearing, make sure to remind your client about the importance of dressing correctly.

 

 

2. Mention your ROLE in your login name

This is very important because Judge is also looking at your name to talk to you hence if your ROLE is also mentioned there, it will help him/her identify you correctly. For example Mahesh Moorthy, Lawyer for the defendant. If your client is also attending via videoconferencing, the client should also use the same nomenclature i.e. Ajay Mishra, Defendant.  By doing this, it becomes immediately clear to everyone attending the hearing who you are and what is your role, thus providing more clarity and ensuring that the proceeding runs smoothly.

 

 

3. Login Early

Like in the real court, we all are present before the Hon’ble judge’s entry in the courtroom, similarly, it is a good idea for both you and your client to log in for the hearing a few minutes early. By doing that if you find any technical issues while logging in, you will have time to correct it.

 

 

4. Watch your body language

As a lawyer, you know that court craft is all about your body language and it is equally important for your clients too even during a videoconference. For new users (in Indian scenario almost all are new) it may be difficult to get used to it i.e. looking directly at the camera when you speak. Also, during the videoconference, don’t do any kind of multitasking. You should keep your hands away from your face and keep your face as neutral as possible. Your facial expressions are more easily identifiable during videoconferences and you don’t want any expression to be misinterpreted by the judge! Make sure that you share these tips with your clients who also might be appearing in the hearings.

 

 

5. Your Background in the Video

Yes! that is the most ignored aspect in a Video Conference and that is the most disturbance causing reason too. Always check your background before logging into the videoconferencing session. If you are sitting in your room then be aware of what’s behind you and how it will appear to the Judges during the hearing. Make sure there are no distractions like reflections of lights or the sunlight coming directly on the background behind you. If there is no option and you are in a room which is not professional; like a bedroom or kitchen, then you can use a background image in the videoconferencing software usually now available in all of them and if you are using a background make sure to choose a professional-looking background for example a bookshelf etc. 

 

 

6.  Do the technical checks of your camera & microphone before the call

Technically check your computer system before you go live on videoconferencing. It is a good idea to conduct a practice session before you appear for your live hearing and more importantly advice your client also to check his computer system thoroughly. If you have never used the videoconferencing software preferred by the court, make sure it’s compatible with your laptop/mobile or desktop and download the software before the scheduled conference. Advice your client to do the same. Better safe than regret!

 

 

7. Use a good quality headset

As a technology company we advise avoiding usage of your computer’s audio. You should use a good quality headset and if it’s Bluetooth make sure that you have paired it with your device much in advance to the video hearing. We also suggest keeping a wire ready in case Bluetooth fails for any reason like not charged enough, pairing issues etc. A headset, allows you to maintain client confidentiality and have better sound quality all around. It is a very important etiquette to mute yourself whenever you’re not speaking i.e. keep your microphone off to avoid any unwanted sound/noise which can create a distraction. This advice applies equally to your clients attending the videoconference hearing.

 

 

8. Discuss with your client ahead of time

If your client will be participating in the virtual court hearing, make sure that your client understands how the videoconference hearing works and that all participants can hear what’s being said if you’re not muted. Explain the importance of confidentiality and how it is critical to avoid sharing confidential information or to have confidential discussions during the appearance.

 

 

Those are my top videoconferencing etiquette tips for Lawyers. Did I miss anything? If so, let me know in the comments.

To know more about how technology can help manage and grow your practice visit us at https://www.legalkart.com/lawyers-practice-management

 

RERA Registration Process
Property

RERA Registration Process

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (hereafter referred to as “RERA”) came into force on 1 May 2016. The main idea behind this law was the regulation and promotion of the real estate sector. Now development projects in real estate need to register themselves under RERA. RERA provides credibility to real estate projects and protects customers against delays in handing over the projects. 

How to Register Projects under RERA?

The process of Application for Registration of Real Estate projects differs from state to state. The detailed procedure for each state is available on each state’s RERA website. The promoters and real estate agents have to apply for registration on the website, which is relevant for their state. For registration, you need to submit certain documents along with the application. These, too, differ from state to state. However, certain documents are common amongst most of the states. These are:

  • Promoter’s PAN Card;

  • Legal title deeds of the land. (See Section 4(2)(l)A);

  • Encumbrance Certificate (See Section 4(2)(l)B);

  • Commencement Certificate (See Section 4(2)(c));

  • The Sanction Plan, Layout Plan, location details of the project (See Section 4(2)(d));

  • The plan of development works; and

  • Details of previous project experience of the promoter, if any (See Section 4(2)(b)).

Some of these documents across different states (as mentioned on their websites) are as follows:

  • Name, type, and registered address of the enterprise;

  • Registration Certificate, Memorandum of Association (MoA), Articles of Association (AoA) and date of incorporation of the promoter’s enterprise;

  • Audited balance sheets of the last three financial years;

  • Audited report and director’s report of the last three years; and

  • Name, address, contact details, and photographs of the promoter/director/partners/chairman/ or any other authorized person.

What Are the Key Benefits?

Before RERA, the real estate industry was in shambles. Customers faced delays, there was no regulation, and there was widespread corruption and high-handedness of real estate agents and builders. We see the following key benefits after RERA came into the picture: 

  • Carpet Area: A statutory definition of carpet area dispels the doubts regarding its determination. Promoters decided on carpet areas before RERA came into being. 

  • Buyers can seek information regarding the projects (Section 19, Clauses 1 & 2): Buyers under RERA can seek information such as completion status, plan layout, stages of construction, etc.

  • Delaying projects led to consequences for the promoter: Under RERA, each promoter has to give a due date on which they will hand over the possession of the property to the buyer. If the promoter cannot complete the project by this date,he can face penal consequences. 

  • Liability of promoters:  If there is any structural defect or flaw in constructing a property, the allottee may bring up such an issue to the notice of the promoter and the promoter will be obligated to rectify such flaws within 30 days. If the promoter does not do the same, the allottee will need to be compensated for such structural defects.

  • Advance Payments up to 10%: Under RERA, the builders cannot demand advance payments that are more than 10% of the project's total value.

  • The buyers were given rights in case of false promises: If the allottee finds themselves in a position where the initial promises made by the promoter are not being kept, or there is a mismatch in the commitment between the parties, the allottee under this Act, has the right to withdraw from the project and get a full refund (sometimes with interest or compensation).

People Also Read This: What is the RERA Act?

Impact On Home Buyers

Homebuyers now have the following rights under RERA: 

  • Buyers need not pay for the walls area, as the definition of carpet area is now clear. 

  • Builders need to disclose information, establishing transparency between the buyers and builders.

  • Registration manifests the credibility of builders and real estate agents. 

  • RERA also prevents indefinite delays in project development and misappropriation of funds. 

  • Asking for refunds in case of uncompleted projects is also easier under RERA. 

Impact On Real Estate Agents

RERA has the following impact on real estate agents:

  • Real estate agents now have to mandatorily register themselves and also keep renewing this registration. 

  • If a real estate agent is not registered, he will have to pay penalties. 

  • Real estate agents will have to maintain accounts, books, records, etc. 

  • They should display their registration number at all times, especially in the advertisements they place. 

  • False advertisements will attract a penalty. 

Penalties

Various penalties under RERA are:

  • Section 60: We already know that a promoter has to register themselves under Section 4 of RERA. For furnishing false information, a penalty of up to 5% of the approximate cost of the real-estate project needs to be paid.

  • Section 61: Just like in the previous section, even if the promoter violates any other provision of RERA (i.e., other than Sections 3 & 4), the same amount of penalty can be levied against them.

  • Section 63:  For non-compliance with RERA authority order, a penalty upto 5% per day gets levied on the promoter. 

  • Section 64: For failure to comply with the order of the RERA tribunal, a promoter may also face imprisonment. 

  • Section 62: If the real-estate agent violates the provisions of Section 9 & 10, they will be required to pay ₹ 10,000 per day till such default continues.


People Also Read This: Delay in Providing Possession of Flats and RERA's Role

RERA Laws Across India

Till now, every state has notified the rules for their respective state authority under RERA. The only exception here is the state of Nagaland, which is under process to notify the rules.

Most states have launched their websites regarding the same. However, in this regard, some north-eastern states (such as Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim) and Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, and NCT of Delhi are lagging.

West Bengal refused to implement RERA and enacted its legislation called, “Housing and Industrial Regulation Act, 2017,” challenged in the Supreme Court.

Several states have implemented a diluted form of RERA. This has increased difficulties for homebuyers in these states.

RERA is forward-looking legislation, and before buying a house, you should always check the RERA registration of the builder and the real estate agent. If you are in the real estate business, make sure to comply with the provisions of RERA.

Consulting a Lawyer is always useful for quick and authentic information about RERA Act

What is RERA Act
Property

What is RERA Act

Like all laws, RERA Act also has certain legalese in it. There are certain legal terms which are not easily understood by the common people. We try to simplify these legal terms for you and bring a ready explainer for the same.

Let us explore some of the real estate jargons in the RERA Act.

Carpet Area

RERA Act defines carpet area as the “net usable floor area of an apartment”. Carpet area excludes the area of external walls, lifts, balconies etc. Internal walls however fall under the definition of carpet area. Before RERA, the definition of carpet area was not legally given and hence, there was a lot of confusion regarding this. The builders often took advantage of this ambiguity. With a clear definition in place, homebuyers can now rest assured. 

Consulting a Lawyer is always useful for quick and authentic information about RERA Act.

Super Built-Up Area

Before we understand super built-up area, it is important to understand the meaning of built-up area. Built up area includes all areas of your flat (carpet area + balconies, walls etc.). Super built-up area includes built-up area plus your proportional share in the common areas of your building. For instance, if your building has common pathways, parks etc., these would also be included in the term super built-up area, in proportion to your share in them.

Typical common areas included in a super built-up area are: 

  • Staircases

  • Lobbies

  • Lifts

  • Club house

  • Security rooms

However, the super built-up area, does not include the following: 

  • Underground water facilities. 

  • Open swimming pools and skywalks

  • Open sports amenities. 

Occupancy Certificate

An occupancy certificate is the evidence that the building is inhabitable and that its construction is in compliance with all rules and regulations. It is issued by a local government, agency or planning authority. It is the developer of the building who needs to obtain the occupancy certificate. Occupancy certificate needs to be shown at the time of obtaining public utility connections. Typically, a developer applies for an occupancy certificate within 30 days of the completion of the project. The developer or the person applying for an occupation certificate should furnish the following documents: 

  • Project commencement certificate

  • Project completion certificate

  • NOCs for fire and pollution

  • Sanctioned plan of the building. 

People Also Read This: How to Register Projects under RERA?

RERA Registration Number

RERA mandates that all real estate developers register under it. RERA registration acts as a stamp of credibility. Once the registration process of RERA registration is complete, the real-estate developers obtain a RERA registration number. This RERA registration number acts as a proof of authenticity that the project is credible and that buyers can put their money in it. 

Floor Space Index

Floor space index, also known as Floor area ratio, is the ratio of the built up area to the total land of the project. Floor space index is important as it indicates the total area that can be built upon a plot of land. The development control regulation department and the building code of India regulate the floor space index. The type of building, which city it is located in and the amenities available in the building are factors taken into account while determining the floor space index. Floor space index helps in maintaining the ratio of open space to closed spaces and helps in sustainable development of cities. 

Leasehold Property

A property which has been taken on lease is a leasehold property. Builders and real-estate developers, build their projects either on leasehold properties or freehold properties. Leasehold properties are typically on lease from 30 to 99 years. Once, the leasehold period gets over, they convert to freehold properties. Buyers prefer freehold properties to leasehold properties, as certain restrictions operate on leased land. 

People Also Read This: Delay in Providing Possession of Flats and RERA's Role

Freehold Property

A freehold property absolutely belongs to the owner. The developer may purchase the same form the owner for the purposes of development of the project. Unlike leasehold properties, no statutory approval is required to transfer the ownership of a freehold property. It is easier to get loans for freehold properties and no restrictions are imposed on the same. 

Pre-Launch Properties

You would have heard about pre-launch properties or pre-launch offers. A pre-launch property is a property whose launch has been announced, even before the approval process is underway. Typically, builders solicit offers from customers, who could be old customers or through real-estate agents a discounted prices for pre-launch offers. Such offers and properties attract potential buyers’ attention as they are available at prices lower than the market value. 

These are a few terms or legal jargons which are widely used in the real-estate sector. RERA Act, also uses these terms in its provisions. It is hence, important that you as a customer should know what these jargons mean and make an informed decision, while buying any property. 

People who read this Article also Consulted a Lawyer about RERA Act. 

Duplicate Land Registration Document Process
Property

Duplicate Land Registration Document Process

Moving houses is a pain! Often in the process of moving, we end up losing important documents. A land registration document as proof of ownership. Losing a land registration document may not bode very well for you. You do not have to worry as there is a provision to obtain a duplicate land registration document.

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How to get a duplicate land registration Document?

You should follow certain steps in order to get your duplicate land registration document. These steps are: 

  • File a police complaint

A land registration document is a crucial document. If it gets lost, then you should file a complaint with the police. The owner of the house should only file this complaint. He should also explain the complaint and state that the original documents were lost, misplaced, or stolen. Keep the copy of the complaint filed as it may be used to obtain the duplicate land registration document. 

  • Give an advertisement in the newspaper

Like with all lost things, one should publicize that a land registration document is lost and give the return address in the advertisement. If, within a certain time, no one comes forward to return the document, then you can proceed to the next step. 

  • Make an Application for the Certified Copy of the Land Registration Document

You will have to obtain a Form 22 application, either online or from the sub-registrar’s office. Fill this form and submit it with the sub-registrar to obtain a duplicate land registration document. If the document you have lost/misplaced is a patta record, you also have to apply it to the revenue office. 

  • A duplicate copy of the Land Registration Document

Once you have applied to receive the certified copy of the document, you need to pay a certain fee to the relevant department. After the fee has been paid, a duplicate copy of your land registration document shall be issued. Many would think that what if I had a photocopy, could I use that? The answer is no! You should always try to get a legally certified copy of the document which is lost. A land registration record is proof of ownership, and hence, you should always follow the due procedure of obtaining a duplicate copy of the land registration. 

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Documents Required to Obtain Duplicate Land Registration Copy

When you apply for a duplicate land registration copy, you should also accompany your application with certain documents. These documents are: 

  • Copy of FIR: As a first step, you should always file a complaint with the police. Keep the copy of the complaint with you and attach it with the application you file before the sub-registrar to get a duplicate copy of your land registration document. 

  • Copy of newspaper advertisement: You should also attach a copy of the advertisement you published in the newspaper along with your application form. This would enable the sub-registrar to know that you still have not found the lost/misplaced document despite trying. 

  • Copy of share certificates issued: Typically, you are given share certificates when you buy a piece of land. Keep them secure and attach copies of them when applying for a certified duplicate copy of land registration. 

  • Notarized undertaking: A notarized undertaking should also be given along with the application form. 

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Obtaining a duplicate copy of the land registration document should not be a harrowing experience if you know all the right steps to take. Remember to keep all your documents in order before applying for a certified duplicate copy of the land registration record.

All you wanted to know about Online House Registration
Property

All you wanted to know about Online House Registration

If you have bought or otherwise acquired a house, this transaction needs to be registered. House registration is necessary for two reasons: 

  1. Every State maintains land records. The land record of every piece of land records the persons who have rights over that land. Hence, the land record for your house will reflect who has ownership over that house. For instance, if you are the owner, then it will mention you as the owner; if you have an easement over the land, then it will mention you as an easement-holder, and so on. 

  2. Unless you have inherited the house, the transaction by which you have acquired the house will not take effect until the transfer deed is registered. If this is the case, you need to register the house to acquire legal rights over it in the first place. 

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House Registration Process

You will have to register your house with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances, who has jurisdiction over the locality in which your house is located. 

Most states now allow some steps of house registration online. Depending on your State, a house registry online will be available for some (but not all) house registration procedure steps. For the remaining step[s] of the online house registry, you will need to visit the Sub-Registrar’s Office. Even in states which allow the maximum number of steps online, you have to make a single visit to the Sub-Registrar’s office.

The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Book an appointment. You will get an appointment letter. 

  2. Pay the prescribed registration fees. You will get a receipt for the fees paid. 

  3. Present/Upload a copy of the transfer deed (the legal document by which you acquired the property, such as a Sale Agreement) and the identity proofs of the parties and witnesses. 

  4. The parties, and the witnesses, have to be physically present at the Sub-Registrar’s office at the date, and time, mentioned in the appointment letter. If all documents are in order, the Sub-Registrar will register the deed and return the original deed with the deed's registration number mentioned on it. 

Depending on your State, Steps 1, 2, or 3 can be done online. However, in every State, for Step 4, the parties and the witnesses must be present. 

The online house registration procedure for a rented house is the same as the online house registration procedure for any other house. 

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Online House Registration Check List

This online house registry checklist will help you ensure that all the requirements of the house registration procedure fulfilled: 

  1. Ensure that the transfer deed (the legal document by which you have acquired your house, such as a Sale Deed, a Gift Deed, etc.) is, in writing, signed by the parties, attested by at least two independent witnesses, and executed on stamp paper of value equal to the stamp duty payable on the transaction. 

  2. Pay the registration fees, and take a receipt. If your State allows this step to be done online, carry the receipt with you when you visit the Sub-Registrar’s office. 

  3. Some states may require you to present a true copy of the transfer deed. The Registration Rules of your State will specify this and tell you how to make a true copy (if a true copy is required).

  4. If this step is allowed to be done online in your State, upload copies of photographs, and identity proofs, of the parties and the attesting witnesses. In any case, carry copies, and originals, of all these documents at the time of visiting the Sub-Registrar’s office. 

  5. Ensure that all the parties and the attesting witnesses are present at the Sub-Registrar’s office on the appointment date and time. 

  6. The original transfer deed will be returned to you. If registration has been successfully done, ensure that the registration number is mentioned on the original deed with the Sub-Registrar's seal and signature

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