Property

Know About Inheritance Rights in India

Soumya Shekhar
Soumya Shekhar 03 min read 1201 Views
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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. 

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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. 

Those who read this Article also Consulted a Lawyer about Property inheritance process. 

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.

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Power of Attorney in India for Selling Property
Property

Power of Attorney in India for Selling Property

NRIs use Power of Attorney (‘POA’) as an instrument to appoint an agent/attorney to help them sell their properties in India. NRIs find it difficult to come to India and sell their property, and hence, the concept of a power of attorney exists. A power of attorney authorizes its holder to enter into transactions and take decisions on behalf of the actual owner of the property. 

Special Power of Attorney for Purchase of Property: India Format

You can find the format of a power of attorney here,. You should draft a POA on a green stamp/bond paper or a non-judicial stamp paper of INR 100. The NRI should authorise the power of attorney himself and the Indian Consulate in the country of residence. Once authorised, the NRI should send a power of attorney to the sub-registrar’s office and relevant witnesses, identity proofs, and photograph copies.

You should include certain clauses in a PoA to ensure that no loopholes could pose a threat to the NRI/owner/principal in case of a dispute. Some of these clauses are:

  • Full details of the parties, including relevant information such as name, age, address, occupation, etc.

  • The reason for entering into this agreement (sale or purchase of property by the NRI in India)

  • Termination clause to ensure that the power is not misused beyond the fulfillment of the objective of this agreement.

  • The clarity in the specific powers granted to the agent and the attached responsibility.

Power of Attorney by NRI to Buy Property in India

NRIs often purchase property in India for investment purposes or to have a visiting home/holiday home. However, most NRIs do not have the time to come to India to execute the Sale Deed/Agreement for Sale transaction. Therefore, a power of attorney for purchase of property by an NRI facilitates sale transactions legally. Moreover, NRIs would require a special power of attorney to execute a transaction. Through a general power of attorney, no NRI would be able to sell or purchase property in India. 

A special power of attorney gives an agent the power to act on behalf of the principal (NRI) for a specific matter, including but not limited to taking legal or financial decisions. 

To have an effective POA for the purchase of property, an NRI must sign the POA agreement in the presence of a consulate officer or Notary in the country of residence. Further, such consulate officers must attest to the agreement for it to be valid. The NRI should register the POA under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, to make it valid and enforceable in India.

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Power of Attorney to Sell Property in India

Power of attorney to sell property in India also requires authorization from the country of residence. Let us examine a few countries of residence and the procedures related to power of attorney therein.

Australia:

An NRI must book an appointment with a Notary in Australia where the NRI and two witnesses and the Notary officer would sign the POAon a green stamped or bond paper. 

After notarizing the POA, you would send it to the Indian Consulate, who would stamp it with an Apostille by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and then send it back to India to the appropriate authority duty charges prescribed by the local government.

Then, you can register the agreement, and the transaction can legally take place.

UK:

There is a 3-step process when an NRI from the UK wishes to purchase or sell property in India. 

Firstly, an attorney from India must draft the POA according to the needs of both parties and according to the applicable laws (ICA, 1872, or RERA, 2016, etc.) in India.

Secondly, the POA must be sent to the place of residence, i.e., the UK, where you can get it notarized by a Notary Public for a charge between 20 to 100 pounds. The concerned NRI, along with two witnesses and the Notary, will have to sign the document. After notarization, the Indian Consulate, located at the Indian High Commission, London, would attest the same. 

Thirdly, the document can be sent to the attorney in India where registration happens, and the transaction can legally take place.

USA:

There is a 3-step process when an NRI from the US wishes to purchase or sell property in India.

Firstly, an attorney from India must draft the POA, and the NRI and two witnesses should sign this agreement. The notarization of the document should be done in the presence of a Notary Public. Further, it must be sent to the Indian Consulate for his/her signature. An appropriate fee would be charged for attestation, notarization, etc.

Secondly, the POA must be sent to the Secretary of State for an apostille from the Department of State, Authentications Office, which will use the Seal of the US Department of State to authorize the document's validity will be sent overseas.

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Thirdly, the agreement shall be sent to the attorney in India for the legal execution of the transaction.

The POA is a powerful document and must be drafted between two parties that trust each other. The agent must be selected with caution as the agreement would transfer significant power to decide the owner/principal to the agent. A poorly drafted agreement that does not consider the risks involved (such as consideration, percentage of share between co-owners, obligations of agents, the role of decision making by an agent, etc.) would cause litigation which would severely affect the parties.

Permission for Sale of Minor Property
Property

Permission for Sale of Minor Property

The Indian Majority Act, 1875 specifies the age of majority in India. The Act states that the age of the majority in India is “18 years,” and any individual living in India who is below the age of 18 years is a minor. Minors cannot enter into contracts until and unless their guardians enter into contracts on their behalf. Let us find out how one gets permission to sell a minor’s property. 

 

Can a Guardian Sell Property?

 

 

Section 8 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 identifies the powers of a natural guardian or legal guardian. Clause (1) states that the natural guardian has all the power to do any act necessary, or reasonable, or proper in the eyes of the law for the sole purpose of such an Act is beneficial to the minor that it shall protect the minor or minor’s estate. 

 

 

Therefore, it is clear from the above provision that a natural guardian can sell the minor’s property (the Act) for the sole purpose of benefiting the minor.

 

 

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Can a Guardian Sell Minor’s Property?

 

 

The Supreme Court in Saroj v. Sunder Singh & Ors. held that a guardian cannot sell a minor’s share in the property without the permission of the appropriate Court. Furthermore, section 8(2) of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 states that minors’ immovable property cannot be mortgaged, charged, or transferred by sale, gift, exchange, or in any other mode without the previous permission of the Court.

 

 

Further, Section 8(3) states that if any natural guardian disposes of any immovable property in contravention to clause (2) of Section 8, then such a sale would be voidable at the option of the minor. However, the said minor can challenge such a sale only within the limitation period, which shall begin running against them after they attain the majority.

 

 

Further, suppose a minor, after attaining majority, wishes to set aside the sale deed as such property belonged to the minor. In that case, such a suit must be filed within the limitation period prescribed under Article 60 of the Limitation Act, i.e, 3 years after attaining majority. 

 

 

Can a Minor Purchase Property?

 

 

For a minor to purchase property in India, he or she must enter into a valid contract of purchase and sale of such property. This agreement is known as an ‘Agreement of Sale’. Every agreement shall be a valid contract in India if it fulfils the criteria under Section 10 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Further, Section 11 highlights competent to be a valid party in any valid contract in India.

 

 

Section 11 states that every person of the age of majority will be competent to enter into a contract if they are not barred by other conditions mentioned in the section. Therefore, a minor, i.e, anyone who is not of the age of majority (18 years), will not be competent to enter into a contract. Any agreement entered into by a minor will be void ab initio (void from the beginning) the eyes of the law. 

 

 

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The provisions under the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, especially section 6 and 7 of the Act do not bar a minor from contracting. However, from the conjoint reading of the above two Acts, it can be deduced that a minor can be a valid transferee and receive property. 

 

 

A minor can acquire property through the hands of either his/her natural guardian (mother or father) or through a guardian appointed by the appropriate Court in the absence of such natural guardian. In such a case of acquisition, the purchase of property would be valid. 

 

 

After valid purchase, the natural guardian can register the property in the name of the minor under Section 35 of the Registration Act, 1908. However, the execution of such registration shall take place before the appropriate Court’s permission after satisfaction that the property acquired was legal and valid.

 

 

A minor can acquire a property by way of gift also. Here, there is no need for the intervention of the law, Court, or guardians of the minor. The reason for the same being that in case of a gift, acceptance by the donee is the only required to make it effective.

 

 

Lastly, a minor can acquire property using inheritance, be it intestate or by way of a will. In case of ancestral property of a Joint Hindu Family, the minor (both son and daughter, since 2005) will receive an equal share in the capacity of a coparcener after the death of the last holder of the property.

 

 

Hence, a minor, though not competent to enter into a contract can sell property through his guardians. A minor can also receive property through the means listed out above.

 

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying A House
Property

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying A House

Buying a house is one of the most crucial decisions for people in India. In India, investments in real estate and property are a luxury. A person buying a house may need to give up their entire life savings. Or, they end up being burdened with hefty home loans.

 

An investment in buying a house is not something you can easily alter or rectify. Therefore, you must keep in mind a few essentials. This way, you can avoid getting deceived and losing your hard-earned money. Also, what would happen if you did not desire such a house in the first place?

 

Your Budget

 

The first thing you should focus on is your budget. The easy availability of home loans has made people push their budgets. Instead, you should be mindful of setting up a budget to have no unwanted financial crisis in the future.

 

After setting up your budget, you can move to shortlist the available properties. Shortlisting the best possible property will be perhaps the most important task for you. Many key factors lead you to your ideal property. Factors such as availability and supply of key amenities like power and water supply, the infrastructure of the area, and the seller's goodwill are of prime importance.

 

Home Loan Eligibility

 

Secondly, look into your eligibility for a home loan. There are various factors that reduce your eligibility for a home loan. Before financing the loan, the financing agencies will look into your credit score. This determines your repayment capacity, existing loans, income, and age.

 

Many financing agencies provide a home loan calculator on their websites. You can use them to check your eligibility. Banks and financing institutions are also concerned with the reputation and goodwill of the builders. If they are not satisfied with the builder, they will not process the loan.

 

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Verification of Documents

 

People usually rely on their brokers to verify the documents related to the property. This is a bad practice because you can be misled by your broker (either intentionally or unintentionally). Therefore, verifying the property document yourself is important.

 

You should conduct the necessary due diligence in verifying the title documents of the property. Documents such as any government order for grant, gift or sale deed, succession certificate, etc. will form the evidence for transfer of the property over the years. Therefore, understanding the nature of the title is also important.

 

Background Check of the Seller

 

While buying a property, you cannot overlook the identity of the seller. While buying a property, people are often interested in just the property. So, verifying the credentials of the seller is not a top priority. But, you must look into the authenticity of the seller. E.g., Check whether the seller has government authorization to sell the property.

 

In the case of joint property, identify all the owners involved. Identifying whether the seller is a company, firm, partnership firm, etc., is essential to confirm their authority to own and transfer the property. Verify all the documents that ascertain the seller's identity (Aadhar Card, PAN details, Income Tax returns, etc.).

 

Awareness about the type of Land

 

Be aware of the land use pattern. Many state laws in the country prohibit the purchase of agricultural property by non-agriculturists. However, with increasing urbanisation in the country, non-agricultural land use is at an all-time high. As a buyer, be aware about the master plan of the project and ensure that the property is being developed per the zoning plan.

 

RERA compliance

 

Don't overlook RERA compliance while buying any property. You should only engage with those projects which are registered under RERA. Make sure that all the essential provisions under RERA are adhered to.

 

Moreover, try to find dig-up any cases or complaints filed against the developer on the official web portal of RERA (each state has its website). Along with the developers, real estate brokers should also be registered with their respective state RERA. Therefore, only appoint a broker after verifying their RERA registration number.

 

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Property Insurance

 

Property insurance or home insurance is indispensable. Insurance will cover your expenses in case of any damage or loss. Moreover, it will also protect you from any third-party liability arising from any sort of injury faced by such a third-party on your property. Home insurance minimizes the financial burden in such cases.

 

Ideal home insurance will also be applicable on the contents of your property, which includes: electronic appliances, furniture, and even jewellery. You can claim such insurance even if there is any theft or robbery. Therefore, you should insure your property as it provides economical protection and covers potential risks.

 

Physical Survey

 

A physical survey of the project site is of equal necessity. In today's era, you can be fascinated and influenced by the advertisements surrounding you. However, more often than not, these advertisements lead to misconceptions about the project.

 

Therefore, make it a point to mandatorily visit the project site before proceeding with the purchase. You should verify the basics, like the exact extent and measurement of the property. In the case of the Land on which the property is built, you should identify and demarcate the boundaries.

 

Conclusion

 

Those mentioned above are just a few basic due diligence methods. You must understand that the points mentioned in this article are by no means an exhaustive list. You, as a buyer, should conduct an elaborate due diligence process to ensure that your investment is viable.

Ways To Resolve Property Disputes In India
Property

Ways To Resolve Property Disputes In India

Ways To Resolve Property Disputes In India

One of the most common legal disputes in India is property disputes. Property disputes related to property division, property ownership, sale and purchase of property, and other similar concerns. Property disputes among family members, especially brothers, are a common sight in India. In the absence of awareness about the settlement of disputes, most property disputes end up in courts. Lack of proper title documents and court delays often prolong property disputes. Through this article, we shall explore the various aspects of property disputes in India.

 

Property Disputes in India

India has a large number of pending property disputes. Property disputes can arise among family members and sellers/purchasers of land, and even landlords and tenants. Laws that govern inheritance are applied when property disputes occur among family members. The Act that governs property disputes in India is the Transfer of Property Act. This Act governs the transfer of property in India and forms the legal basis for determining and resolving disputes. While the moveable property is also subject to contention, most of the property disputes in India are related to immovable property such as land or a house.

 

Many case laws have been passed deciding the contours of property law in India. The holding of such case laws is often important in determining and resolving property disputes in India. One such landmark decision was Vineet Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma, where the daughters were given the right to property as a coparcener for the first time. This clear laying down of the law became the basis for many pending disputes wherein sisters claimed a right in the property and the brothers did not agree to the same.

 

Similarly, in Poona Ram v. Moti Ram, the Supreme Court was of the view that settled and established possession of land is required for possession to qualify as ownership.

The courts, through numerous decisions, have laid down the defining features of property law in India.

 

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How to Resolve Property Disputes in India

In India, there are two ways through which you can resolve property disputes:

  1. Settlement
  2. Litigation

 

Settlement:

You can choose to resolve your property dispute through settlement if family members are involved in the property dispute. The settlement involves all the stakeholders sitting across the table and mutually deciding how the assets/property would be divided. This involves the division of not only immovable property but also moveable property such as jewellery. Sometimes, families bring in a neutral third party to maintain discipline during the process. Such a neutral third party can help the parties arrive at a mutually beneficial outcome. Once a mutual division is agreed upon by the family members, you should draw up a settlement agreement. All family members should sign this settlement agreement.

Settlement saves the costs of hiring a lawyer and court expenses. If possible, in the first instance, it is always preferable to resolve through a settlement. If a settlement is not possible or if settlement fails, then you can approach the courts.

 

Litigation:

Litigation is nothing but approaching the courts to resolve property disputes. This involves lawyers, court costs, and, more often than not substantial amount of delay. Typically unrelated parties resort to litigation in the first instance. Litigation involves court processes and procedures and may take a long time to resolve the dispute. Go for litigation only if you have all the documents, including the title deed, and your lawyer advises you that you have a strong chance to win. Sometimes courts order the parties to settle outside court. This is a court-monitored settlement.

 

Property Disputes Among Brothers

Property disputes among brothers are one of the most common property disputes in India. In India, the conception exists that it is the male child that inherits the property. But the problem arises when there are two or more two male children. Brothers often squabble among themselves regarding property division, especially if the parents have not left a will. Such disputes are resolved by applying the applicable inheritance and succession laws.

Property disputes in India account for more than half of the pending caseload. Property laws and case laws around them govern property disputes. Despite having clear-cut laws, such disputes go on for years. Land being a valuable asset in India, the scope of disputes arising is more. Hence, you should always have drafted agreements before you enter into any property transaction. Write and register wills in your life so that your children do not engage in property disputes. Paperwork always reduces ambiguity and hence the chances of disputes.

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Understanding RERA and How to File a Complaint under RERA
Property

Understanding RERA and How to File a Complaint under RERA

For a long time, the real estate sector had no regulation. If the consumers faced delays, there was no recourse. Most buyers were at the mercy of the builders as court cases would drag on for long. With the coming of RERA, a proper complaint mechanism has come into existence. Let us see how one can file complaints under RERA.

 

RERA Complaint Against Builder

RERA imposes certain obligations on the builder or the developer. As a homebuyer, you have certain rights under RERA. If the builder fails to discharge his obligations or violates your rights, then you can file a complaint against the builder. Under RERA, a homebuyer can, in addition to the builder, file a complaint against the following: 

  • Promoter

  • Real estate agent

  • Contractor

  • Intermediary

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If any of the above are found guilty of contravening the RERA, they would have to pay heavy penalties. Key penalties in the RERA are: 

  • Non-registration with RERA attracts a heavy penalty of up to 10% of the project's estimated cost or imprisonment up to 3 years. Sometimes, RERA may impose both imprisonment and a fine. 

  • Furnishing false information also attracts 5% of the estimated cost of construction as a penalty. 

Hence, heavy penalties may be imposed on the builder, promoter, real estate agent, etc., if they are in non-compliance with the RERA. 

 

RERA Complaint Registration

A homebuyer should have the following details if they wish to register a complaint against the builder: 

  • Details such as name, address etc. 

  • Registration number of the project and the address where it is situated. 

  • The response of the builder. 

  • The relief the homebuyer is requesting.

A buyer may file a complaint with the RERA Authority for any violation or contravention of the provisions of the RERA Act by a builder, developer, promoter or real estate agent. Conditions under which a buyer can file a RERA complaint include:

  • Delay in Possession: If a builder delays delivery of possession of the property, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder to get immediate delivery of possession or get a full refund along with interest.

  • False Advertisement: A complaint can be filed against the developer, promoter, and even the endorsers if false advertisements misled a buyer based on which he/she decided to deposit a sum with the promoter.

  • Advance Payment: A builder can ask for only up to 10% of the cost of the building, apartment, or plot as advance payment. If a builder asks for more than 10%, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder.

  • Improper Registration of a Project: All projects must be registered under RERA. If a builder has sold or is trying to sell an unregistered project, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder.

  • No details about the Project: All details regarding the project including project plan, layout, and government approvals need to be updated on the RERA website. One can file a complaint if a builder or developer doesn't adhere to this provision.

  • Structural Defects: In case of any structural defects in the workmanship and quality of the services, the promoter will have to compensate the amount paid by the allottee. If not compensated, the buyer can file a complaint.

  • Ownership Transfer: A promoter cannot transfer majority rights to any third party. In case he/she is found transferring majority rights to a third party without the consent of the two-third majority of allottees, one can file a complaint.

Typically, a homebuyer has to file a RERA complaint form along with the requisite fee to register his/her complaint. You can follow the given steps to file a complaint under RERA:

  • You can file a RERA complaint form along with the requisite documents and the fee before a RERA or an adjudicating officer. 

  • Once the authorities receive the complaint, they constitute an inquiry bench to hear both the parties involved. 

  • The matter is typically settled within 60 days of the filing of the complaint. 

 

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RERA Online Complaint filing

Many states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka now provide online complaint filing under RERA. The method of filing an online complaint almost remains the same in most states. However, the procedure, applicable fees are different.

To register a RERA complaint online in Gujarat, a complainant must comply with the following steps:

  • Go to the Gujarat RERA portal. On the home page, there will be a link for complaint registration.

  • Once you click on the link, you will be redirected to another page to provide relevant details of the complaint. These details are the same that one would provide in a physical complaint.

  • After filling in the personal details like name, address, contact details, etc., there will be an option for the complainant to attach supporting documents.

  • The complainant must pay a registration fee of Rs. 1000 to be able to submit the complaint. One can avail of any net banking or mobile banking facility for payment. After payment, one has to click the Submit button to successfully register the complaint.

In order to register a RERA complaint online in Maharashtra, a complainant must comply with the following steps:

  • Go to the Maharashtra RERA portal. On the home page, click on the Online Application Menu.

  • One must first log in to be able to access the online complaint form. Therefore, the complainant must create a new registration with an appropriate username and password.

  • Once registration is completed, the complainant must file his/her personal information to proceed with the complaint.

  • After providing relevant personal details, the complainant should find and select Add New Complaints. Here, the complainant would be able to fill in relevant details of the complaint.

  • The complainant must pay a registration fee of Rs. Five thousand to be able to successfully submit the complaint.

For all online portal complaints, once a complaint is successfully registered, both the parties would be called to express their facts and figures surrounding the dispute. The RERA will listen to both parties and will give a verdict on the merits of the case.

The aggrieved party would be given the option to challenge RERA's decision if they are not satisfied with such an order. The aggrieved party must challenge RERA's decision before the High Court.

Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Selling Your House
Property

Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Selling Your House

Selling anything is a tedious task, let alone selling a house. What are the requisite documents for sale? What is the correct procedure? Are there any risks involved in the process? If one does not have answers to such questions, selling a house can become an ugly affair.

 

Law relating to Sale of Houses

Houses are a tangible piece of immovable property. The main legislation which governs the sale and transfer of property in India is the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (hereafter referred to as "TPA"). Chapter III of TPA deals with the sale of immovable property.

  • Sections 54 and 55 of the TPA are of enormous relevance in our context. Let us discuss the crux of these provisions under the following headings:

 

Rights and Liabilities of the Seller - Section 55 of TPA

There are several rights and liabilities mentioned for both the buyer and seller. There are rights and duties regarding the seller, before and after selling his/her property. Let us discuss them under the following headings:

 

Before Sale of Property

The duties of a seller before selling his/her property are as follows:

  • Disclosing any defects in the property to the buyer.
  • Producing before the buyer, on their demand, all the legal documents as to the seller's property title.
  • Answering all the buyer's questions about the property.
  • Taking care of the property and all the relevant documents in the period between the date of contract and the date of delivery of the property.
  • Paying all the rents, government fees, dues, etc., up to the date of sale of the property.

 

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After-Sale of Property

There are a few duties of the seller after the sale of the property. They are as follows:

  • The seller is bound to deliver the possession of the property after the sale to the buyer.
  • Through the contract with the buyer, the seller's interest has professed to transfer to the buyer will exist, and the buyer will have the right to transfer the same.
  • If all of the purchase money has been paid by the buyer, the seller is bound to deliver all documents of title relating to the property in the seller's possession.

 

Documents required for selling your house

As already mentioned above, under TPA, the seller is mandatorily required to produce all the relevant documentation before the buyer. A bunch of property-related disputes arises due to the lack of proper documentation. Thus, it is crucial from both the seller's and buyer's perspectives to give the requisite attention to the documentation of the deal.

  • The documents required for the selling of a tangible immovable property (such as a house), are as follows:
  • Letter of allotment: This is the document that conferred the allotment of the property which is in possession of the seller, who had purchased this property from a relevant society or authority.
  • Sale Deed: All the original sale deeds from the previous owners of the property who have handed it down to the current owner (the seller). This helps in tracing the property title chain. The seller should have an original sale deed. It is compulsory under the law that the seller needs to have all the previous agreements.
  • Sanctioned Plan:  The seller also needs to have the approved building plan and occupation certificate by the local municipal authority or any other competent authority.
  • Society Documents: The seller must seek the permission of the relevant competent authorities (development authority or society) before selling the house. For example, if the seller lives in a gated community, then he/she must obtain a NOC (no-objection certificate) from the housing society or governing body.
  • Encumbrance certificate: This certificate is required as an indication of free title. This is because while buying a house or apartment, the buyer wants to ascertain no legal dues.
  • Sale Agreement: Lastly, but most importantly, after both the parties have arranged the documentation, the terms and conditions for the agreement for selling the property can be laid down. This agreement shall be the blueprint and precede the execution of the sale deed and hence is extremely important.

 

The procedure of selling your house

We've already discussed the documentation process, one of the most important parts of the procedure. There are other practical and/or legal aspects to the procedure, which includes the following:

  • Valuation of Your house: Make a good estimate of the value of your house. For this purpose, you can either consult a real estate agent or self-assess the property by researching the prevailing market rate in the society or locality where your house is located.
  • Find a buyer: The next step is to find a person who is ready to buy your house.
  • Intimate your intentions to the governing body: As mentioned already, you must seek approval from the housing society where the house is located by getting a NOC.
  • Prepare the house: You can now stage your house for potential buyers to visit. For this purpose, ideally, you should vacate the house and do renovation or repair work on the same.
  • Finally, list the property: Now, you can finally list the property for sale on online platforms or seek the help of brokers who can help you find buyers.

 

People Also Read This: When seller is not signing your property transfer papers: Deemed Conveyance is your option

 

Conclusion

Every seller needs to know such intricacies before proceeding to sell their house. Unless the seller is well-informed regarding such details, they can be taken for a ride by the buyer. The whole idea is to avoid being in that position as a seller.

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