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.
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When is a Possession Certificate Issued?
A Possession Certificate can be issued, either by a private person or the government:
- 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.
- 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:
- An extract of the land record, or a property deed, which proves the title of the builder over the land in question.
- 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:
- Conveyance Deed, the document by which the builder has transferred their rights over the land in question to you.
- 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:
- Your identity (name and address) proofs.
- 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.
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