Documents To Check To Avoid Property Fraud

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With our lifetime savings, we all plan to buy our dream home. While the cost of the property and the means to fund it are important, it is equally critical that you don’t end up becoming the victim of a fraud. Hence, it is essential to know which documents need to be checked when you buy a property.

Sale deed

This is the core legal document, a proof of sale as well as the transfer of ownership from the seller to you. A sale deed should be registered, apart from ensuring that the property has a clear title.

Mother deed

This is the parent legal document which helps trace the antecedent ownership of the property. You will need this document to sell your property in future. One has to ensure that the mother deed has recorded the references to previous ownerships in a continuing sequence until the current owner.

Approval plan of your building

A property owner must obtain an approval plan either from the jurisdictional commissioner or any other officer authorised by the commissioner. To obtain a building approval plan, one has to submit the following documents. These include:

Title deed

City/panchayat survey sketch

Latest tax receipts

Foundation certificate

Land-use certificate

Property assessment extract

Property PID number

Earlier sanctioned plans

Drawings of the property

Conversion certificate

As a large part of the land in India is still farmland. This is why revenue authorities issue a conversion certificate, stating the change in land use from agricultural to housing. A no-objection certificate should be obtained from the tehsildar’s office for this conversion.

Encumbrance certificate

This means a change in the ownership on property that has been held against a home loan. In other words, this document will give you proof of mortgages, title transfers or any legally registered transaction against your property.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney is a document that legally given an authority to an individual to rent, sell or mortgage the property on his behalf. But, this document, too, should be registered.

Tax receipts

Take a detailed look at all the receipts to ensure that taxes have been paid until the date of sale. Ask for the latest original receipts in order to establish the credentials of the owner. If your seller does not have the tax receipts, you can contact the municipal body by using survey number of the property in order to confirm the ownership. Other regular bills such as water and electricity bills should also be checked.

Completion certificate

A completion certificate by municipal authorities states that a building is in compliance with the rules and is built according to approved plans.

Occupancy certificate

To ensure that the building is meeting all the required norms, an inspection will be performed by the authorities when the developer applies for this certificate. In a nutshell, the certificate certifies that the project is ready for occupancy.

It is important to hire a lawyer who will vet all these documents and guide you through the process.

Examining A Muslim Woman’s Right To Property

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muslim-women

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution mandates equality among all its citizens. With the interesting interplay of socio-legal forces, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in India are governed by their respective personal laws – which includes property rights as well. As Muslims in the country do not have codified property rights, broadly speaking, there are governed by either of the two schools under the Muslim law – the Hanafi and the Shia. In India, a large number of Muslims are Hanafis or Sunnis. While the Hanafi school recognises only those relatives as heirs whose relation to the deceased is through a male. This includes son’s daughter, son’s son and father’s mother. The Shia school, on the other hand, favours no such discrimination. This means that heirs, who are related to the deceased through a female are also accepted.

A few general rules of inheritance for women are:

The daughter

Under the Muslim law, the laws of inheritance are rather strict. In keeping with its ideology that a woman is half the worth of a man, a son takes double the share of a daughter. But the daughter is the absolute owner of whatever property she inherits. If there is no brother, she gets half a share. It is legally hers to manage, control, and to dispose off according to her wishes.

She is eligible to receive gifts from even from those she would inherit from. This is contradictory because she can inherit only one-third of the man’s share but can get gifts without any hassle.

Till a daughter is not married, she enjoys the right to stay in her parents’ house and seek maintenance. In case of a divorce, charge for maintenance reverts to her parental family after the iddat period (approximately three months) is over. But, if her children are in a position to support her, the responsibility falls on them.

The wife

In the famous Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court had held that in case of a divorce, it is the responsibility of the husband to make reasonable and fair provision to maintain his former wife even after separation under Section 3 (1Ha) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. This period extends beyond iddat as the woman retains control over her goods and properties.

In the event of the death of her husband, a widow gets the one-eighth share (when there are children) but will get one-fourth share (if there are no children). If there is more than one wife, the share may diminish to one-sixteenth.

The mother

A Muslim mother is entitled to inheritance from her children, if they are independent. She is eligible to inherit one-sixth of her dead child’s property if her son is a father as well. In the absence of grandchildren, she would get the one-third share.

What more?

There are other provisions, too, in the law which ensure financial security of a Muslim woman.

 The maher (entitlement)

This is the total money or property that a wife is entitled to get from her husband at the time of marriage. There are two types of maher: prompt and deferred. In the former case, the amount is given to the wife immediately after marriage; in the later, the amount is given to the wife when her marriage has ended, either upon the death of her husband or by divorce.

The wasiyat (will)

A Muslim cannot give away more than one third of his/her total property through a will. In circumstances where there are no heirs in the estate as prescribed by law, the wife may inherit a greater amount by will.

The hiba (gift)

Under the Muslim law, any type of property may be given as a gift. For a gift to be valid, a declaration of the wish to make the gift must be made which should be accepted by the receiver.

Tips – Verify Your Flat Purchase Documents Without a Lawyer

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Tips - Verify Your Flat Purchase Documents Without a Lawyer
Tips - Verify Your Flat Purchase Documents Without a Lawyer

Due diligence and awareness of your rights can certainly protect you against unscrupulous practices by developers. In an industry that still lacks transparency, it is best to physically inspects all documents before buying any property. First and foremost, drafting a sale agreement should be done with the utmost care. A property buyer should fully understand its contents; if necessary recruit a lawyer, and make a clear note of all the deliverables the developer has agreed to.

Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of JLL India, cautions that “Developer’s sales teams will usually present a buyer with a readymade agreement, and a buyer must ensure that this captures every relevant detail.” He continues, “If it does not, the buyer is fully entitled to ask for missing details to be included and potential grey areas to be clarified. A copy of the final agreement must be retained under any circumstances, as this will serve as the primary evidence in a legal action filed for agreement violations.”

Here is what you need to watch out for when checking purchase documents:

1. Personal details

The agreement must capture the seller’s complete details. This includes father’s name, address, PAN number and bank account information. It must also provide exact details of the property’s location and municipal, tehsil (administrative division) or collector’s land record number. The agreement ought to be witnessed by two people, each from the buyer’s and seller’s side.

2. Title documents

“The seller must confirm the authenticity of the title documents and ownership transfer in the agreement,” explains Puri. “He must also state clearly that the transfer and handing over of possession, is happening in a legal and fully-attested manner. The agreement must reflect the fact that all dues related to the property, have been cleared up to the date of transfer.” Further, the agreement must fully indemnify the buyer from any disputes related to title and possession of the property.

3. Date of possession

“The date of possession of a flat is important to the purchaser, for the purpose of transfer of the flat from the builder. It is the date on which the purchaser is to get possession of the premises and binds the developer to hand over possession by the date set out in the agreement. If possession is not given by such date, the purchaser has a right to sue,” informs Anirudh Hariani, solicitor of Hariani and Company.

The ‘time of essence’ clause in an agreement lays down the contractual deadlines for the parties to perform their due obligations.

4. Payment schedule

“The clause which sets out the payment schedule, lays down the total amount to be paid and the time frame within which it is to be paid,” details Hariani. “In cases where the payment is made in instalments, the payment schedule specifies details of each instalment. This helps avoids any ambiguities which may arise in the future,” points out Hariani. The agreement must provide complete payment details by the buyer, including that of the mortgage, if any.

5. Termination

The termination clause defines the consequences imposed on the parties in case of deviation from the code of conduct expected to be adhered by them. The agreement may contain either a ‘termination by convenience’ clause where either party can end the agreement.

6. Dispute resolution

The dispute resolution clause sets out the mechanism by which the parties can resolve their disputes. This is alternative to settling the matter through litigation. Besides this, other processes used to settle commercial contracts include adjudication and mediation.

7. Amenities

The amenities clause helps the purchaser know the additional benefits he will be entitled to and mentions the supplementary amount towards maintenance charges. In case of any default on the amenities sought to be provided, the purchaser may consider it as a breach of contract.

8. Penalty

A penalty clause should be incorporated in the purchase agreement, clearly specifying milestones and the penalties in case of failure from both, seller and buyer.

Finally, registering a legal purchase agreement, is of benefit to the buyer, since it offers protection from legal complications at any stage of ownership or eventual resale. No change can be made once the purchase agreement is drafted and registered. If any change needs to be made, the consent of the buyer must be obtained and an addendum will be made in the agreement.

Can Adopted Child Claim Right In Biological Father’s Property?

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Can Adopted Child Claim Right In Biological Father’s Property?

Mumbai-resident Nandgopal Radhakrishnan had three sons, Nikhil, Anay and Vivek and a daughter, Manjula. Since his best friend Ashok Kumar was childless, he decided to give his eldest son Nikhil in adoption. In the course of time, Radhakrishnan’s two sons passed away and he married off his daughter.

When it was time for Radhakrishnan to give his moveable and immoveable assets to his only daughter, Nikhil threw spanner in the works to claim his share. He filed a partition suit but lost the case. MakaaniQ tells you why Nikhil’s contention didn’t hold much water.

According to Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, after adoption, the adopted son/daughter lose all the rights of a son/daughter in their biological family, including the right to claim any share in the estate of the biological father or relations, or any stake in the coparcenary property. The only exception where an adopted child is not entitled to the full rights of a biological child in the adoptive family were if he/she was adopted by a disqualified heir.

The child is entitled to inherit from his adoptive father and other lineal descendants, like a biological heir. At the same time, the adoptive father and his relations too are entitled to inherit from the adopted boy. A child can only be adopted if he/she is Hindu, not previously adopted, unmarried and has not turned fifteen yet.

The property rights of an adopted son/daughter are limited only to inherit the property of his/her adoptive parents. But, at the same time, if the natural parents want to give their property to their natural child, they may do it by way of gift or will.
Thus, it can be inferred that for all intents and purposes, the adopted child is treated like a biological child into the family into which he/she has been adopted and is considered the descendant of the family.

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