Nagpur: Almost all newspapers in the city are flooded with advertisements put up by real estate developers who are leaving no stone unturned to woo property buyers. Big and small real-estate players are resorting to home festival bonanza with discounts and gifts for buyers on the occasion of Gudhi Padwa. Chaitra Navratri or Gudhi Padwa is the occasion when people earnestly wish to purchase new house, flat or plot of land. However, to make the festive occasion a memorable one, many people get deceived and lose their hard-earned money to nasty designs of cunning real estate builders.
Nagpur Today, while extending its Gudhi Padwa greetings, appealing readers to be extremely cautious while purchasing house or flat or plot. Remember, there is an old proverb, “Precaution is better than cure”, which would be most appropriate when buying an immovable property.
Although there are several laws in place that protect a purchaser of property, self-help is the best help and one must do due diligence before buying property. The following list of precautions to be taken are not exhaustive, some of the important aspects one must look at are briefly as follows:
- Clear title to a property is one of the most important factors to be considered before purchase. At the time of buying a plot, verify who is the real owner. Whether the plot is registered in the name of owner or builder? If registered with builder then verify whether any agreement is signed with plot holder. The documents of title should be studied very carefully as any shortfall may lead to a defective title.
- It is seen that builders take loans for development of the plot. This fact shows the builder’s interest regarding the project. It is a positive sign for purchasing of this plot. A bank loan means a certain provision is made for development of plot. A bank scrutinises the relevant documents before extending loan. This fact reduces the chances of a fraud.
- A plot must be NA (Non-agriculture). But just NA won’t work. The reason for turning the plot as NA must be verified such as NA-commercial, NA-warehouse, NA-resort, NA-IT, and NA-residential. NA-residential only permits building of house or apartment. But still a scan of documents is must.
- Without knowing the FSI, purchase of plot is risky. Suppose the plot is of 2000 sq ft. If the FSI is 100 percent then only you can build house on 2000 sq ft. But if the FSI is 75 percent, a house can be built only on 1500 sq ft. To increase the FSI many run from pillar to post.
- Have a look at other projects of the plot seller. It will help you in knowing credibility of the builder as well as quality.
- At the time of making advance payment, make sure when the Registry will be done. Remember, a builder prepares agreement-to-sale at the time of advance payment but hesitates in preparing sale deed. This could be a tactic for pressuring the buyer and recovering more and more money. Therefore, make a decision for purchase of plot only after certainty of sale deed.
- It is also necessary to know whether the said plot could be registered with Land Record Department or not. The relevant information could be derived from concerned department such as Gram Panchayat, Nagar Parishad or Municipal Corporation. The official websites of Maharashtra Government provide a lot of information in this regard.
- It is also necessary to know whether annual levies could be charged on the said plot. The builder hides this fact from purchaser. Hefty maintenance amount is recovered at the time of Registry.
- Study whether the plot is on even or uneven land. A builder can sell a plot only when he evens the entire area of the land.
- Seeking information regarding water, electricity and road is must. Many times the builder constructs the main road but approach and exit roads are not built. The house owner has to pay for construction of approach road. It is the job of the builder to construct every road, water, electricity connections and sewage line as well. He takes money from the purchaser for this purpose.
Precautions at the time of flat purchase:
- A flat purchaser must decide for which purpose the property is being purchased – for staying or investment. If for staying, the many factors are to be carefully considered. For investment, a commercial space is the best option.
- The flat must be at suitable location for your convenience. What would be the status of the place in the coming days should be in mind.
- A reality check of the title is must. A con builder sells the same flat to many people. Money and trust is at stake. A demand for a clear title document is wise move. Verify the documents with Town Planning Department.
- Ascertain whether the builder has floated the housing scheme after duly sanctioned map and necessary permissions from concerned departments. Many illegal housing schemes are demolished by local administration. If the building is not built in accordance with sanctioned plans, the completion certificate will not be granted. For buildings that are complete, occupation certificate/completion certificate should be verified.
- Verify whether the builder has taken loan for the flat or entire scheme. Or else your entire life would be spent on repaying the loan. Extreme caution is warranted when purchasing of second hand flat.
- Make a decision to purchase flat in the scheme of reputed/trusted builder. Eventuality of a fraud is negligible at such scheme. Umpteen times, the builder never constructs flats but takes fat amounts from prospective buyers in advance by putting lucrative ads in newspapers. The end result is vanishing trick by the cunning builder.
- Don’t fall prey to deceitful advertisements. Most of the ads wooing the buyers with freebies or discounts are bogus.
- While inspecting the sample flat, ensure that the builder uses quality material and facilities at the genuine flats. A written assurance should be sought from the builder.
- Save yourself from “illegal” charges. A sly builder recovers a slew of charges such as club charges, parking, service tax and other such facilities.
- Ensure that the housing scheme being built on the land is not under dispute or for other scheme. For example, many builders erect their schemes on land reserved for adivasis. In such case, the purchaser pay the price.
- Purchase of a land is more complicated than purchase of a flat. Don’t take hasty decision.
- Ensure beforehand the basic facilities such as power and water at the plot.
- Proper documentation should be put in place for purchase of the property. The sale document should be properly stamped and registered and the original title deeds should be taken by the purchaser from the seller.
The alarm bells:
- If the seller is demanding entire amount in cash.
- No original documents of the property.
- Difference in signatures put on the documents.
- Property documents on plain paper.
- Seller is not present at the time of deal.
- Property is mortgaged or in court dispute.
- Defaulter in payments of Property Tax, electricity bill, water tax etc.
- Property in possession of other person apart from the seller.
Do you know:
- Photograph of property owner is must on Registry document.
- Both parties sign Registry documents in their presence.
- If a person sells property with the help of forged documents then he or she can be booked under Sections 467, 468, 471 of the IPC and prosecuted. A maximum of seven year jail is awarded in this case. Section 420 is slapped if the seller takes money in the deal done with the help of forged documents. The jail in the case is for seven years.