11 legal documents you need to check before buying a property

Sep , 8
11 legal documents you need to check before buying a property

In India, buying a home is a huge thing. Again investment in property is considered one of the most profitable and risk-free investments to be made in India. Needless to say, buying property forms a major part of our adult life dreams.

There are several factors that are required to be considered before making an investment, however, those are to be discussed some other time. In this blog, we will focus on the legal documents that are required to buy a property.


Often, the thunder of buying a property is so much that we miss out on checking on other important documents and factors. But make sure, you keep a clean head and check for the important documents to be in place before you open that champagne for celebrating. 


The 11 legal documents that you need to make sure is in place are as follows:

Title Deed: It should be kept in mind that nobody is allowed to sell property other than the rightful owner himself or herself. Therefore, before anything else, do check out the title deed and make sure that you are buying from the rightful owner. The title search of a property can take place at a Sub-Registrar’s office and the buyer is entitled to receive all the prior title documents of the property. The title should be free of any disputes over the ownership of the property.

 Encumbrance Certificate: It is also important to know if the property is free from encumbrances i.e. legalities. An Encumbrance Certificate allows the buyer to know the same. Like the title deed, the encumbrance certificate too can be searched in the  Sub-Registrar’s office. An encumbrance certificate or an EC would have a record of all the transactions done during a stipulated period of time over the property concerned, for which the EC is sought.

Master Plan: It is a common trick of the real estate agents these days to sell properties making tall claims that a shopping mall is coming nearby, or hospital, or transportation mode coming up. Before putting in your trust to such claims, study the plan of the area properly and make sure if it can at all see the light of the day. Ask for the master plan of the area to make your investigation of such matters.

House Plan Approval: This is even more important and should be investigated right after the title deed is whether your property is clear with the approval authorities. The building planning and the layout should be in accordance with the guidelines of the National Building Code of India. The layout also needs to be in accordance with the norms of GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment).

Agriculture to Non-Agricultural Land Conversion Certificate: The point must be taken into consideration that no agricultural land should be used to construct property for the residential purpose, if done so the property stands to be an illegal construction and soon be dragged into the legal hassles. Therefore, make it clear that the property you are planning to buy for residential purposes is not constructed over agricultural land. You can claim the Agricultural to Non-Agricultural Land Conversion Certificate in this case.

Land Use Certificate: Again it should be well born in mind that residential property constructed over commercial or industrial land (apart from agricultural land) is an illegal construction. Also, residential property bought for commercial use is also illegal. Be clear of what you are buying and where you are buying and for what purpose. Land Use certificate will help you with the knowledge in these matters.

No Objection Certificate: No objection certificates should be obtained wherever necessary. The seller should provide you with a copy of the urban non-ceiling no-objection certificate and NOCs for water, electricity etc. as well.

Commencement Certificate: This certificate is absolutely necessary before the commencement of any construction. This is issued by the town planning department after scrutinising the building layout, plan, superstructure etc.

Property Tax Receipts: Ask for the property tax receipts, make sure that before selling the previous owner has cleared all the property taxes up to the past three years.

Sale Deed: Sale Deed is one of the most important legal documents. It is proof that confirms that the property has been sold and the ownership of the property has been transferred from the seller to the purchaser. Make sure to register your sale deed compulsorily.

Khata Certificate/ Extract: This is the account of a seller or the owner of the property.  A Khata extract is essential for buying property. This is of prime importance for not only transferring property but also for the registration of the new property.

Apart from these above 11, you also need to ensure that other legal documents like Completion Certificate (CC), Occupancy Certificate (OC) are in place.

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