Precautions needed before purchasing a site - Deccan Herald
Precautions needed before purchasing a site - Deccan Herald
Precautions needed before purchasing a site
BY S SELVAKUMAR
Though apartment culture has captured Bangalore, the original Bangalorean still prefers an independent house. The old Bangalore was known for its bungalows, with vast open spaces, lawns and gardens. In present days, as the cost of land has sky rocketed, one can hardly afford to own a bungalow. Instead independent houses on smaller plots are preferred on the outskirts of the city.
Purchase of site is the beginning of construction of a house. Sites in the shape of perfect square, rectangle is suitable for good construction. Sites should be nearer to infrastructure and civic amenities like, school, hospitals, bus stops, recreation centres, milk booths etc.
Sites are of different types based on its formation, origin. Broadly, there are BDA sites, BMP sites, Housing Co-operative Society Sites, City Municipal Council sites, private layout sites, Converted sites and Gramathana sites, revenue sites, which are available. This article refers to purchase of sites, but not allotment of sites from BDA.
These are sites, which are in the layouts formed by Bangalore Development Authority or erstwhile city improvement Trust Board. The sites are allotted to eligible applicants. Legally, these sites are best, provided all documents are correctly scrutinised.
It is the development authorities, which pass the title of the site to the allottees. These development authorities follow prescribed legal procedure to acquire the lands from public, and form layouts, with all infrastructures like power, water, and roads.
Hardly there is any need to trace the title of property before acquisition. Documents that are required to be examined are allotment letter, possession certificate, payment receipts, absolute sale deed, Khatha Certificate, tax paid receipts and Encumbrance certificates.
Apart from these, in case of earlier allotments lease-cum-sale deeds need to be verified. The development authorities, previously were handing over the sites to allottees on lease cum sale basis, for a period of ten years, wherein allottees were not permitted to sell the sites during the lease period and has to construct a house within and period of three years. In such cases, allottees do not get absolute title over the property and their rights are only that of lessee.
The development authorities reserve powers to cancel the allotment and resume the sites if the allottee fails to comply with the terms of lease. In such cases purchase of such vacant sites is not recommended even though the stipulated lease period has expired, as the allottee is bound to construct the house within the stipulated period. In simple terms such vacant sites are not for sale, unless the development authorities waive the conditions.
However from 23.10.2000 BDA has removed the system of lease-cum-sale agreement and is executing absolute sale to the allottee. In case if one is purchasing a BDA site from a person other than original allottee, the sale agreement, sale deeds, revenue records tax receipts in the name of the subsequent purchasers, have to be examined.There are many fake BDA documents in circulation. It is necessary to check the genuiness of documents and nature of site with the development authorities, before purchasing the same.
These are sites, which are available in Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Jurisdiction. They are private properties, inherited, partitioned acquired by individuals. Vacant sites are very few in this category and comparatively costly. Title of property is required to be traced to the origin, with successive deeds of transfer, wills, partition deeds, family trees, encumbrance certificates, and revenue records such as Khatha endorsement, Khatha Certificate, Khatha extract, tax paid receipts.
Though many advocates restrict the tracing of the title to 13 years, it is advisable to verify the records for at least 43 years. Apart from the records mentioned above, records of city survey office have to be verified. Definitely a complicated process as many records are very old not decipherable, and non-availability of old documents.
Housing Co-operative Society Sites
These sites may be placed at par with BDA sites. Government or development agencies acquire land and allot to housing co-operative societies these societies form layouts, which are allotted to its members. Only sites formed by any approved societies have to be purchased. Byelaws, registration details of the society have to be studied. Societies allot sites only to its members and put various restrictions on sale of sites. Layouts formed by Co-operative Societies require approval from concerned authorities. Check all these details and whether the seller is a member of the society.
If there is any restriction on sale during certain period, insist on no-objection certificate from the society. In most of the cases, the purchaser may have to become member of the society. Verify the allotment letter, absolute sale deed, Khata, Tax paid receipts and encumbrance certificates. If the society has acquired land directly, call for conversion certificate, and verify. The title of the seller from whom the society acquired the lands.
City Municipal Council Sites
There are 7 City Municipal Councils and one Town Municipal Council surrounding the Bangalore city. The sites in the limits of these authorities are mostly owned by private individuals, some of the sites are acquired by Government. Infrastructure is very poor. The process of tracing the title is very complicated. But some extra precautions need to be taken. Verify whether the betterment charges have been paid, if not purchaser may have to pay it in the future.
Many lands in the area of these local bodies are agricultural lands and conversion to non-agricultural purpose must have to be done. Presently City Municipal Councils have stopped collecting betterment charges and issuing Khatas. If the owner doesn't have a Khata, he cannot construct the house with the plan approved from CMC.
Site in private layouts
These are layout formed by private parties, other than statutory development authorities. Many reputed land developers have formed layouts around the city. Verify all the documents as required in case of private property for a period of 43 years. Apart, from the above check whether the land is converted for residential purpose, and the layouts are approved by BDA or BMRDA. Verify the records with respective offices. Many numbers of private layouts with D.C. conversion and panchayat approval are available. Purchase of these type of sites involves little risk.
These are residential sites, which were originally available in village panchayat areas. They can be distinguished from Kaneshumari number, assigned to them. The agricultural lands have survey numbers.
The sites of this nature are very few. Government has put restrictions on issue of license for construction by village panchayats beyond their approved Gramathana area, original Gramathana sites can be identified by examining old village survey maps available in survey department.
Examine all the records as is done in case of private property. In addition verify the village records and form No. 9 and 10.
Form No. 9 denotes Gramathana site and form No. 10 denotes the building, which confirm that the particular property is original Gramathana site or not. But many village panchayats issue from No. 9 & 10, though they are not Gramathana sites. Many such sites fall in green belt area, where construction of residential buildings is restricted. Extra caution is necessary while buying Gramathana Sites.
These are the sites formed in agricultural land. The very word revenue sites is a misnomer. The revenue land cannot be used for any purpose other than agriculture. Unless it is converted for non-agricultural residential purpose it remains as agricultural land. Formation of layouts is not permitted on agricultural land. Further layouts needs approval from BDA or BMRDA. Any one who purchases revenue site is purchasing a agricultural land. Selling and purchasing of agricultural land has strict restrictions. Only agriculturists with some income limit are permitted to purchase agricultural land.
Any purchaser in contravention of this stipulation is null and void and the purchaser will not get any title and may have to loose the money. Most of the Revenue sites fall under Green Belt Area.
As per zonal regulation green belt area is meant only for agricultural purpose. The Revenue records such has Pahani and Mutations of these lands remain in the name of the original owner even after it is purchased by others.
Do not purchase a site in layouts formed in agricultural lands, and which are not approved by the concerned authority.
Utmost care and precaution is required in purchasing sites and guidance of experienced advocate is necessary.
The author is an advocate who is a specialist in property Laws.