Purchase of Land - Legal Checklists

Owning a house is an important thing in one’s life. However, one needs to be careful while buying a property to avoid falling into legal hassles. Before buying a land, a number of checks need to be done to confirm that the land has a clear and marketable title. The legal status of the land is one of the first issues that should be addressed before confirming a property.

Title deeds

The first step is to see the title deed of the land, which you are going to buy.

* Confirm whether the land is in the name of the seller and that the full right to sell the land lies with only him and no other person.
* It is better to get the original deed examined by a lawyer. This is to check details like whether the seller has permitted any entry/access to others through this land and whether any other fact has been suppressed/left undisclosed by the owner of the land.
* Along with the title deed, you can also demand to see the previous deeds of the land available with the seller.
* In some cases, more than one person may own the land. So before registering, check if there is more than one owner, and if there is, get release certificate from the other people involved.

Conveyance Deed or Sale Deed

A sale agreement is a document by which the title of property is conveyed by the seller to the purchaser. Here, conveyance is the act of transferring ownership of the property from a seller to the buyer. This document will help you ascertain whether the property, which you are buying, is on land belonging to the society/ builder/development authority in which the property is located.

Tax receipt and bills

Property taxes, which are due to the government or municipality, are a first charge on the property and, therefore, enquiries must next be made in government and municipal offices to ascertain whether all taxes have been paid up to date.

* Inspect whether the latest tax paid receipts have been paid.
* Enquire with various departments of the municipality to ascertain whether any notices or requisitions relating to the property are outstanding.
* If you are buying a house along with the property, then the house tax receipt should also be checked.
* Also ensure that the electricity and water bills are up-to-date and if there any is balance payment to be made, ensure that it is made by the seller.

Encumbrance Certificate

Before buying any land or house, it is important to confirm that the land does not have any legal dues.

* Obtain a certificate called encumbrance from the sub registrar office where the deed has been registered, stating that the said land does not have any legal dues and complaints.
* You can check the encumbrance certificate for the past thirteen years or could demand verify the 30 years encumbrance certificate.

Pledged land

Some people may have taken loan from the bank by pledging their land.

* Ensure that the seller has paid back all the amounts due.
* Ask for a release certificate from the bank, which is necessary to release all the debts over the land legally.

Measuring the land

It is advisable to measure the land before registering the land in your name. Take the help of a recognized surveyor to ensure that the measurements of the plot and its borders are accurate. You could also take the survey sketch of the land from the survey department and compare for accuracy.

Purchasing land from NRI landowners

A person staying abroad can also sell his land in India by giving a Power of Attorney to a third person authorizing him the right to sell the land on his behalf. In such cases, the power of attorney should be witnessed and duly signed by an officer in the Indian embassy in his province.

Power Of Attorney

Power of Attorney is the power given to an agent by the principal to execute several acts and deeds for and on behalf of the principal. Stamp duty payable depends on the nature of power given.

When ‘power’ is given in respect of a number of acts in a number of transactions it is called General Power of Attorney. It is always advisable to hold a registered GPA while registering an immovable property in order to give better title to the property.

When ‘power’ is given in respect of a particular act pertaining to one transaction it is called Special Power of Attorney.


Once all the matters, financial/otherwise are settled between the parties, it is better to give an advance and write an agreement. This ensures that the owner does not change his word regarding the cost as well as make a sale to someone else who offers more money.

* The agreement should be written in Rs.50 stamp paper.
* The agreement should state the actual cost, the advance amount, the time span within which the actual sale should take place and how to proceed in case of any default from either parties, to cover the loss.
* The agreement can be prepared by a lawyer and should be signed by both the parties and two witnesses.
* After signing the agreement if one of the parties
makes a default, the other party can take legal action against him.

Stamp Duty

It is tax, similar to sales tax and income tax collected by the Government, and must be paid in full and on time.
* A stamp duty paid is considered a legal document
and such gets evidentiary value and is admitted as evidence
in courts.
* Stamp duty is a State subject and hence would vary from state to state.
* When an agreement is to be stamped, it needs to be unsigned and undated one may execute the agreement only after the Stamp Office affixes stamps on the agreement.


Registration is the process of recording a copy of a document, transferring the title in immovable property to the office of the Registrar. It acts as proof that a transaction has taken place.

* A draft should be prepared before actually writing the document in stamp paper. Registration is done after the parties execute the document.
* The agreement should be registered with the Sub-Registrar of Assurance under the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 within four months from the date of execution of the document.
* Make sure all the details mentioned are accurate.
* Original title deed, Previous deeds, Property/House Tax receipts, etc plus two witnesses are needed for registering the property.
* The expenses involved during registration include Stamp Duty, registration fees, Document writers/ lawyers fees etc.
* Make sure that the deed is registered within the time limit mentioned in the agreement.
* Stamp duty should be paid prior to the Registration.

Changing the title in Village office

The whole legal procedure of buying the property will be complete only if the new owners name is added in the village office records. An application can be made along with the copy of the registered deed to the Village office to get this done. Purchase of property is a lifetime investment. A lot of care is needed from the beginning- right from site seeing till the registration of the land. Ensure that the documents of title are scrutinised for marketability with due care by an experienced advocate.

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48 Responses to “Purchase of Land - Legal Checklists”

  1. 1 Prem Oct 13th, 2007 at 9:45 am


    I am going to purchase land in the Village, GramPanchayat is there, Talathi is doing changes in 7/12 document
    if owner will put the my name on the 7/12 document instead of his own name, is it sufficient? do i need to make sales deed, registration process?


  2. 2 sabeena Oct 19th, 2007 at 8:36 pm


    I had given my flats title deed for registration with the office of Registrar of Sub- assurances but the same is misplaced/ lost by the office of Registrar of Sub- assurances. Please guide me as to the remedy



  3. 3 niren kasabe Nov 13th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I am selling my clients land that is 200sq meters ,the buyer sayes ULC NOC is required . or the registration cannot be done.Why so?

    Thanks Niren

  4. 4 nutan Jan 12th, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Dear Sir,

    I have booked a land measuring 6000 sq.feets from a said developer who was selling plots on monthly payment (Rs. 6000 per momth) towards the total cost of the land.

    I had selected Plot #10 (6000 sq. ft) on the main road.But the developer now says there is road widening going to take place, so you have been given some other plot. (The plot was booked earlier by some other person, but as he has not been able to pay monthly instalments for more than 4 months, the said plot was cancelled).

    In this case how I can ascertain that the plot which is now given to me is clear one or is it being resold to me wrongly. What measures should I take to see the plot if clear one and I am not being duped by the developer.

    (Because I want to go for the final registry of the plot now).

    Please guide


  5. 5 kamaldevendra Jan 26th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I want to purchase some land for residential purpose .I dont knowledge ofa,b,c, of land .pl.guide me whatislegal paper lookbeforeland registration

  6. 6 Shoba Feb 29th, 2008 at 4:18 am

    The encumbrance certificate of a Flat which we are going to buy says that the Flat was register mortaged. Since it is a registered mortage the owner has the original documents with him. But he says that he has made all payments and the mortage has been settled. If the mortage is settled will it be reflected in EC if not how to confirm the same?

  7. 7 prashanth Jun 17th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    i bought one plot in ponneri situated in tiruvallur dist. ihave no registered documents what to do

  8. 8 sudheer Jun 18th, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    HI ,
    Am trying to buy a land in hyderabad surrounds , what are the document i have to check with the seller , how can we decide saying this selling land exactly belongs to the seller.

    Sudheer G Kumar

  9. 9 RAM BABU Jul 1st, 2008 at 6:37 am


    I am in the process of purchase of land in Tamilnadu. I wish to entertain a power agent in this process as i am not interested to get my name out.

    Can I purchase a land with out the original owners confirmation on the sale deed prepared by the power agent and me based on the GPA executed by the Land owner to the Power agent.

    What will be my status on the title of ownership incase the POA is revoked.

  10. 10 Cindy Mittal Jul 5th, 2008 at 3:51 am


    I have purchased 100 sq.yards in Phase I, Praga Colony, Subash Nagar, Jeedimetla, Hyderabad which is under Gram Panchayat. Please tell me whether I can avail loan from Banks for construction of a house or can I mortgage the land or is there any so called Regularisation.

    Please help.


  11. 11 RAMIT ROY Jul 6th, 2008 at 8:03 am

    dear sir,

    i am planning to buy a 1 bhk flat of evershine woods located in beverly park in mira road east. can u please suggest me what are the documents i require to check before registration? how do i ensure the following things:
    1) NOC from local municipality
    2) The land is in non agricultural plot
    3) The builder commits for 24 hour water supply and electricity how do i ensure that?
    4) Approved by the leading financial institution for the said project

    thanking you,

    ramit roy

  12. 12 kannan Aug 10th, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Dear sir,

    The original will document on my name for property of agri land bequethed by my late father is lost?

    what shall i do for transfer the document on my name and subsequent selling?

    Please kindly advise me sir.

  13. 13 Imran pathan Sep 17th, 2008 at 2:30 am

    plzzz let me know what is current stamp duty @registration fees for buy new flat 1 BHk in mira road .

  14. 14 Harvinder Oct 2nd, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Hi Sir

    Pl can you give me the document names in HINDI since i am going to purchase the panchayat land in Roorkee-uttranchal so people will only understand the names in Hindi.

  15. 15 Annie Nov 22nd, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Dear Sir,

    I had purchased my property in 2002 from the previous owner(1st owner), who had done his stamp duty but not the registration. Even though the registration my bank had passed our loan. Now when i am going to sell the flat, the new purchaser’s bank is asking for the registration slip and the our 1st owner is dead along with his family. Can we being the 2nd owner release our docs. from the bank and get the registration done and what would be the registration charges.

    I would be highly obliged for your help.



  16. 16 Chetan Dec 17th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I am interested in purchasing Agricultural land. I do not know what are all the doucments required. can you help me.


  17. 17 Sudhir Jan 13th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I am planning to buy a 1 bhk (3,15,000/= 300 sq. feet) property at Karjat TMC project. Which are the documents that I need to check with TMC and also pls. help what are the other formalities and charges like Municiplaity, Water, Development, Stampduty, Registration, Zilla parishad charges etc.



  18. 18 suman jha Jan 15th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I have registered a sale agreement at shamshabad registration office. Now, the consideration by which the purchaser has agreed, has defaulted and cheques are not honoured.
    Now he wants to cancel the deal
    Whether I can cancel the deal now/ if so, what are the implications ?? What the formalities to be followed, in case i need to my title to the property.

    please reply to email also

  19. 19 prashant Feb 3rd, 2009 at 2:57 am

    i would like to purchase a plot in khopoli i would like to know which documents i need to check & stepwise legal formalities i have to furnished , please send me proper information.

  20. 20 Arun Feb 4th, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Is VAT and Service Tax applicable incase purchase is from Landowner share. Will I be given the receipt of the VAT immediately or will it take sometime to get my receipt for my VAT payment. I was given a DD xerox by my builder which i feel is not correct. Could you please advice.

    Thank you

  21. 21 Aditya Mar 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Hi All,

    I would like to purchase a plot at vishrantwadi pune,
    But friends i have not enough knowledge for legal documentation or what are the check list buyer follow…. so please guide me because i will prepared and avoid trouble after buying land/plot.

    Thank you..

  22. 22 sambhaji Limhan Mar 5th, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Dear sir,
    Please tell me the amount about stamp duty and registration fees to purchase resale flat of 370 sq feet. carper area

  23. 23 Roque D'souza May 7th, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have purchased a flat in Nalasopara, i have already paid the builder 50% of the amount. The builder has made the agreement in my name. But regarding stamp duty he has told me that i don’t have to pay stamp duty since the bulding is built under gram panchayat. Please let me know if i i have to pay stmap duty even if the building has been built under grampanchayat.

  24. 24 Biswajit de May 19th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    please tell me the value of stamp duty for registration of purchase of land of 2 kotha ’sali’ land in JL 7 , Jagannathnagar mouza dag no.2342, 2344 under ward no.18 of Maheshtala Municipality in West Bengal. also please mention the present market value determined by the land reforms for registration.

  25. 25 Nandkishore Jul 14th, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Dear sir,
    Please tell me the percentage of stamp duty and registration fees to purchase resale flat of 270 sq feet. carper area in nalasopara costing at Rs 1550/- per sq ft.



  26. 26 Ganesh Jul 22nd, 2009 at 3:30 am


    Can you let me know the procedure to change ownership name in the Municipality Tax.

    The property registration formalities is over (City - Hyderabad) - i have the sale deed.

    Thanks in advance.

  27. 27 dinesh gupta Jul 23rd, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I want to purchage the flats of amount of Rs. 15 lacs flat size is 780 square feet by name My wife in Vijay nagar indore here guide line is 18000 Sq/meter2. What would be complte registry cost pls guide me.

    Dinesh Gupta

  28. 28 anupam Aug 5th, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Sir, I have purchased a flat in shipra sun city please give me guidance on following -
    1) What are the papers or NOC required from various offices / municipal bodies / GDA
    2) The seller had taken a loan from the bank …. what is the maximum number of days a bank will take to issue release certificate and original documents. How can i make sure that the sellers has cleared the loan and how soon he will hand over the documents to me,
    3) The area of the plot is 71 Sq, mtrs so what amount of stamp duty is to be paid.
    4) Procedure for change of ownership name in GDA and any othr office besides GDA
    Thank you for early response

  29. 29 gangadharan.r Sep 13th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Iam planning to purchase a land in thakkalam near arrakonam the land its said to be an agriculture land which is now converted to commercial land is there will be any legal problem later on after purchasing the land if not is there any other certificate is required for the same to sell or buy such property.and also i would like to no what is the cost of land per sq ft in thakkalam(arrakonam dist.)

    And can i get information on that land which i want to purcahse on furnishing the property details. that it is clear from all legal procceding,number of legal owners of that property,all taxes are clear,does the land pledged on any bank or any other valubale information on this regard is eagerly awaited by me.

    thanking you,
    Gangadharan R

  30. 30 aseem k Dec 10th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    what are documents needed other than these for purchase of development rights??

  31. 31 Shiva Dec 23rd, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I am a Singapore Citizen, holding a PIO, bought a flat and staying in chennai.

    My sister (Singapore Citizen) wanted to buy a land in chennai. Due to job commitment she cannot be physically present in Chennai to execute documents.
    She wanted to give me Power of Attorney from Singapore to act on her behalf to sign the purchase documents.
    Kindly advise what is the procedure to obtain the PA from Singapore.
    Thanking you in advance

  32. 32 guru Jan 5th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I am looking for purchasing a land for residental purpose . I just want to know what thelegal document i should look after before purchasinf the land

  33. 33 rohit Jan 31st, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I am looking for buying a land for just investments in maharashtra kokan area in ratnagiri. Please help me with the legal documentation and other details where i need to look in before purchasing land.



  34. 34 subhash Feb 21st, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    kindly sent on my e mail a format of ownership of certificate of building.

  35. 35 sridevi Mar 20th, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Dear Sir,
    as iam planning to buy aplot in chennai kathirvedu village ,that property comes under 3 survvey nos and also power has been given to many parties and the power docement is not available. Is the power document is must

  36. 36 mani Mar 28th, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have registered 1200 sq feet land in madhurandagam 100 kms from chennai
    now i want patta name transfer so i moved to broker he checked all the documents and said the sketch of ur area signed and sealed by panchayat board is missing if it is not u can not get patta i dont know
    could u help me in this


  37. 37 Sumit K Dave Apr 10th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks a lot for this important data, it helps me a lot.
    God Bless You.

  38. 38 sanjiv Kumar May 2nd, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Very comprehensive and useful for the person like me.Now this cheklist will help me a lot. sanjiv

  39. 39 Ramesh May 14th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I am intrested to purchase a agreeculture land .I have givenb some token to broker.Broker have sale deed agreement of said land but not recorded on 7/12 document due to some objection or querry by officer by previous minor querry on same land.Can I purchase the same land without 7/12 record by paying stam duty & ragistration.This will be a valid registration or not?Can I resister my name on 7/12 record directly after the settlment of some minor querry at my perssonel level .

  40. 40 ANMOL CHAWLA May 23rd, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Dear Sir,
    Pl inform me the name of states/distts of India registering general power of attoreny for land sale purchase
    Anmol Chawla

  41. 41 imran May 24th, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    this article will really help me in future matters of land transcations.

  42. 42 mas May 30th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    hi there,
    i m planning to buy a property in nalasopara, its a 1bhk flat. and just wanted to know how do i find out that the property im buying is not illegal. and what are the things i need 2 make a note of.and what is the developments are trustful in nalasopara.

  43. 43 vikas Jun 18th, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I have read your above news letter & now i am very cleared about my doubts which i was having earlier in my mind. can u give me some more important information about calculation part of stamp duty & registration in mumbai? pls be in touch with me through my provided e-mail id so that i could be regularily update myself.

    Thank you,
    Vikas singh

  44. 44 Pradeep Jun 19th, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I wants to buy 31-35sq. mt. single floor area near Pandav Nagar/Vinod nagar.

  45. 45 kumar r Jun 20th, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Dear Sir

    i am planning to buy a plot in paddapai dtcp approved . whether i should apply for patta for the land . please advise me .

    Thank you

  46. 46 Don Fernandes Jun 21st, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Daer Sir, I am buying a land at Khed (Mandvi) . What are the docoument to check. What is the procedure to do legal formalities at the Earliest.

  47. 47 m lepcha Jun 24th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I have purchased a land measuring 3 kattas in champasari siliguri(WB) it was registered in march 2006 a duplicate registration deed and other related copies are with me but the original land registerd deed is delaying to issue by the deptt. they says due to computerisation (new case) and mannual work (old case ) this is the cause, pl.suggest me.

  48. 48 dhanraj Jul 12th, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Dear Sir,
    I m looking 4r a flat at nalasopara east ,
    flat is approved by collector under redevelopment scheme.
    please guide me is it legal to buy this flat.
    pls. guide me details on email id

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