From a buyer’s point of view, it is imperative that the property he intends to buy has a clear and undisputed title. The onus to verify the title of the property is on the buyer. It requires well-maintained land record/municipal records where all the past transactions related to the property title are duly recorded. It is possible if mutation is done diligently.
There are certain documents which establish property ownership:
- Registered documents transferring the title, e.g. sale deed
- Survey documents
- Land records
- Property tax receipts
Apart from the registration of documents, there is mutation also, which reveals the owner of the property. Registration is a proof of ownership, but mutation is essential as it records the ownership with the authorities.
What is mutation?
Mutation means entering the name of the owner of the property in the revenue records maintained at the local level by the State. Whenever a property is transferred,i.e. there is a change in the ownership, the name of the new title holder is reflected in the revenue records when
The Government maintains the record as the same enables the authorities to tax thereal property owner.
When is mutation required?
Mutation is required whenever there is a change in ownership effected by:
- Sale/Purchase of property
- Inheritance of property after the death of real owner–intestate succession or through will
- Transfer of property otherwise, e.g. gift
Is it necessary to get the mutation done?
There are two types of mutation:
- Mutation of agriculture land
- Mutation of
non– agriculture land
In case of agriculture land, mutation is necessary as the title passes to the new owner, only after mutation. If the Government acquires such land, the compensation is paid only to the person who is the owner as per land
In case of non-agriculture land, the title of the owner is not affected if mutation
How is mutation done?
An application is made to the Tehsildar with court fee stamp affixed on it. The documentation and fee for mutation differ from State to State.
What is the importance of mutation, especially for a buyer?
Since the onus to verify the title of the property is on the buyer, mutation is of
- The Government looks into the land records to verify the actual owner for imposing taxes and for awarding compensation.
- Mutation shows possession of the property.
- Mutation is vital for further sale of the property.
- Mutation helps to prevent the fraudulentsale by
sellerto more than one buyer.
- Mutation helps the buyer to ascertain that the property is free
from encumbrancesor if there is any liabilityto be incurred by him.
However, mere mutation does not confer any title. Mutation is invalid if the document transferring the title is not registered as required in law.
It is important to note that mutation is not a onetime process. It needs to be doneregularly to ensure that the property record is clear.
It is always advisable to take legal help from lawyers to effect any transfer of property to avoid legal ramifications later and to ensure that all legal formalities are complied with. Lawyers can provide legal advice and assistance in case of mutation or for cross-checking the revenue records in case of purchase/sale of any property.