The title means ownership. In terms of property, it is a legal right to own. Any deed, i.e., a written document that confirms the ownership is the title deed. It mentions the rights and obligations of the owner.
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How important is the title deed:
It is incredibly crucial to check the property papers before dealing with any property. Title deed is the most sought after property document as it informs the whole world about the owner.
Imagine a situation that you are an owner of a property, but nobody believes it as you do not possess any document to prove your ownership. The situation worsens if someone else illegally occupies the said property and claims to be the owner. Holding a clear title to the property protects the owner against other claimants. It is proof of ownership and helps the owner assert and exercise his property rights.
Any transaction of transfer of ownership is recorded in writing, and the document becomes a deed. Depending upon the transaction’s nature, it can be a gift deed, sale deed, transfer deed, Will, etc. Such a document becomes a title document for the transferee, and he holds it as evidence of ownership. The sale deed confirms the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. A registered sale deed becomes an ownership deed and a crucial document for the buyer to establish his rights.
It is imperative to possess the essential property documents and get the municipal/revenue records updated whenever there is a property transfer so that the property remains secure. It is more relevant for NRIs as they don’t visit their property frequently, and chances of adverse possession are far more.
What more a title deed does:
- Whether it is a property ownership search/home title search/land search, the idea is to be sure about the ownership. A valid title deed helps the owner in further transactions. Having ownership right over the property means a right to sell it further, transfer it, mortgage it, gift it, etc. A buyer of the property always asks for the original documents from the seller to ensure he has the right to sell it.
- It is required to avail loan from Bank. Banks ask to deposit ownership documents as security against the loan. When there is a default, banks use such documents to transfer the ownership and recover their dues.
- In the absence of any document proving the ownership, it is hard to defend one’s claims over the property.
- The existence of the document also helps to ascertain the authenticity of the property transaction.
- It also informs about the liabilities and liens attached to the property.
Title deed and property search:
Genuineness of deed of title is another critical issue. Most property fraudsters use fake documents, especially the property papers, to defraud others. The authenticity of such documents can be verified by a process called the title search. It is a way to retrieve the property document revealing the ownership and to rule out any defect in the same.
Recommended reading: Property Search in India
We have to verify from the records maintained by Revenue Authorities, Registration department, local municipal offices as the case may be. In India, we are now moving towards the digitization of all these records. Still, in most of the offices, the records are maintained manually. It makes the task difficult. We have civil lawyers dealing in property matters and property law firms who provide the aforesaid services.
There are situations when the title search becomes necessary:
- A person is not even aware that he has a share in the joint property or an heir to some ancestral property.
- In agriculture properties, land title is often not clear.
- It helps to find out the complete chain of ownership to ascertain inheritance rights.
- There is a doubt about the title deed’s genuineness, and we need to confirm its authenticity.
- The title search also provides information regarding any encumbrances or government dues towards the property.
- The banker also needs to verify the property title when it is offered as security against a loan.
A deed of title is a vital document, and the owners need to keep it safe.