Most of the overseas citizens of India generally inherit a piece of land or property in India from their parents or grandparents, and only a handful have any knowledge. Almost none have any ownership documents or have done a title search of the property, upon which they have a legal right.
When the property owner is not in possession of the documents, it is predominantly seized by unscrupulous relatives or trusted friends or other elements of society. Moreover, where the landowner is absent or is residing far away from his property, people can use illegal and fraudulent means to disown the owner’s legal right in the property.
- There is a grave chance that a property of an NRI is illegally mutated while they are residing far away from their properties.
- NRIs can protect their Indian properties by conducting a title search on their properties.
- In order to have the updated documents of property, a wide spectrum of services are generally provided by the property lawyers or real estate attorneys for conducting a title search.
The relatives or trusted friends or caretakers or people in possession of the property have made these overseas citizens, or the NRIs (Non-Residents Indians) sign some documents under the pretext of looking after their property in their absence and then had the property of these overseas citizens or NRIs illegally transferred or occupied or even sold their property all along giving wrong information to the property owners about the documentation and the exact status of the property. However, thankfully the suitable remedies in the Indian laws have made it possible to restore the legal rights in these cases.
Recommended reading: Adverse possession and Its Legal requirements to claim property in India
Table of Contents
How overseas citizens or NRIs can protect their properties from getting illegally occupied?
The first vital step in protecting the properties of overseas citizens or NRIs in India is to possess the updated documents of their property. For the updated documents, a broad spectrum of services is generally provided by the property lawyers or real estate attorneys who provide specialized and exclusive services for doing a title search or a property search by evaluating the property’s fair market price and obtaining all relevant documents of the property. After that, they review and study the documents received to have a comprehensive review vis-a-vis the client’s requirement. Moreover, the property lawyers or real estate attorneys also provide dispute resolution if the property search record is unclear.
Why it is important to do the property ownership search or title search?
The details that are included in the title search report or the property search report are mentioned underneath:
- Brief description of the property
- Calculation of the total area of the property
- Estimation of the size of shares of all the co-owners in the property
- Procurement of all the certified documents pertaining to the ownership
- Information on their property history
- Documents related to transfers, if any
- Conducting a search to know whether mortgage or litigation is due
- Documents pertaining to the possession of the land
- Current market and the government valuation of the property
- Complete guidance on what further steps can be taken to protect the property
- Up-to-date photographs and videos of the property
- Property history check
- Ensuring that all the property ownership documents are foolproof
Soon after the overseas citizens or NRIs have these details mentioned above, they have an extensive review of their property through the report.
Recommended reading: Guide to Do Registry of Immovable Property in India for NRIs
Types of properties on which title search can be conducted
- The first type is the Residential,
- The second one is the Commercial, and
- The third one is the Agricultural land
Title search also includes the valuations of the property
Through the title or ownership search report, the overseas citizens or NRIs also get the “Property Valuations”, which includes both the market and the government valuations of the property. The valuation of the property is an estimate of price generally quoted by a real estate agent. The agent bases it on their knowledge of the local area and recent sales in that area to guide the price that might be obtained for a particular property.
Recommended reading: Model Tenancy Act For NRIs
However, if the overseas citizens or NRIs intend to dispose of their assets, they must be aware of the following-
Documents that are required at the time of selling the property
- The first and the only document required is the “Sale Deed/Ownership Document” of the property.
- The second document will be the “Agreement of Sale” executed between the party’s prior execution of the sale deed.
- The third document is to have the revenue documents of the property, which includes the Jamabandi and the mutation records of the property.
- Or any other document as per the requirement of the concerned State.
Consequently, if the overseas citizens or NRIs intend to dispose of their assets after knowing in whose ownership their property stands, they can positively refer to the valuations and other details specified in the report to have a clear picture while selling or buying the property.
Overseas citizens or NRIs are advised to conduct the title search, the property ownership search concluded through property lawyers, real estate attorneys, or property management companies. The benefit of completing the title search or the property ownership search report includes a comprehensive review of their property. Also, it consists of every detail related to their property and even their property history search, which shows the previous subsequent owners of the property.
Recommended reading: Gift Deed
Even more, the property lawyers can be a mentor in that situation where the ownership documents don’t reflect in their names. They can counsel you in the correct direction through which the property can be claimed back by following the appropriate legal remedies available in the Indian laws through the procedure of the Court.
At the conclusion, it can be avowed that if the overseas citizens or NRIs are willing to protect their assets lying in India, they must have the up-to-date title documents of their property by conducting a property title or ownership search to have the full description of the property so that the property inherited or invested is not illegally occupied by their family members, trusted friends or the ones who have been appointed as the caretaker of the property.
Yes, the title search or property search can be conducted on all kinds of residential, agricultural and commercial properties.
The title search or property ownership search can be conducted on all kinds of properties, including agricultural properties. So, if you’re willing to conduct a title search or property ownership search over the agricultural land, you can approach the property lawyers or real estate attorney.
Overseas citizens or NRIs don’t need to travel to India if they have the current ownership status over their properties in India. The title search or property search report can be conducted in their absence and details shared with them with the ease of relaxing at their home.
Yes, the title search also enables the property owner to know what is the total area of their property, including the survey/khasra numbers of their property.
I need the current ownership status of my property and also need its market valuation to sell it further. Can I have both these details collective in a title search report?
While a title search or property search report is prepared, not only it includes the current name of the person(s) in whose name the property reflect, it also consists of the valuation (Government and Market Valuation) of the property.
I want to purchase a property in Mumbai, and I want to know whether any mortgage or loan or litigation is pending over the property or not. Can all these things be obtained from the title search?
Yes, through the title search, the property lawyer or real estate attorney conducts a search over the property as per the requirements, and they can help the NRIs in informing them about the pending mortgage/loan or even pending litigation over the property.
My father had a property in Pune. Can I conduct a title search over the property to have its current ownership status?
Yes, you can approach the Law Firm handling such issues or property lawyers or real estate attorneys to know the current ownership status of your father’s property.
My father passed away in the year 2009. What can I do to know in whose name the property reflects currently?
Since you need to have the current ownership status of your father’s property, you can conduct a title search or ownership search over the property to know in whose name the property reflects as per the revenue records.
While a title search is done on the property, you can always request to include the photographs of the property in order to have the current condition of the property.
The title search or property search report includes the name(s) of the property’s current owner(s) and consists of the previous owners of the property.