Why do you need a legal opinion while buying a property ?
Although legal opinion / title report comes at a cost, it has always proven to be a boon at the time of buying a property. To begin with, legal opinion favours the property buyer by suggesting whether or not to make the said property investment. A competent lawyer can provide a buyer with the best of paperwork details and save him from future tangles involved in the property investment. Also, it becomes quite difficult for the buyer to know all the minute property buying norms, owing to which hiring a property lawyer should be considered a matter of great importance. The lawyer further authenticates the property ownership of the seller.
*Assists in the documentation of the property paperwork:
A competent lawyer will ensure clean property paperwork starting from scratch right until the transaction is finalized. The lawyer ensures that important property documents such as the Sale Deed, Mother Deed, Encumbrance Certificate, Conversion documents, Khata Certificates, the relevant approvals including layout or building plan, Tax paid receipts etc., are flawless and are up-to-date. The lawyer suggests the buyer to check the authenticity of the property documents / title by visiting the registrar’s office. In certain cases, the lawyer may advise the buyer to advertise, in a regional and a national newspaper, his intent to purchase the property in order to avoid getting into any third party claims or property litigation in future. Also, getting a Conveyance (Sale) Deed vetted by a lawyer will determine whether the land on which the property is situated belongs to a developer / builder or a society and the recitals (terms & conditions) are up to date.
Paperwork vetting by the lawyer:
- Enlightens the buyer about the property history / third party interfering (if any)
- Acquires complete details of the original owner and previous owners
- Checks for the rights of easements involved and the minor’s rights (if any)
- Checks for the Encumbrances (if any)
- Current property status / encroachments on the property
- Checks for the property revenue records such as Patta / Khata / Tax records
- Checks for property disputes / court involvements / pathways disputes / violations on the property
* Provides complete transparency in property buying:
A property lawyer peruses all the property documents and cross checks them to maintain transparency in the deal. He also ensures that the property buying agreement is not one-sided, i.e. in favour of the seller, and keeps the buyer’s interests in mind. It is important that a buyer gets the original deed examined by a lawyer to ensure if the seller has given any access to a third party on the property. The lawyer also checks if the seller has any suppressed facts about the property or his ownership.
* Ensures all the approvals are in place:
Since a large number of home buyers are bound to be unaware if a property has all the civic approvals, a property lawyer will help him in checking if approvals from the municipal bodies such as building plan approvals, floor plan approvals, NOC from the civic authority, structural safety certificate, environment clearances and others are in place. Right from the commencement of the project to its completion, a property needs all the approvals from the municipal bodies. Non-compliance of the rules of the approving authorities will result in the project being stalled or reduction in market value. Not just this, a project should also have approvals from the fire department, electricity board, state traffic authority, water board and others.
* Legal assistance helps in buying a joint property / old property:
A property lawyer peruses all the documents and explains the procedures of the joint ownership. He further scrutinizes the joint development agreement and the terms of the property development and ensures that the buyer obtains an NOC from all the owners. He will further investigate whether the land is under acquisition for future use by the government.
In cases where the property has been funded by a bank, the bank lawyer also draws out a legal opinion. Even the seller may push you into closing the deal using the said legal opinion. Such legal opinions are typically drawn keeping the bank’s interest in mind. Since it is your money at stake we suggest you get an independent and unbiased legal opinion.