What is a “Fraud”?
The term “Fraud”, is something said or done in a dishonest way to cheat people. It is a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or, by conduct. There are various kinds of frauds.
What is a property fraud?
The decision to buy a house is one of the biggest decision a person makes in his lifetime. The fraudsters target properties where there is no mortgage, or the owner lives elsewhere. Fraudsters attempt to acquire ownership of a property, by using a forged document to transfer it to their own name. It is important that one should check, each document carefully, before buying from the secondary market.
Here are few things that you can check, to avoid property fraud
Here is a list of documents that as a buyer, you should check, before buying a property:
Sale deed, it ascertains that the property is yours. It is a proof that the property has been transferred from the seller to you, “the owner”. Registration of the sale deed in the local registrar office is important, with having a clear title. “The first and foremost thing to check is the title deed of the property you are going to buy”. To avoid property fraud, one should make sure that the title deed of the property, is in the name of the seller.
The property must have an approved building plan, the property must have an approval plan from either the jurisdictional commissioner or, any other officer authorized by the commissioner. It ensures that the property has been constructed legally.
Encumbrance certificate, one should check if the liabilities in the form of the loan, taken against the property, have been cleared or not. The certificate would give all the details of the transactions, provided by the sub-registrar’s office. You can check the proof of mortgages, title transfers, or any legally registered transactions against the property.
Completion certificate, you should check if, a completion certificate is available or not for the property, which is provided by the local civic body. It ensures that the new building has been constructed with all safety norms, the supply of basic amenities, water, power, and sewerage network. Completion certificate also ensures, there is no disputes over the title of the land.
Occupancy certificate is required when you are planning to buy a fully-constructed or resale property. It ensures that the building is in compliance with the rules, bylaws, and fit for occupying. It would ensure that the property is in suitable condition for occupancy. Occupancy certificate, is the evidence of completion of the building as per approved plan, to avoid property fraud. Never buy a property for which, you are not getting the occupancy certificate.
Power of attorney is a legal document which the owner provides to any person making him/her the authorized or nominated person to rent, sell, or mortgage the property on his/her behalf. The document should be registered, to avoid any discrepancies. The disadvantage added to it is, to save taxes and duties, many people misuse it by taking special and irrevocable power of attorneys. This creates disputes as the property can be sold multiple times to multiple users. One must make sure that the power of attorney is genuine by checking its registration or contacting the owner of the property.
One should have the receipts of the taxes and bills, one should always check before buying that, the seller has paid all dues related to the property. The original receipts should be asked from the seller.
Few more ways to avoid property fraud is, ensure your property is registered, make sure that all your contact details are up-to-date, sign up for property alert service so that, you receive a message alert if, any suspicious activity is going on against your property to avoid property fraud.
“It is necessary that, a buyer is fully aware of all the legalities before buying a home. Buyers must always ask for the required documents from the developer”.