Title is a legal term; it means the Ownership Right to Property. Title of property is the prime concern of everyone at the time of purchasing of a property. Every property has a title. Title is the evidence of the right of ownership or the ground of right of ownership. Title can be created by act of parties or by operation of law.
The investigation of title is a step as towards an agreement of sale. An agreement of sale has three main step preceding the completion of a transaction of sale they are: – (1) Settlement of the terms of the deal between the parties particularly relating to the consideration & the property to be transferred, (2) Preparation and execution of the agreement & (3) Investigation of title of the transfer of property.
Investigation of title is an intricate matter. There is no standard period prescribed for the root of title. After the execution of the agreement of sale it will be the duty of the vendor’s advocate to send to the purchasers advocate the title deeds of the property. These title deeds are sent in exchange of an accountable receipt to be signed by the purchasers advocate. The purchaser advocate signs the accountable receipt and keeps a copy thereof with him with the title deeds. Investigation of title starts with the present owner’s original title deed which will always be ‘the document of title ‘to the property. Once the original deed is perused the investigator proceeds to verify the parent documents or the prior title deeds. The work then of investigation of title by the purchasers advocate commences He will than take searches in the office of the sub-registrar to find out all the documents relating to the property which is the subject matter of sale which are registered. To what extent and up to what period the prior title deeds are to be perused vary from case to case. The safest thing is to peruse the title deeds for the last 30 yeas. The reasons for this proposition are; (1) the period of Limitation against Government is 30 years; (2). Under Section 90 of the Evidence Act , a document 30 years or more are presumed to be validly executed.(3) The contents of any document are presumed to represent the correct agreement or understanding between the parties there to .However a search for the last 12 years is treated as normally sufficient . If the title cannot be reasonably be ascertained with in 12 years, then it is necessary to go back as much as necessary. In addition to ascertaining the owner’s title, it is the duty of the investigator to rule out the possibility of any subsisting charge by way of equitable mortgage on the property under investigation. For this, perusal of all original title deeds for the last 12 years.
In Maharashtra to check the title verification of the property the investigator must do the following checks: –
a) Recent 7/12 Extract ( 7-12 Utara) :- It will give idea about the type of ownership, Total Number Owners ( and their share in property) of the property. Loan on the property, Tenant in the property ( if any), cultivable and non cultivable area in the property, source of irrigation ( if any), assessment for the property, Class of the property, Reservation on property( if any).
b) All mutations on 7/12 extract ( Fer far ):- Mutations are the entries made by the Revenue Department in respect of any Change in Ownership of the Property, such changes may be because of Death of any Owner, Loan obtained by any Owner, etc. some time it may happen that name of any person appears in Mutation but not in 7/12 extract, to check such things it is advisable to check all mutations,
c) Maps :- It is advisable to check maps provided by the government authorities, this gives better idea about he exact location of the property and access to the property,
d) Ceiling Limit :- As per the type of the property there is a Limit provided for the holding of the Land , the purchase must check that the Land which he is going to purchase will not cross his limit as well as he have to check that the vendor is also not holding it as excess land. The Khate Utara (8 A Extract) is a document which gives us idea about the Exact holding of the Owner,
e) 6c Certificate ( Varas Register ) :- 6c Certificate is a document which gives us idea about the names of all Legal Heirs of deceased person. This document is very important as, it is noticed that some times names of Female Legal Heirs are not appearing on revenue documents, to avoid such ambiguities it is advisable to check 6c Certificate.
f) Lis Pendens (nothing new should be introduced in a pending litigation) if any, recorded U/S.52 of the T.P. Act should also be verified with the District Sub- Registrar
g) Public Notice :- Some Transactions are UN-Registered to check such transaction it is advisable to the purchaser to Publish Public Notice at least in Two Local News paper and ask for Objections this helps the purchaser advocate to satisfy him self about the title of the property. Claims are invited in the nature of mortgage, lien, charge, lease, easement, gift, trust, or any other claim against the property which is required to be notified to the buyers advocate within a period of 15 Days after which it shall be deemed to have been waived. Such Public Notice supports the buyer’s contention in the case of dispute that he is a bonafide purchaser for value without notice of any claim.
h) Inquiry in Municipal Corporation :- It must be inquired whether there are any claims to the property concerned. A letter to be addressed to the Assessor and Collector, Municipal Authority to find out whether there are any arrears of municipal bills or water charges or riot bills in respect of the property agreed to be purchased by the buyer. An Enquiry with the Ward Officer must be made with the Ward Officer in which the property is situated to find out (1) whether the property or any portion thereof has been notified under the Land Acquisition Act for public purpose or (2) Whether any notice, notification, action or claim is pending against the property. (3) Whether any portion of the property is included in the setback.
i) Inquiry about Zones :- An enquiry is also to be made in CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) and other zones as it is not allowed to any development in such zones it is necessary for the purchaser to check such zones before signing any deed.
The last stage i.e. of preparing Draft of the Conveyance or Sell of Property. The following points are generally covered in the deed :-
1] Indemnity/ Guarantee from the present owner about his Title over property,
2] Indemnity/ Guarantee from the present owner about his Possession over property,
3] Indemnity/ Guarantee from the present owner about Non-Reservation of the property,
4] Point making clear that the said property Does Not relates with any Public Activity,
5] Point making clear that the said property is Not a Trust Property,
6] Point making clear that said property is Not a Government Granted Land,
7] Point making clear that no-one has any right ( road/ parking) over said property,
8] ) Point about the existing structure on property (if any). Because it may affect valuation of the property,
9] If the said property is ancestral one then it is necessary to make all members of the family as consenting parties for the deed,
10] Purchase price of the property is agreed mutually, with the schedule of payment,
11] The Photo Identity Cards of the present owners must be attached to title deed,
12] Indemnity/ Guarantee from the present owner about Non Litigant property because any transaction for a property for which litigation is pending is null and void in the eye of law,
13] Boundaries of the property gives clear idea about the exact location of the property. Therefore it is necessary to mention it clearly in the Title-Deed, a part from this it is advisable to attach a map showing exact location of the property.,
14] Witness to the deed plays very important role if the deal goes in to any Litigation, It is advisable to take one owner of adjoining property as witness as it will help to prove possession of the present owner.
ears or even more may become necessary.