Due diligence and awareness of your rights can certainly protect you against unscrupulous practices by developers. In an industry that still lacks transparency, in spite of the many laws that have been put in place in the past half-a-decade, it is best to physically inspects all documents before buying any property. In your best interest, it is also highly recommended that a lawyer is taken on board, to help you through this complicated process. However, if that is not a likely scenario, a buyer can himself complete the house purchase by way of showing great diligence.
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How to verify documents without lawyer
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Checklist for buyers
1. Personal details
The agreement must capture the seller’s complete details. This includes father’s name, address, PAN number, aadhaar number, and bank account information. It must also provide exact details of the property’s location and municipal, tehsil (administrative division) or collector’s land record number. The agreement ought to be witnessed by two people, each from the buyer’s and seller’s side.
2. Property documents
The seller must confirm the authenticity of the title documents and ownership transfer in the agreement. He must also state clearly that the transfer and handing over of possession, is happening in a legal and fully-attested manner. The agreement must reflect the fact that all dues related to the property, have been cleared up to the date of transfer. Further, the agreement must fully indemnify the buyer from any disputes related to title and possession of the property.
3. Date of possession
“The date of possession of a flat is important to the purchaser, for the purpose of transfer of the flat from the builder. It is the date on which the purchaser is to get possession of the premises and binds the developer to hand over possession by the date set out in the agreement. If possession is not given by such date, the purchaser has a right to sue,” informs Anirudh Hariani, solicitor of Hariani and Company.
The ‘time of essence’ clause in an agreement lays down the contractual deadlines for the parties to perform their due obligations.
4. Payment schedule
“The clause which sets out the payment schedule, lays down the total amount to be paid and the time frame within which it is to be paid,” details Hariani. “In cases where the payment is made in instalments, the payment schedule specifies details of each instalment. This helps avoids any ambiguities which may arise in the future,” points out Hariani. The agreement must provide complete payment details by the buyer, including that of the mortgage, if any.
The termination clause defines the consequences imposed on the parties in case of deviation from the code of conduct expected to be adhered by them. The agreement may contain either a ‘termination by convenience’ clause where either party can end the agreement.
6. Dispute resolution
The dispute resolution clause sets out the mechanism by which the parties can resolve their disputes. This is alternative to settling the matter through litigation. Besides this, other processes used to settle commercial contracts include adjudication and mediation.
The amenities clause helps the purchaser know the additional benefits he will be entitled to and mentions the supplementary amount towards maintenance charges. In case of any default on the amenities sought to be provided, the purchaser may consider it as a breach of contract.
A penalty clause should be incorporated in the purchase agreement, clearly specifying milestones and the penalties in case of failure from both, seller and buyer.
Finally, registering a legal purchase agreement, is of benefit to the buyer, since it offers protection from legal complications at any stage of ownership or eventual resale. No change can be made once the purchase agreement is drafted and registered. If any change needs to be made, the consent of the buyer must be obtained and an addendum will be made in the agreement.
See also: All about sale deed and agreement to sale
Property documents’ verification
All the terms and condition and clauses mentioned in the property documents must be read and understood carefully, before you agree to enter into any deal. Also, because of the frequent usage of legalese, you might find the working complex to understand. Do not assume a word to have a specific meaning, unless you consult a legal book on the same.
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What documents should be checked before buying a resale flat?
The seller must confirm the authenticity of the title documents and ownership transfer in the agreement.
Can I verify property documents without a lawyer?
Buyer should thoroughly check all the important property documents before purchasing the property. This includes title deed, termination clauses, dispute resolution clauses, amenities and penalty clauses.
What is dispute resolution clause in sale agreement?
The dispute resolution clause sets out the mechanism by which the parties can resolve their disputes. This is an alternative to settling the matter through litigation.
What is the termination clause in sale agreement?
The termination clause defines the consequences imposed on the parties in case of deviation from the code of conduct expected to be adhered by them.