THE WHY AND THE HOW OF TITLE DUE DILIGENCE – Actual Property and Development

Real Estate Comparative Guide - Real Estate and Construction

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‘Title’ is a authorized time period; it means the possession proper to
property. Investigation of title is important to determine the
possession of the property and guaranteeing that, the title is full
and free from any doubts, dangers and curiosity. Nonetheless, in India,
the process of property acquisition and land due diligence is
arduous and complex, as a result of involvement of assorted
regulatory authorities, State particular legal guidelines and judicial
precedents. It’s pertinent to analyse sure points in relation
to the true property property similar to possession title, legality of
improvement & building, permitted use, easements and
encumbrances which have the potential to affect the important
attributes of any property and its suitability to a given

The method of title due-diligence sometimes entails getting ready
a guidelines in accordance with the state jurisdiction and
laws. Such train is to be categorically carried out to
procure a crystal clear imaginative and prescient on the previous title of ownerships
of the immovable property along with all permitted makes use of,
encumbrances/ prices, compliance of statutory necessities,
restrictions vested within the property and modus operandi to beat
obstructions, if any.

A due diligence train is presumably a very powerful facet
of a transaction involving actual property instantly following a
working understanding of the concerned financials. This course of has
the potential of not solely impacting the financials of a transaction
but in addition figuring out the feasibility of the transaction itself.
Whereas the commercials typically pay excessive significance to expedite the
conclusion of a transaction, it’s vital within the pursuits of the
events to offer enough time and a spotlight to an in depth due
diligence of the property in query.

This paper goals to spotlight and clarify the assorted points
that the title due diligence train entails. Why it types an
indispensable a part of any transaction, the kinds of title due
diligence, and the points one must significantly scrutinise in
a title due diligence course of can be elaborated on on this paper.
In every of this paper’s following sections we’ve mentioned
among the key parts concerned in conducting a title
due-diligence of properties in India, adopted by the final part
that offers particularly, with explicit conditional classes of
land in Maharashtra.

Want for Title Due Diligence

Due diligence is primarily carried out to confirm the possession of
title over the property and any encumbrances over such property, so
as to guard one towards any pre-existing claims over the property
in query. Such claims might both impact the power of the
transferor to switch the property or might connect themselves to
the property even after it’s transferred.

The first goal of a due diligence train is due to this fact
to assemble data, and to cross reference such gathered
data to determine its truthfulness. The extent and kind of
due diligence to be undertaken by the purchaser’s lawyer will
depend upon the next, (i) the danger profile and enterprise
targets of the purchaser/ lessee; (ii) the kind of actual asset
concerned; (iii) nature of the true property transaction (i.e.,
whether or not it’s a buy, long run/ brief time period lease, mortgage or
financing of the true property); (iv) the timeframe for completion
of the transaction; and (v) whether or not the purchaser is
acquiring third social gathering financing both pre-transaction or

In case of a potential buy, a lease of the property or
actual property financing, a title search is carried out primarily to
reply three questions:

  1. Does the proprietor/ lessor have adequate authority/ curiosity/
    proper to enter into the transaction involving the property in

  2. Do any liens exist on the property which
    must be discharged earlier than the consummation of the transaction
    in query? These may very well be within the nature of mortgages, prices,
    acquisitions, unpaid taxes, litigation, easements and different

  3. What’s the nature of restrictions on using the

Aside from enterprise title search/ due diligences for buy
or lease of properties, a title search/ due diligence can also be
carried out when an proprietor needs to mortgage the property with any
financial institution, monetary establishment or a lender. Such financial institution/ monetary
establishment/ lender might require the proprietor to submit a due diligence
report of the property or might conduct such diligence on its

Kinds of Title Due Diligence

The kind of title due diligence that should be carried out is
extremely reliant on nature of the transaction, the property concerned
and the target of the individuals. Preserving in thoughts these
concerns, due diligence will be labeled into two broad

Firstly, a full search which is usually carried out on the time
of giving the title certificates of the property in situations of
sale/ resale/ long run lease transactions and for transactions
that contain acquiring of financing by mortgaging the property in
query. Herein the search concerning standing of possession of the
property is usually carried out for a interval previous thirty (30)
years (or extra) from the date on which the vendor in query got here
to accumulate the property.

A full search additionally entails an in depth search of all points
regarding the historical past of that property such because the standing of
encumbrances over the property, the standing of disputes regarding
the property, the relevant laws and the standing of
compliance of such relevant laws regarding the property
in query.

The second class is fashioned by what is understood restricted search,
which is usually carried out in transactions the place the property is
taken on lease for a brief time period (normally beneath 9 years). In
situations of this nature, the interval for which the previous
possession of the property is traced is usually restricted to
fifteen (15) years (or much less) from the date on which the present
proprietor of the property got here to accumulate the property.

In contrast to full searches, in a restricted search, the search relating
to the historical past of the property could also be restricted to restricted points
similar to latest title historical past, encumbrances on the property,
disputes associated to the property and many others.

Key Components

On this part we goal to check out sure important
parts that one must confirm, whereas participating in a title
diligence train:

  1. Derivation of Possession:

    It types to be of prime significance to, earlier than getting into into any
    transaction, decide the possession of the property in query.
    The next concerns are probably the most related in aiding such

    • Sale and Buy: If the title of possession of topic
      property is obtained by advantage of sale or buy, the registered
      sale deeds and the title paperwork of the previous holders shall
      be verified.

    • Reward: If the title of possession of topic property is obtained
      by advantage of present, one shall scrutinize the registered present deed or
      some other related doc to provide impact to the transferability
      of the topic property.

    • Will/Inheritance: If the title of possession of topic property
      is obtained by advantage of a will or inheritance, the executors shall
      look at the desire doc as to any circumstances therein and the
      order/probate of a reliable courtroom authorizing legality of the
      will. Equally, within the case of intestate succession, one shall
      scrutinize the legal guidelines of succession with a view to verify the right
      devolution of property.

    • Lease: If the title of possession of topic property is
      obtained by advantage of lease, the transferee shall look at the lease
      deed, events’ rights and compliance of all of the obligations
      with respect to transferability of such property.

    • Trade: If the title of possession of topic property is
      obtained by advantage of trade, one shall look at the trade
      doc with a view to verify transferability of such

  2. Nature of the precise of the transferor:

    The rights of transferor on the subject of the possession of
    property could also be absolute or restricted. Possession could also be seen as
    absolute when possession, enjoyment and disposal rights are vested
    within the proprietor with none restriction in any other case it’s stated to be
    restricted. With a view to execute a sound switch, it’s obligatory for
    such absolute proper to dispose to be vested in transferor.

    Thereby, in conducting a title verification it’s pertinent to
    examine the character of the precise of the transferor. It helps us to
    determine if the stated property is transferable and whether or not the
    transferor has absolutely the proper to switch the property.

    Right here, we should additionally take into account the latest ruling in Dahiben
    v. Arvindbhai Kalyanji Bhanusali by way of Authorized Consultant and
    [Civil appeal no. 9519 of 2019]. Whereby the
    courtroom said that in circumstances the place your entire sale consideration had
    not actually been paid, such non-payment couldn’t be a floor for
    cancellation of the sale deed. The courtroom held that “Even
    if the entire of the worth is just not paid, however the doc is
    executed, and thereafter registered, the sale can be full,
    and the title would cross on to the transferee beneath the
    transaction. The non-payment of part of the sale value wouldn’t
    have an effect on the validity of the sale. As soon as the title within the property has
    already handed, even when the steadiness sale consideration is just not paid,
    the sale couldn’t be invalidated on this
     Herein, the Court docket additionally relied by itself
    earlier judgment within the case of Vidyadhar v. Manikrao
    & Anr. 
    [(1999) 3 SCC 573].

  3. Sub-Registrar Searches:

    A pre-requisite of any title due-diligence is to hold out
    searches within the workplaces of the Sub-Registrar of Assurances so as
    to have a complete and full file of all registered
    paperwork together with any lis pendens  on the
    topic property. To what extent and as much as what interval the prior
    title deeds are to be perused might fluctuate from case to case. Nonetheless,
    it’s advisable to peruse the title deeds for the final 30 years as
    per the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act, 1961 with a view to
    be certain that, there are not any claims affecting the topic

    One of many pre-requisites of a diligence train entails
    guaranteeing that, all paperwork are adequately stamped beneath the
    provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 learn with the
    State-specific Stamp Acts and additional, all compulsorily registrable
    paperwork are subsequently registered beneath the provisions of the
    Registration Act, 1908.

  4. Applicability of Indian Limitation Act, 1961
    (“Limitation Act“):

    The interval of limitation in case of mortgages to redeem or recuperate
    possession of mortgaged immovable property (Article
     for foreclosures of
    mortgages (Article  63a) or fits
    by or on the behalf of the
    Central Authorities or any State Authorities is 30
    years (Article 112);

    Underneath Part 90 of the Proof Act, 1872, a doc 30 years or
    extra is presumed to be validly executed and the contents thereof
    are presumed to characterize the right settlement or understanding
    between the events there to.

    Nonetheless, a seek for the final 12 years could also be handled as usually
    adequate relying on the transaction for the reason that limitation interval
    to file a go well with within the following circumstances is 12 years:

    • To implement fee of cash secured by a mortgage or in any other case
      charged upon immovable property, when the cash sued for turns into
      due; (Article 62)

    • for possession of immovable property mortgaged, when the
      mortgagee turns into entitled to possession; (Article

    • For possession of immovable property primarily based on earlier
      possession and never on title, when the plaintiff whereas in possession
      of the property has been dispossessed, from the date of such
      dispossession; (Article 64)

    • For possession of immovable property or any curiosity therein
      primarily based on title, when the possession of the defendant turns into
      adversarial to the plaintiff; (Article  65)

    • For possession of immovable property when the plaintiff has
      grow to be entitled to possession by motive of any forfeiture or breach
      of situation, when the forfeiture is incurred or the situation is
      damaged. (Article 66)

  5. Authorized Authority of a minor to switch property:

    It’s pertinent to be heedful when a minor is concerned in switch
    of property. Underneath Part 8 (2) of the Hindu Minority and
    Guardianship Act, 1956, a courtroom permission in favour of a pure
    guardian is a pre-requisite to alienate the minor’s curiosity in
    property. Additional, any switch of immovable property made by a
    guardian could also be accepted by the minor on attaining majority
    (eighteen years of age in India) or revoked by difficult such
    switch by the use of a go well with throughout the prescribed interval of three
    years from attaining majority beneath Article 60 of the Limitation
    Act. Due to this fact, as held by the Supreme Court docket of India on
    25th February, 2019 in Murugan & Ors.
    vs Kesava 
    Gounder (Useless) THR. LRS. And
      [CIVIL APPEAL NO.1782 OF 2019 (arising out of
    S.L.P. (C) No. 21091 of 2010)] such transaction/switch by a
    guardian is voidable and will be put aside upon
    three years from the date of the minor attaining majority.

  6. Nature of Property and Land Use:

    As part of the title verification course of, it’s essential to
    verify the character of the property, as as to whether it’s
    government-owned or privately owned.  Any property which is
    beneath title of presidency can’t be additional transferred or
    alienated with out the prior permission of the related competent
    authority, failing which such switch can be void ab initio

    Additional, primarily based on land use, property will be divided into two broad
    classes i.e. agricultural land and non-agricultural land. Whereas
    conducting title verification it’s essential to determine the land
    use or standing of property in query, as as to whether it’s
    agricultural land or non-agricultural land. Whether it is non-
    agricultural land then it must be additional labeled as
    residential or business, institutional, industrial
    and many others       .

    As a result of realizing the land use sample will assist the client to
    decide the utility of the property. For example, solely
    non-agricultural land can be utilized for residential functions. If on
    verification it’s discovered that property in query is classed as
    agricultural land then it’s a must to apply for the conversion of land
    with an authorization to make use of it for residential functions. If the
    conversion is permitted, solely then is it advisable to proceed with
    the transaction. This data will be derived from the
    evaluation register maintained by the native municipal

  7. Growth and building:

    Within the case the property in query has some ongoing developments
    or building, a couple of steps could also be seen to be added to title
    verification course of. It should be ensured that any building,
    which may be ongoing, is in adherence to the constructing plan and
    sanction plan in the identical method as prescribed and handed by the
    acceptable municipal authorities.

    Along with this, builders are required to hunt various
    permissions and approvals with regard to infrastructure and utility
    services like water, sewage, electrical energy, atmosphere compliance
    and many others. The suitable acquisition and sanction of those should be
    adequately ensured.

    In case of ‘able to move-in’ properties, one additionally wants
    to duly confirm test occupancy and completion certificates.

    Due to this fact, whereas conducting title verification it’s suggested to
    decide whether or not all of the native building guidelines had been adopted
    and complied with or not.

    Additional, if the property is beneath building stage it’s
    necessary to scrutinize following points –

    • One should verify if the developer is the proprietor of land itself
      or if he has entered right into a joint improvement settlement with the
      landowner. In case of latter, an influence of legal professional should be executed
      between the landowner and developer, which should be scrutinized
      whereas conducting title verification.

    • It should be ascertained that the builder is complying with all
      the native building and security guidelines.

    • Additionally it is vital to find out if the builder had sought all
      the required permissions, authorization and approvals.

    • One want to determine if the development is in compliance with
      the sale settlement.

    Whether or not there’s enough entry to the topic property.

  8. Fees/Encumbrances:

    • Actual Property (Regulation and Growth) Act, 2016
      (“RERA“): Pursuant to the arrival of the
      RERA; it’s important to make sure that, any property improvement
      venture is registered beneath the RERA Authority throughout the State
      which might entail scrutinizing the RERA Registration Certificates.
      Additional, the Agreements for Sale in respect of the flat/premises in
      the buildings forming a part of the event venture must be
      perused and one must be cautious concerning the date of possession
      thereof and the present standing of building with a view to hold any
      buyer complaints/disputes earlier than the RERA tribunal at bay.
      Additional, on should be certain that, particulars/disclosure of the flats/items
      offered within the given venture are offered by the promoter or

    • Insolvency and Chapter Code
      (“IBC“): If the holder of the topic
      property is an organization, one ought to perform Registrar of Firms
      searches to make sure that the property is just not a part of any
      mortgage/cost or hypothecation. Additional, the earlier three
      years’ audited steadiness sheet together with revenue and loss account
      of the proprietor/developer for the final three years must be
      scrutinized with a view to be certain that, the corporate shall not be
      declared as bancrupt or be wound up making it liable in a number of
      money owed to its secured/unsecured collectors.

    • Statutory Dues: One ought to be certain that; revenue tax dues,
      municipal taxes together with evaluation/property tax, water and
      electrical energy payments are paid failing which the involved division
      of the native Authorities physique might have a lien on the topic

    • Pending Litigations: With a view to have readability on any
      undisclosed disputes/ litigations, one ought to perform litigation
      searches in respect of the entity in holding of the topic
      property with a view to verify whether or not there are any orders/claims
      affecting the topic property and/or the rights/curiosity of the
      proprietor/holder in respect thereof.

    • Acquisition Course of: In India, the Proper to Truthful
      Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation
      and Resettlement Act, 2013 restricts the alienation rights of the
      unique proprietor. Whereas conducting title due-diligence, it’s
      pertinent to make sure that the topic property is just not beneath any
      acquisition course of as a result of if any transaction is executed on the
      property which has been acquired by the federal government, the transaction
      shall be handled as void ab initioand can’t be
      enforced legally.

  9. Restrictions and allowances:

    Actual covenants on the property might are available to the image owing
    the housing society’s bye-laws. Such bye-laws enumerate the
    restrictions and allowances with respect to building on the

    For instance, bye-laws of the society is probably not permitting you to
    cowl the balconies and open areas or you could be required to
    observe a particular building plan or there may be some parking
    restrictions that are to be thought-about earlier than investing in
    property.  So, these bye-laws should be scrutinized whereas
    conducting title verification.

    Easementary rights too might pose a problem. It’s potential that the
    proprietor might have offered a proper to approach to an adjoining property, or
    there will be easements created for utility companies like a portion
    of property might have been reserved for set up and restore of
    water and sewage pipelines, electrical cables and many others. which should be
    appeared into and verified whereas conducting title verification.

  10. Income Data:

    One should scrutinize the Property Register Card, Encumbrance
    Certificates, Khata/Patta Certificates and different income data (by
    no matter identify known as in several States uas per relevant State
    legal guidelines) as materials for reference to determine and make clear the chain
    of title of previous holders. Nonetheless, one must be cautious as to
    their conclusive worth since entries mutated within the income data
    aren’t title deeds and the identical can’t be relied on for
    establishing absolute title in favour of the holder/proprietor. Document
    of rights and mutation data (accessible by way of income
    authorities in several States) although not held as official title
    paperwork can nonetheless be seen as a promising supply for the
    verification as such paperwork replicate the character of the precise of
    the transferor with respect to topic property.

    The identical has been noticed by the Apex courtroom on
    16th April, 2007 in Suraj Bhan & Ors.
    vs. Monetary Commissioner & Others
    APPEAL NO. 1971 OF 2007.]

  11. Others:

    In a landmark judgment handed by the Hon’ble Bombay Excessive Court docket
    on 26th August, 1991 in Ramniklal Tulsidas
    Kotak and Others vs. Varsha Builders and Others 
    of Motion NO. 966 OF 1991 In Suit No. 1094 OF
    1991], the next tips to be adopted by the
    Advocates and Solicitors whereas issuing title certificates have been
    laid down:

    • perusal of the title deeds;

    • conducting searches within the workplace of the Sub-Registrar (and
      additionally of the Registrar of Firms in case the seller is a restricted

    • issuing public notices in at the least two newspapers (one in
      vernacular and the opposite in English circulating within the space the place
      the property is located) inviting claims of any member of the
      public towards or in respect of the property in query;

    • to require the architect of the purchaser to determine whether or not
      the land is beneath set-back or reservation;

    • to manage requisitions of title and be glad concerning the

    • to acquire declaration on oath from the seller concerning the
      factual place earlier than issuing a certificates of title.

Explicit Conditional Classes of Land in

This part offers specifically with the conditional classes
of land within the state of Maharashtra. In conducting a title due
diligence on any land which may be labeled any of the next
classes that’s to be topic of switch of title, one should
take notice the particular provisions talked about herein.

It’s pertinent to notice that, for the next classes of
land in Mumbai, Maharashtra, prior permission is required for

  • Public Belief Property: Prior permission of Charity Commissioner
    required beneath part 36 of the Bombay Public Trusts Act,

  • Collector’s Land: Prior permission of the Collector of
    Mumbai Metropolis required.

  • MCGM Land: Prior permission of the Municipal Company of
    Higher Mumbai (MCGM) required.

  1. Collector’s Land Switch 
    Charges: The State Authorities
    of Maharashtra by way of its Income and Forest Division follows a
    coverage of charging switch charges for granting permission to
    switch, lease or license the premises in buildings constructed on
    Authorities Land in accordance with the Maharashtra Land Income
    Code, 1966. The speed of switch prices levied in areas falling
    inside Mumbai District and Mumbai Suburbs might fluctuate for Industrial
    and/or Business Premises. Whereas the paperwork in respect of such
    premises are accepted for registration, the Collector can levy a
    demand for fee of switch prices pursuant thereto making a
    lien on the premises till fee thereof.

  2. MHADA Land: Regulation 33(7) of the
    Growth Management and Promotion Laws, 2034 (“DCPR,
    2034”) makes a provision for 51% irrevocable written consents
    of tenants in favour of the developer/proprietor in respect of any
    re-development venture falling beneath the housing schemes of the
    Maharashtra Housing and Space Growth Authority (MHADA) and/or
    Mumbai Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB).

  3. Slum Land: Regulation 33(10) of the DCPR
    2034 makes varied provisions in respect of slums (censused or
    else) together with fee of premium by the developer/slum
    co-operative housing societies in respect of slum rehabilitation
    schemes proposed to be undertaken on lands owned by the Authorities,
    Semi-Authorities undertakings and native our bodies.

  4. Mill Land: Regulation 35 of the DCPR,
    2034 offers for sick/closed cotton textile mill lands in
    Maharashtra whereby; a monitoring committee headed by a retired
    excessive courtroom decide shall be accountable for granting approvals and
    usually overseeing the re-development of such mill lands.
    Due to this fact, one must be cautious to scrutinize such further
    approvals and compliance of permissions/circumstances granted by the
    monitoring committee.

  5. Switch to Agriculturist: Underneath S. 63 of
    the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948
    (“MTAL”); switch of agricultural land is restricted to
    an agriculturist and the Supreme Court docket of India in its judgment
    dated 15th June, 2020 in Vinodchandra
    Sakarlal Kapadia vs. State of Gujarat 
    2573 OF 2020] upheld the identical stating that, an agriculturist might
    not half together with his agricultural land to a non-agriculturist by way of
    a will/testamentary disposition and upheld the prohibition towards
    transfers with out the earlier sanction of the involved
    authorities. Due to this fact, undertaken with the prior permission of the
    Collector or Officer approved by the State Authorities. Additional,
    Part 63 was amended in 2016 to take away such bar/restriction for
    switch in sure areas of Maharashtra and imposing sure
    circumstances to be used inside 5 years, penalty of two% of market worth
    for non-usage inside 5 years, and many others. Accordingly, one has to take
    Part 63-1A and the circumstances stipulated thereunder into
    consideration whereby the agricultural land is purported for use
    for bona fide industrial functions.


Considering all that has been mentioned above, we are able to
verify that Authorized Due Diligence performs a pivotal position within the
amicable decision of any transaction associated to actual property
property for its sale, buy, lease or mortgage. To make sure the
sanctity of the title of the property, which types the topic of
the transaction, it’s crucial to conduct a radical title
verification course of. For a faulty title maintain no actual worth, and
it the title to the property that creates the possession rights and
be certain that they’re free from any doubts, dangers and away from any
form of claims, encumbrances and defects.

 It’s compulsory to analyze, consider and scrutinise
each such file or details about the true property property
which impacts the character and transactions of such property.
Additional, it’s advisable earlier than getting into into any such transaction
of a property, to find out and be certain that all chain deeds, title
paperwork, encumbrance certificates, insurance coverage insurance policies and
authorities authorizations are in accordance with the statutory

The content material of this text is meant to offer a normal
information to the subject material. Specialist recommendation must be sought
about your particular circumstances.

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