E-Registration of land or property reduces risk of fraud and helps solve disputes easily, in addition to creating and maintaining an up-to-date public record
Land or Property Registration refers to the registration of document changes in ownership and transactions involving immovable property. However, the process of registering land or property documents has several loopholes, which lead to middlemen and babus taking undue advantage and fleecing the common man. With the introduction of online registration or e-registration system, many of these issues in the traditional land registration process are rapidly vanishing.
According to Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO – Residential Services, JLL India, e-registration has simplified the process for providing evidence of titles and facilitating transactions, and will go a long way in preventing the unlawful disposal of land. "The most frequently-occurring type of disagreement in Indian real estate is land dispute. Cases range from of illicit land grabbing and illegal land sales to instances of purchase of land where no actual purchase has taken place – to name just a few. The real estate market has historically been plagued by such issues, and the current government’s initiative of facilitating e-registration to streamline the registration of immovable properties is an extremely progressive move which has been universally welcomed for its transparency and ease of use," he said.
The traditional land registration process, based on the Land Registration Act of 1925, typically involved Powers of Attorney, sale or mortgage of land and transfer of property under rent. The Land Registration Act of 2002 introduced this new system using verified electronic signatures to transfer and register immovable property online.
Talking about benefits of e-registration of land or property, Mr Singh said, it has provided the much-needed transparency like availability of tree of ownership, reduced visits to different offices, calculation and payment of stamp duty based on stored data. E-registration also helped in rationalising broker fees and negated the need for bribes to officials, he added.
States such as Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Sikkim, New Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have the facility in force since as long as the 1990s. Such states have developed the Common Services Centre (CSC) Scheme, where all registrations are verified. These CSCs cover almost all the rural and urban areas.
Under the computerised Land and Property Registration system, registration is easy. Some states require an application to be submitted to the concerned authority, which may be the Sub-Registrar or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of your area. The application form can either be downloaded online or obtained from the concerned authority's office. After due verification of details, the Deed is drawn up and the registration process is complete.
"It pays to remember that a land owner does not exist in the eyes of the government unless the land has been registered. To avoid the risk of personal land being impounded, it makes sense to register all the land documents online today at the respective State’s online website," Mr Singh added.
How to e-Register Land
The procedure of doing e-Registration of land is simple. The land registration and application form can be either downloaded online or obtained from the concerned authority's office in the state. After the verification of form details and the related documents of the concerned person, the land is registered in a matter of days, and this marks the completion of the registration process and establishing the full-accredit ownership of the property.
E-registration Procedure in Urban and Rural Areas
Since property in both urban and rural areas property comes under the jurisdiction of the same State Government and both types of areas are managed under a Tehsil (aka taluka or mandal), the e-registration of property (housing or commercial rental) is fairly similar. The process will only differ if the land is vacant or occupied (built upon).
For vacant land, valuation is done at current market price while for occupied land (with built-up properties like shops, flats, cottages, etc.) it is done on the market price as well as the gross investment utilised by a building. For instance, a single-storied house will be valued higher than a multi-storied house if it is a prime location. Otherwise, the latter commands a higher valuation. In addition, leases of immovable property in urban areas command a higher stamp duty (6%), while in rural areas it is lower (5%).