Nobody wants to run into an unnecessary litigation or legal battle and hence before buying a property, getting its title searched should be the first and the most important step. Title search involves the examination of the documents of a property from the records of the Government to determine and confirm the legal ownership of the property. It also reveals any defects as to the title of the property. “Due diligence” is hence one such important step which should never be skipped or avoided just to save some penny and time as it might later cause numerous troubles to the buyer. Due Diligence ensures-
Title verification or Title Search of a property is often used interchangeably with due diligence. The former is however a part of the latter. Title search is limited to verification of the title deeds i.e the sale deed, conveyance deed, gift deeds etc. of a property- whether they are in the name of the seller, however Due diligence covers verification of the legal capacity of the seller, obtaining encumbrance certificates regarding the property stating that the property is free from encumbrances, verification if the property tax till date has been paid or not, mutation records, etc. It is important that the seller should have mutated the property in his name before selling it.
The title report generally consists of the transactions that took place through registered and valid documents. A Title search Report includes the details as to the location of the property, description of the past owners of the property and the chain of title, any third-party interest, and legal issue pertaining to the property, permissible usage and zoning of the property etc.
The time taken to conduct the title search of the property depends on the period for which the title documents are being verified which might range from a period from 15-30 years.
The title search can be done with the help of lawyers or agents at the office of the Sub -Registrar in whose jurisdiction the property is registered. The search can also be conducted online on the official website which might vary from State to State. For example, in Delhi, the search can be conducted online on ‘Delhi Online Registration Information System’ (DORIS) which is a website run by the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.
Generally, documents such as Title deed /Sale deed/ Conveyance Deed, Mutation records, Property tax receipts, etc. are required to get the title of a property searched.
To conclude, title search is an important step before buying a property. A property should hold a good and a clear marketable title, as a property with a defective title is always troublesome and holds no value. Hence it is important to determine the details as to the ownership and claims etc. on the property before investing in the same.
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