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Lost property documents

(Querist) 21 May 2024 This query is : Resolved 
I have shortlisted a property to buy. However the owner has informed me that they are not in possession of the original papers but have a true copy of the same. The flat was handed over to them by their parents via gift deed. Their parents have now passed away.

In such case what would be most appropriate legal route to follow to buy the property if I decide to go ahead with it? How would you know if there any outstanding loans against the property? In the future would it be difficult to sell the property?
kavksatyanarayana (Expert) 21 May 2024
Obtain a copy of the document and also obtain EC for 30 years from the Sub Registrar concerned. Show them to an experienced advocate of your area for further guidance.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert) 21 May 2024
If you are buying an immovable property you have to exercise due diligence and extract precaution.
There's no necessity to buy a property when the vendor is not having original title document neither willing to indemnify the buyer against the future litigation or loss.
You can ask the vendor to produce
1. The copy of the police complaint regarding loss of original document and the report by police, copy of the public notice published in the local newspaper,
2. An indemnity bond to indemnify the buyer
3. Encumbrance certificate from the date prior to execution of the gift deed,
4. Chain or link documents prior to original parent document,
5. Tax receipts
6. All other relevant papers pertaining to the property,
7. A legal opinion from an experienced lawyer in the local.
My advice would be to avoid purchasing such property without proper title deeds. In case you are bent upon purchasing it, in addition to the documents Expert Shri T Kalaisivelan listed out, obtain the following also:

1. Death certificates of both the Parents;
2. . Mutation proceedings of Municipality changing property from parents to present owners(Children), if it is done by now. If not done, reasons therefor. Insist on getting the property mutated in their name before you purchase as a pre condition for even giving advance.Similar document relating to Electricity supply and other utilities.
3. Legal Heir Certificate to present owners are properly identified as children of original owners
4. Tax paid receipts in the name of present owners.
5. Present owners are residing in the same property? If so, since how long?
6. Discrete enquiries about the house, its owners past and present.
7. Details of relatives of vendors may be collected and enquire with them to elicit facts and to know anybody else has a claim over the property.
8. Most important, a thorough and detailed Legal Scrutiny Report(LSR) based on existing documents, papers and known facts from a highly reliable, reputed and knowledgeable and practising Lawyer specialising in matters of transfer of immovable property, who is in no way linked or remotely related to Vendor. Proceed only if such report is positive and all the documents mentioned there in(LSR) are made available and/or obtained and given to you by the proposed Vendor.
9. Paper publication prominently in a local news paper which has largest circulation 2-3 times spaced apart at least a fortnight, stating vtge fact that you intend to purchase the property giving full particulars, seeking objection if any before a particular date. If no objections are received then proceed duly complying with all other points noted above, duly making the ad cuttings, receipt for payment for ad by you as part of link documents and ensuring the fact of no objection received mentioned in the registered sale deed in your favour.

You may have to wait several years, at least 12 years from the date of your purchasing is. Date of registered sale deed in your favour to be sure that property you purchased is unencumbered and there are no other claimants.

In future whether you can sell?
You can, provided a strong willed person like you comes forward, who shall have a Registered Sale Deed as link document while you don't have any.

Avoid purchasing the property unless the owners are well known, maybe your relatives and have good standing in the locality and society where property is located.

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