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5 steps to take on documentation after you buy a house

Recheck whether the correct stamp duty has been paid when you buy a house. Otherwise, you may receive a recovery notice from the stamp department later on.

Buying a house is a tedious and time-consuming exercise. However, even after buying a house, there are a few important tasks that you must complete immediately. These tasks differ based on whether you bought a property in the primary (from a developer) or resale market. Other considerations are whether it’s an independent house or part of a housing society, if there a loan involved or it’s self-funded and so on. Read more to understand the tasks you must accomplish.

Make a file of property documents

Once you buy a property, have all the relevant documents properly arranged in a file. “Prepare records of all documents related to the property: sale deed, registration papers, name in the land records , bank loan document and account details of loans, builder-buyer agreements and so on,” says Harsh Pathak, Real estate matters counsel. While doing so, “also recheck whether the stamp duty has been paid appropriately or not. Else, in future, a recovery notice might be issued from the stamp department, added Pathak.

Get a true copy

Given the high property values, most people take home loans to fund their purchase. In such cases banks or lending institutions keep all the property related documents in their custody, which is given back to the owner only after the loan is cleared. But it is advisable for a homebuyer to keep a “True Copy” of the documents handy.

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“A true copy of the property papers may be: (a) a copy of the document ‘certified as true copy’ by a notary, or Magistrate; or (b) a duplicate copy obtained from the Sub-Registrar where the sale deed has been registered,” says Santosh Pandey, Associate with the Sarthak Advocates & Solicitors. Along with a true copy, also keep photocopies of all the documents submitted to the lender.

Go for mutation

If you buy a property in the resale market, the property is already registered in someone’s name; so, you must go for mutation of property soon after buying it. “Mutation is the process of updating the name of the new owner in land revenue records of the municipal department and takes place after the sale title deed is registered with the registrar of properties,” says Pathak.

“It is good to get the property mutated in the revenue records. The process may vary depending on whether the property is situated within municipal limits or not,” says Pandey.

The process of mutation may differ from state to state. “In certain states, mutation of agricultural land is compulsory and the timeline for the same has been prescribed. In such cases, a delay in mutation may also attract penalties. However, for non-agricultural land, in most states, it is not a mandatory requirement. Mutation on its own does not confer a title on the property, although it does create circumstantial evidence of title. The process should be completed as soon as possible after the acquisition of the property,” added Pandey.

While mutation may not be mandatory, it can be an essential requirement when you plan to sell the property. “Unless mutation is done no future sale can be done of the property. Hence incase one plans to purchase property such as agriculture land for self use it is essential to get the property mutated in your own name, so that all dues of the government such as property tax are paid, in case of non-agricultural land or housing society apartments, it can be delayed. But nowadays, most states require the mutation to be done along with registration of sale of property so that all taxes and utilities bill are collected from the owner,” says Pathak.

Transfer of utilities connection

The next step should be to update your names in records of utility connection providers. “Get the name changed in all municipal supplies such as water and electricity departments. Also, in the case of purchase in housing societies, one needs to check with the respective RWA and bye laws for any charges to be paid and change of name in records,” says Pathak.

Make or update the Will

Once you buy a house, it is prudent to make a Will or update the existing one. Most disputes among family members occur in the absence of a Will. “It is advisable that every property owner during his/ her lifetime decides on how the disposal of assets will be done after their lifetime. Hence, once an asset is bought, it’s updated in the form of a codicil (Codicil is addition to an already made Will in form of an addendum) to an existing Will. Or, while drafting the Will, it should be mentioned as to any future additions in assets of the persons be disposed in the manner as decided in the Will,” says Pathak.

Update your new address in your bank records, investments and so on. You should also take an insurance policy that covers your home loan liability; start paying the property taxes as per the schedule.
Ashwini Kumar Sharma
first published: Jul 27, 2021 09:44 am

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