A title deed is a written proof of the title and legal ownership and rights that a person has over the land or property mentioned in the document. It emphasises and establishes a legal bond of the property owner with his/her property.
What are Title Deeds?
Paper documents that evidence the true ownership of land or an immovable property are known as title deeds. Title means the right that the owner has over the property. They usually show the chain of ownership over land and property, which may include conveyances, wills, mortgages, contracts for sale and also leases.
Essentials in the Title Deed
The following particulars need to be present in a valid title deed –
- It must state on its face that it is a Deed.
- The document must indicate that it conveys some privilege or thing to the buyer.
- The seller must be legally competent to transfer the property.
- Attestation by witnesses is necessary.
For a legally binding title deed, the above factors should exist.
How to Obtain a Title Deed in India?
It is essential to obtain a title deed, even though the process may seem to be lengthy and costly. The procedure for obtaining a title deed in India is thus –
- The buyer has to submit an application to the Urban Development Authority, along with a photocopy of the sale deed.
- An Encumbrance certificate may also be an integral part of the application.
- The lease or sale document of the original owner needs to the obtained.
- The transfer certificate is also a key ingredient of the application process, and is usually provided after proper inspection of the property.
- Stamp duty needs to be paid by the purchaser.
After the above procedure is complete and the concerned authority is satisfied with the credentials, a title deed is issued in the buyer’s name. This deed is then registered at the Sub-registrar’s office.
Why Are Title Deeds Necessary?
Let’s take an illustration to demonstrate the importance of Title Deeds in India. Suppose Mr. Natwar, from Mumbai, wishes to relocate to Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh. In order to make the move, he has purchased a flat in Uttar Pradesh and is waiting on the possession. Even after paying the adequate amount on time, the possession of the property has not been passed on to Mr. Natwar. After countless remainders, calls and notices to the seller, the property still isn’t passed on to Mr. Natwar, the true owner; as he paid the amount due. If Mr. Natwar wishes to take the seller to court for specific performance of contract (in this case, handing over the possession of the property), he will not succeed without a title deed.
The sale of the flat in Uttar Pradesh that Mr. Natwar bought is thus incomplete without transferring the title (ownership) from the seller, to him, which is possible through a title deed. It is integral to have the title deed to be verified by legal experts, to ensure that there is no discrepancy or problem with the same.
Title deeds are the ultimate evidence to prove a legal right to property. The process of buying and selling land and immovable property would be chaotic, troublesome and confusing without the presence of title deeds. Also, lack of this legal document may lead to countless dupes and frauds, which victimise the innocent.