Sale of Immovable Property – The Rights and Liabilities of the Seller

10928861_767789333274231_2306363408022220790_nWhenever a contract is drawn up for a sale of immovable property in India, the seller is given certain rights and corresponding liabilities, towards the buyer. In the absence of the contrary, the fundamental rule book with regard to such rights and liabilities is the Transfer of Property Act which came into effect on 1st July in 1882.

After this act came into force, every seller who wishes to sell his immovable property, which may include land, houses or even apartments or flats in Lucknow, is bound by the express conditions laid down in the sub-sections to S 55 of the aforementioned act, which is highlighted below:

Rights of the Seller

Every seller has certain rights upon the property s/he wishes to sell. These privileges and rights can be further divided as –

  • Before Completion of Sale:The seller is entitled to all monies due from the property, accrued in the form of rents and profits before the ownership passes to the buyer.
  • After Completion of Sale:Generally, the rights of the seller are extinguished once the ownership passes on to the buyer. However, the seller is warranted a charge on the immovable property, in the hands of the buyer, or any other transferee without receiving consideration for the amount of unpaid purchase money. However, he is entitled to such charge only when the possession has passed from his hands and a part or the whole of the purchase money is yet to be paid.

Liabilities of the Seller

Along with rights, the sellers also have particular responsibilities that they need to fulfill while selling their property. These can again be distributed in the subsequent groups –

Before Completion of Sale:

Prior to completion of the sale, the seller is duty bound to perform the following six tasks, with respect to the buyer –

  • To disclose important defects in the asset to be sold or his title to it, of which the buyer is unaware, if it is of material significance and cannot be ascertained by the buyer even with reasonable care and prudence.
  • To produce for with every document relating to the title of the property that the buyer may request to see.
  • To answer all the pertinent questions relating to the property and its title, whichever the buyer may have for the seller.
  • To execute a proper conveyance deed on payment of consideration.
  • Take prudent care of all documents and the property before it passes on to the buyer.
  • To pay all fees, rents and public charges till the date of sale.

After Completion of Sale:

Even after the seller’s flat in Lucknow has been sold to the buyer, the seller is legally responsible in the following ways –

  • The seller is bound to give possession to the buyer.
  • He is duty bound to give all legal documents relating to the property and the sale, once the consideration has been received in full.
  • He is deemed to have contracted with the buyer that his personal interest in the property subsists to the buyer, and he no longer has any right to the property. Thus, the seller’s covenant to title of the property is extinguished upon sale.

Thus, we see the important rights and liabilities bestowed upon the sellers who wish to sell their immovable property in India.

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