1. Can I have an office in a residential area?
Having an office in a residential area is against the zonal regulations of the Corporation and also of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. Certain offices like those of doctors and lawyers are allowed in residential areas. Hostels, schools upto secondary level, temples, neighborhood convenience stores, milk booths, post offices, semi public recreational use are permitted. If the office is within a sanctioned office complex in a residential area, it is relatively safer. However the sanctioned plan itself can be challenged on the grounds of zonal violations.
Action may be taken at any time against users violating zonal regulations either through the complaint of the neighbors or directly by the concerned authority.
2. How important is Khata?
Khata is basically a supporting document of title. It is the entry of the present owner in the municipal records. The absence of khata in the name of a current owner can be rectified at any time by applying for khata transfer. Khata has become important because it is required for loans, title opinions, electricity meter name change, registration, etc. Khata is changed after a sale deed is executed or after a property is inherited through a will, gift, partition, etc.
3. What are the extra expenses while buying property?
One has to be prepared for brokerage fees, lawyer’s fees, stamp duty and registration expenses. In the case of first time purchase of flat, K.E.B. and B.W.S.S.B. deposits, maintenance charges per sq. ft. and car parking charges are included. Those going for a bank loan will have to bear in mind the legal processing charges of the bank.
4. Can I purchase property which is not registered by the agreement holder?
Yes. Sometimes a person enters into an agreement to purchase property and does not register it in his name. They are generally investors in property. Property can be purchased from them through a tripartite sale deed between the owner, the agreement holder and the purchaser. This is to be done after all other parameters of title are checked and found to be clear.
5. What is the meaning of Power of Attorney property?
An agreement holder (as explained above) who also has a power of attorney to sell the land and/or building is normally a developer. Alternatively, a person may have paid the entire consideration to the owner and holds on to the property for some time to sell it at a later date for a profit. The sale will be effected by the power of attorney holder on behalf of the owner. Such power of attorney must be properly stamped and registered. It should also not be revoked.
6. Can I buy agricultural land?
In Karnataka, only agriculturists can purchase agricultural land. To be an agriculturist, one must already have agricultural land and the pahani, which shows the name of the person who is in actual cultivation. Owning agricultural land outside the state will also be enough to purchase agricultural land in Karnataka. No company or firm can hold agricultural land in Karnataka. Persons having an income of more than Rs. 2 lakhs per annum from non-agricultural sources cannot hold agricultural land.
7. What is green belt?
Green Belt means areas marked exclusively for agriculture, horticulture, brick kilns, poultry, etc. in the C.D.P. (Comprehensive Development Plan). It is a belt like area all around Bangalore. No development can take place in the green belt, except by special permission from the government for certain areas like industry, schools, poor income housing etc. Lands in the green belt cannot be converted except in the case of special permission granted by the government for the aforesaid purposes.
8. Can I buy revenue land/gramthana sites?
Gramthana means a village settlement. Normally such settlements are amidst agricultural lands. The limits of such gramthanas are well defined in the village panchayat records. Any fresh agricultural land, which has been sub-divided into sites by making ‘Form 20’, which shows that it is a village house site, circumvents the procedure for conversion of land or the procedure for change in land use. Action may be taken at any time by the concerned authorities on such lands.
9. Can I buy a site in a layout made outside the corporation limits?
Layouts formed outside the corporation area should be converted from agricultural use, have BDA plan approval and should confirm to CDP zonal regulations. Make sure that water, electricity (permanent) and sanitary connections have been provided by the appropriate authority. Deviations from the sanctioned plan should be within prescribed limits.
10. What are the precautions to be taken before purchasing a flat from a builder?
The title of the property should be checked by a lawyer. The agreement between the landowner and the builder should be scrutinized for payment of proper stamp duty. The power of attorney held by the builder should be examined for validity and payment of stamp duty thereon. The sanctioned plan and occupation certificates are important for verifying FAR and deviations on it. Buildings with more than 3 floors need the additional permissions from the airport authority. The land use must also be checked in the CDP. Finally the agreements provided by the builder have to be a fair and balanced one.
11. What is single window agency?
The State government has recently formed the single window agency. It seeks to clear large projects for industrial and residential uses in specified areas. It is meant to be a one-stop agency for all clearances of large-scale projects that require conversion of land.
12. What is the difference between conversion and change of land use?
Conversion of land is needed for agricultural land to be diverted to other uses and is granted by the Deputy commissioner concerned. The new use should be in consonance with the CDP. Lands in green belt cannot be converted. It can be exempted for specific uses that are allowed. This does not include housing. Change of land use is done within the urban agglomeration if the land is to be used for purposes other than that shown in the CDP. It is a permission granted by the BDA.
13. What are the problem areas in property transactions?
1. Beware of land grabbers who appropriate public lands.
2. Be careful of lands that do not have a history of 30 years and come into existence overnight.
3. Always verify for encroachments into neighbouring boundaries.
4. Custody of original documents with the seller is important because that can always be mortgaged to banks.
5. Check for land use and proper plan sanctions that are ignored for layouts made outside the corporation boundaries.
6. Never buy a house site in the green belt.
7. Occupancy certificates for multi-storied buildings are the only document evidencing the fact that the building has been constructed to plan and this is often a problem area.
8. Backlog of property taxes and other dues should always be verified.
9. Prior agreement holders and litigations are to be ruled out by inserting paper notices.
10. Never buy lands notified for acquisition. The onus for verifying it is that of the purchaser.
(This article has been written by Vatsala Dhananjay who is an Advocate on Estate Law, feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)