Property decisions are usually among the most fraught and tense ones to make in an individual’s life. They needn’t be so though, thanks to an ever-improving ease of access to all kinds of information. All you need to be armed with is a check-list and the willingness to ask. Read on as we detangle the must-dos before buying, selling or renting a home.
– Let’s start with a ‘non-document’ tip- run a public notice of your intention to buy the property – in any newspaper, English or regional. This will protect your interests better should any litigation arise regarding your purchase.
– Run a legal search of the property, this applies to those cases where a bank loan is not being availed of (their lawyers will carry this step out) A lawyer will check the chain of deeds to ensure you receive a clear title.
– Encumbrance, ‘No Objection’ and Occupation certificates – Ask for and verify all of these to ensure the building and your apartment are constructed with all the necessary clearances and to approved norms.
– Ensure the following documents are in place when you commence to sell your home/apartment
o Sale deed – basically, the title deed drawn up when you bought the property.
o Mother Deed – the chain of title deeds preceding yours that establishing a clear line right up to the first purchase.It is essential that this chain be unbroken till your ownership.
o Latest Property Tax paid receipt, Khata, Encumbrance, ‘No Objection’ and Occupation certificates
– Read your agreement carefully – ensure all costs payable by you and by your landlord are clearly demarcated. Agree upon a notice period to vacate the premises, and ensure that it’s mentioned. If pets are a concern, and you want to make sure yours is allowed, have it written into the agreement.
o Essential clauses
o Licence fee: Quantum, due date & consequences of delay/non-payment of rent
o Security deposit: Quantum and refund provisions on termination/expiry of agreement
o Taxes, whether inclusive or exclusive of licence fee
o Charges: Who would pay for electricity, water, maintenance and parking
o Term of the agreement, as well as renewal (if any) to be clearly defined
o Lock-in period (if any) agreed between the parties
o Termination provisions of both parties
o Liquidated damages for breach of obligations, including failure to vacate after termination/expiry of agreement
o Alienation rights of the licensor
– Walk around the neighbourhood especially in the evening and night, speak with neighbours, security personnel of your own and next door buildings, ask and ensure that the area is safe, reasonably noise and pollution-free.
– Check all the taps, door knobs, power switches, points and any electrical appliances being offered.
– Look closely into corners for any bug infestations. If you suspect any, ask if an extermination visit can be carried out before you move in – this will also give you a chance to gauge your landlord’s willingness to cooperate with reasonable requests.
– Click pictures of the house the day you move in, share them with the broker and landlord if possible. This will ensure no unnecessary charges are deducted from your deposit for already present damage or wear and tear when you move out.