Living in another nation with a property in India? Most of you would know what a power of attorney or POA is. It is a provision that assists you to represent yourself even when you are physically absent. A Power of Attorney is a helpful tool, especially when it comes to non-resident Indians( NRIs), frequent travellers, and old people who cannot keep travelling their hometowns to manage property-related businesses. Though, POA abuse is also rampant.
Here’s what you need watch out for to guard your interest as the primary owner of property:
When the ‘agent’ tweaks his responsibility
You would surely not want to spoil your relationship with the person who is assumed to represent you in your absence. But, some caution is mandatory. For that, you have to know the difference between a special POA and a general POA.
- A special Power of attorney is made when a representative is elected to do a specified act.
- A general Power of attorney is made when the real owner appoints the representative to carry out a variety of tasks, as is noted in the agreement. Under no circumstances should your real estate agent tweak his laid-out responsibilities.
Selling through an unregistered General Power of Attorney
While a land and property can be sold through a General POA, it needs to be registered by at the Sub-Registrar’s Office. If you see your property agent is trying to sell through an unregistered General POA, act before it is too late. Often unregistered General POAs are the ones where sellers had tried to avoid stamp duty.
Selling despite a nullified Power of Attorney / in case of death
Make sure you provide all POAs null and void after the work is done or if you realize that your property agent isn’t trustworthy enough to handle it. As the Real Estate Law has now come into effect, such violations would be ruled to monetary penalty and a jail term, too.
Nevertheless, note that there have been cases when an agent has also sold the property after the principal’s death. Such cases can lead to dispute among the legal heirs. Therefore, make sure that while drafting a POA, you are calculating every risk associated with it. In a reformation to the Indian Registration Act, 1908, it was suggested that an agent should present documentary evidence to prove that the principal is alive by asking a certificate from a registered medical practitioner which ought to be valid for a month’s period.