Owing to the opacity of the Indian real estate market, many times innocent property buyers are taken for a ride by scamsters. The procedure used by most of the fraudsters is to mislead you and to use your ignorance about the system. An absolute understanding of things would help you to be protected against fraud. Property lawyers play a crucial role in protecting you against all these issues if you seek legal advice on time.
Here, we’ll share with you what the possible scam might be.
Fake documents: This is the simplest way to be cheated by a seller. In the majority of cases, a naive buyer is handed over fake property documents. It is advisable to check the appropriate documents from the Sub-Registrar office and take legal advice from a property lawyer.
Double Mortgage Opportunities: There is a possibility that the seller mortgaged the property with two different banks before selling the property to you. There have been various cases where sellers have availed of loans against the Indian real estate, dispose of the property and disappeared into thin air. You have to fight a lengthy lawsuit to get your hard-earned money back. It is better to get the particulars of ownership confirmed by the sub-registrar office.
The general power of attorney (GPA): There are chances that the property you are purchasing was given on GPA by the actual owner. A general power of attorney is prone to fraud because the same property can be sold to different people. There have been many cases where the real owner approves more than one person for the GPA and all end up selling the property to different people.
The land belongs to the government: A scammer can show you government land. You may become a victim of fraud if the seller has created an unauthorised layout in government land. You must ensure that the property or the house is shown to you by the owner is in his/her possession. Making local enquiries are always useful.
Encroachments: Many cases were reported where the seller has encroached his neighbour’s property by violating the layout. He can register this intruded layout in your name after extracting a sizeable amount from you. Later, you realise that you are not the legitimate owner of the said portion. This would make it difficult for you to claim your money back if your seller has vanished from the scene.
Dubious agreements: There are odds that you are handed over dubious agreements. For instance, you buy a 350-square-yard Indian real estate and after paying a substantial amount, you get the property registered in your name. However, if you measure the property size at a later date, you realize that the plot size is smaller than the one mentioned in the agreement.
In brief, it is imperative to review every single aspect with the sub-registrar office and take an informed decision.
How to avoid property fraud
For property owners who invest their personal savings in any land or property, no amount of caution is too much.
To safeguard your properties against all frauds, stay updated with the followings:
- Description of land or property
- Calculation of your share
- Certified title documents
- Documents of transfer if any
- Documents for possession
- Appraisal of Property
Take legal advice from Indian property lawyer if necessary: It is important that you seek the legal advice or hire an Indian real estate lawyer for the legal services and discuss all property issues upfront before signing on the dotted lines of any legal document.