Buying and selling property
Real estate as an investment option has always intrigued the NRI buyers. Be it land, a built house, an apartment or commercial property, a lot of NRI wealth is invested in real estate. And of course, it promises great returns over the years and is one sector where growth is certain, however minor or major. NRI also have the zeal to build their own “home” back in their motherland. No doubt we have such palatial mansions owned by NRI in the areas with predominantly NRI population. Some place they could come back to for vacations or may be for a longer time post retirement. Therefore the real estate sector always has inflows of NRI customers looking for the perfect asset to suit their requirements. As lucrative as this may look, this very sector also needs some careful deliberation and examination before going ahead with any transaction. There are a lot of loopholes and rules and regulations that an NRI buyer/seller must pay heed to. The complicated legal system and the myriad steps involved in completing a transaction make the NRI who usually are not aware of all these, even more prone to being duped or misled by property dealers and builders. This is one path where you must tread with caution and seek prior advice from an NRI lawyer.
NRI Legal Services have been helping NRI find their dream home or the perfect investment option since years. We have both expertise and experience of concluding buying/selling transactions with minimum hassles and maximum prudence. Being established in the tri-city since years, we have been keeping constant tabs on the changing dynamics of real estate. Hence we can be of help not merely for the paperwork involved but also make sure you get the best deal and worth for your hard earned money. A sale or purchase agreement is a legal contract and has a number of steps involved:
- Brokerage Contract- In case the NRI client decides to avail the services of a broker instead of looking for the required property on her own, a brokerage contract is signed or could be in oral form with the broker who charges a commission. We strongly recommend a written contract to avoid any problems and we will make sure it is upto the mark.
- Identifying a suitable property and the buyer/seller- A thorough background check should be done, both for the party in transaction and the property. We help our NRI clients identify red flags, if any. We will make sure the price being quoted is fair as per the location, prevailing market rates and the area. Similarly, we also check the credentials of the individual, company or builders you plan to buy property from, for their track record and service reviews.
- Title establishment- Our lawyers will also check the records of the property for any pending dues or disputes. We also make sure that the owner has the authority to sell the property. The title of the property is thus established after due inspection on all fronts. This is perhaps the most critical step and should never be taken lightly since any anomalies regarding the title could spell trouble later for the NRI buyer.
- Preparation of documents- We help you prepare all documents pertaining to the sale/purchase agreement and also draft the agreement for you. Our lawyers will also negotiate on your behalf to ensure to get a fair deal. With our legal advice, your transaction will be completed smoothly and any possibility of future legal troubles will also be ruled out.
Our attorneys will guide you in matters of tax compliance and repatriation also, if need be, since most of NRI wish to transfer additional amount back abroad. We do not have any rigid boundaries for offering our services. Once you are our client, our NRI lawyers go well beyond the duty list to make sure you don’t face any inconvenience.
Every property transaction is preceded by title search. Title search, in simple words, is checking of the property’s previous records, usually going back 33 years. Public records are accessed and checked for ownership details and extent of area. Title search also lets the prospective buyer know if there are any pending disputes or monetary dues on the property in question. The tax-related transactions, approvals and construction plans are also examined to make sure there is no violation of any law. This task is beyond a layman’s scope. It needs special knowledge regarding where to get the title deeds from and what all to look for. Though some NRI try to get their relatives to help them thinking they will manage on their own yet if they are able to get the papers, the documents are in vernacular language even if available online and at times do not give out comprehensive information necessary to clearly establish the ownership and extent of property. Hence, it is strongly advised to get professional help for this matter and we have a dedicated team of lawyers to deal specifically with title search and giving a green signal to finalise the purchase agreement. Our lawyers will collect all relevant records or apply for them if not available readily, will corroborate with the facts told by the seller and check them for their legitimacy. We also conduct spot surveys to be doubly sure before our client goes ahead with the transaction. The property is also checked for any ratification deeds in its favour or any unsettled dues (to the banks or any other authority) or any unpaid tax. Only after being sure of all these aspects, we give a comprehensive report to the NRI client about going ahead with the deal.
Property Valuation (in divorce or otherwise)
Divorce is accompanied by a lot of emotional upheavals and disruption of the rhythm of routine life. To add to the turmoil, the spouses also need to divide the assets they own jointly, the ones bought during the marriage- the marital property. A divorce lawyers takes care of the divorce proceedings but for division of assets, you will need to seek help from a property lawyer. And being an NRI, there might be cross border assets too, making legal assistance in this regard more of a necessity rather than a convenient option. Though amicable settlement is always a preferred option yet there are times when one spouse might contest for his/her share in court. In either of the instances, an accurate evaluation of all marital assets, according to the prevailing market prices is of utmost importance. Timely legal intervention will ensure that you do not have to compromise with any of your financial rights during the division of assets. At times the parties are not aware of each others’ assets or their true worth. NRI women are especially vulnerable in this regard. Even working women are still partly dependent on their spouses and must make sure they get their due while getting divorced. Our team of NRI lawyers are complete professionals and experts at property valuation and related tasks. You can greatly save yourself this unnecessary stress and leave it to us to guarantee that your rights are honoured and you get a just share of the assets you built jointly with your spouse.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney refers to a legal document through which the individual referred to as the principal entrust an agent (could be a person or trust) to take decisions on the former’s behalf about his financial assets. It is a convenient method for NRIs who cannot be in India frequently to manage their assets. However, this convenience comes with a lot of precautions to be taken since power of attorney vests the agent with considerable power to take decisions with respect to the owner’s properties and therefore must be a trusted and accountable person. The provisions included in the power of attorney agreement define the extent of the agent’s capacity at act on behalf of the principal. Naturally, drafting of this agreement must be done meticulously and under the auspices of an NRI legal expert. Legal assistance will not only ensure that the agreement is appropriately worded and leaves no loopholes for its misuse but will also take care of all the essential facts that must be mentioned, for instance- the purpose, the rights being vested in the agent and the time period for it being in effect. An NRI lawyer can also recommend the most suitable type of power of attorney as per the requirement of NRI client, since there is more than one type of such agreement. The attorney will also take care of the best interests of the NRI client and leave no lacuna for any legal trouble in the future as well.
Transfer of Property
A transfer of property is mandatory when the ownership of property changes. This change could result due to passing away of owner- according to the Will or by the law of Succession. Sale of property or gifting of property also needs to be registered and property needs to be transferred. Furthermore, transfer of property also occurs when one of the owners of a jointly-owned asset decides to give up his share or if the property gets attached by the court to pay outstanding dues of the owner. As is true of most legal procedures in India, transfer of property is no exception and is an equally complex and lengthy process. The complications exacerbate for NRIs since they are not able to be present here in India while the process is underway. This is where an NRI lawyer comes to the rescue and makes things simpler for the NRI client. Our team provides guidance from beginning till the end, and takes care of every little detail to make it as convenient as possible for the client. From getting the deed registered and fulfilling all legal obligations such as payment of stamp duty and registration fee, to getting all the title deeds, revenue records and mutations in your favour, our NRI attorneys will make sure everything is taken care of and let you take a backseat and relax while your property gets transferred to your name.
Partition of Property
With passage of time, within both families and business groups, division of jointly owned assets becomes inevitable. The inheritance of property by children from their parents or business partners deciding to go their own ways or a joint family turning into nuclear families- all these situations result in the need for partition of property. NRIs have found themselves being party to both kinds of divisions- within the family or within joint business partners. At times, this process doesn’t take the desired path and one or more beneficiaries or shareholders might knock the court’s doors to get his grievance redressed. Whether the partition is to take place with mutual agreement and consent of all parties involved or there is a lawsuit to settle the claims, it is imperative for an NRI to seek professional legal advice to safeguard his/her best interests. Partition of property is an elaborate process and attention must be given to all minute details to ensure it does not lead to any tussles among the parties in the future. An NRI lawyer can oversee the negotiations in case of a mutual division and see to it that interests of all parties are catered to. In case you are caught in a lawsuit challenging division of property or asking for it, our team of experienced NRI advocates will fight tooth and nail to get the verdict in your favour and shield your rightful share of the assets.
Property Builders / Developers Issues
With the increased ownership of property by NRI, the disputes emanating from such transactions have also witnessed an increase. Most of the NRI looking to buy property tend to buy ready-made flats or villas from property builders rather than taking the pain to build it on their own. These days a number of real estate giants have also come up with their own residential colonies or apartments in major Indian cities. However when it comes to providing the possession of the property and the services as stipulated in the agreement, there are dismally a number of cases of defaulting builders and companies. An NRI customer is unable to be present in India and keep a constant tab on the progress of the construction is an easy target. Either the apartment would overstep the time limit for being completed for possession or there would be a mismatch between the amenities promised and those delivered. There have been complaints about NRI being misled by advertisements or charged more than was agreed to. All these lead to unnecessary stress and harassment of the NRI buyer. With no reliable knowledge about the law or the available remedies, getting help from NRI Legal Services is the best bet is such a scenario. The Indian laws have been armed with more teeth when it comes to protecting the rights of the consumers and bringing the violators to book. The consumer courts across the country also fast track the hearings so that the complainant gets relief at the earliest. Therefore, in case you are an NRI undergoing similar trouble, do not hesitate to seek professional help at the earliest. Our NRI legal experts handling property matters will scrutinise all the documents for all the clauses which might be getting violated by the contracting party (the property builder or developer) and make sure we enter the court on a sure footing to get a favourable judgment and requisite compensation.
Illegal Transfer of NRI Property
There has been a spate in civil litigation involving property disputes related to NRI and most of them pertain to illegal transfer of property. Since NRI are unable to actively monitor their properties back in India and are also unaware about the property laws, they are all the more prone to be dragged into property disputes. Lawful transfer of property occurs in the event of the demise of the property owner, according to the provisions of the Will, if there is one, or amongst the class I legal heirs as per the law. Other than this, an owner might want to gift the property or sell it. A gift deed and a sales deed, respectively, would be required in such an instance. The importance of getting the property titles changed as per the change in ownership can’t be stressed enough since any laxity on the part of NRI owners would give a chance to wily people on the lookout for such an opportunity to usurp the property. There are cases of Wills being fabricated, fake documents being made and impersonation of owners to illegally transfer the property, taking advantage of NRI owner’s ignorance and absence. Power of Attorney has also been misused frequently to meddle in property matters of NRI without their knowledge. The rightful owners get to know about it once it is too late. Hence, for an NRI, it is imperative to take stock of his/her property regularly and not to entrust anyone else to act on his/her behalf without checking for that person’s accountability. Given the kind of cases coming up, it isn’t advisable to blindly trust relatives or friends either. In case you have been unfortunately a victim of such illegal transfer of property, our team at NRI Legal Services has a formidable experience of successfully wresting property so transferred and win the case for our NRI client to claim what rightfully belongs to him/her.
Illegal Possession of NRI Property
Most of the NRI have palatial mansions in their native towns and villages or commercial and residential plots/houses in their hometowns. Since they tend to be away for most of the time, NRI prefer to let out the property or some family or friends stay as tenants so that the property’s upkeep is taken care of and it isn’t left vacant. There are instances when NRI chose not to do anything with the property and just let it be. In both the scenarios, there is a high chance of the property being illegally occupied. The caretakers refuse to vacate it and usually there is no written agreement between the owners and tenants and that makes the litigation more complicated. Talking about vacant properties, they are more prone to being occupied by land grabbers or land mafia who are hands in glove with local authorities at times, and always have their eyes on such properties. Fighting against such goons can be an ordeal and impossible without professional legal help. Such cases need lawyers with experience of having fought cases successfully where the adversaries have political backing and are infamous for their involvement in illegal possession and forceful occupancy. The right advice at the right time can get you back your lost property. There are a number of laws which safeguard the rights of the owners against illegal possession of their property. At the same time even the possessors have a few rights while they occupy the property, for example, rights against any violence from the owners. Hence, such cases need a tactful and holistic approach to make sure the owner gets his property back. It also calls for the services of experienced advocates, which makes our team most appropriate for such litigation. Our property eviction lawyers at NRI Legal Services have taken up variety of cases, both complex and simple and our track record says it all. If you are also facing a problem of illegal possession of property, do not waste another moment in deliberation and leave it to us to tackle it for you.
Illegal Sale of NRI Property
NRI Property is usually on the list of property dealers with deceit on their mind or the land mafia to reap undue benefits from such property. Absence of the actual owners makes it easier for such nefarious elements to indulge in illegal activities with respect to property owned by an NRI. Another thing which has been observed is that at times the NRI property owners do not get the property mutated and transferred to their name after inheriting it, thus leaving a dangerous lacuna for such fraudsters to step in. Illegal sale of property can be done through forged documents about its ownership or by impersonating as the NRI owner and completing the illegal transaction or also by fabricating the Will and then selling off the property mentioned in the Will. Criminals carrying out such illegal transactions have come up with hundreds of ways to cheat NRI owners and the NRI property owners have to be cautious and a step ahead to avoid such untoward incidents and being needlessly harassed. In case you have had such an experience, do not lose hope thinking it’s too late or that you have lost your valuable property; consult us at NRI Legal Services at the earliest for a comprehensive and quick resolution of your problem. We have had multiple cases pertaining to illegal sale of property over the years and have successfully had them decided in our clients’ favour. It is quite possible to get your property rights back with a well thought out plan for litigation and ensuring that we win the case, and these are the defining characteristics of our team at NRI Legal Services.
Landlord Tenant Disputes
Most of the NRI property owners prefer to have caretakers or tenants occupy their residential properties in their absence so that the place gets regular maintenance and isn’t vacant. Also, a majority of NRI owners who decide to let out their house/apartment do not sign a formal agreement with the tenants about the tenure of stay and other terms and conditions. And shocking as it may be, it is usually the friends or relatives of the NRI landlords who create trouble for the owners. Absence of a written agreement is the root cause of a large number of landlord tenant disputes involving NRI properties. We always recommend our clients to take professional legal help while drafting the agreement to be signed by the tenant and also to keep changing the tenants frequently to avoid anyone from illegally occupying and refusing to vacate it later. However, if you have been embroiled in such a situation where your tenant refuses to cooperate or vacate the property, you must not waste any time trying to get the issue resolved on your own and leave it to the experts at NRI Legal Services. Whether you have a written agreement or not, our NRI lawyers will chart out the best possible route to get your rights back and help you overcome the hassle. We have successfully managed a number of landlord tenant disputes for our NRI clients. Our legal experts will handle the case in your absence as well, saving you unnecessary travelling to and fro.
Drafting an NRI Will
A Will is a legal document through which the testator (the writer of the Will) mentions how he/she would like all his possessions to be distributed post his demise. A Will ensures property is devolved as per the wishes of the testator and a smooth transfer of property takes place without giving rise to any conflicts amongst the heirs and beneficiaries. Any person who has attained the age of 18 years can draft a Will. Though legal help isn’t necessary yet it is highly recommended since a lawyer will make sure the Will has no ambiguity and can be executed properly and a lawyer will make sure all rules are followed and the legal provisions attended to, for the Will to be a valid legal document. Since various personal laws exist for different religious faiths, our NRI lawyers will make sure all these minute details are taken care of while we help you draft a Will. NRI clients usually have possessions in both the countries, the country they migrated to as well as their homeland. For NRI, seeking legal advice is strongly advised since a lawyer will make sure that the Will is drafted after keeping in mind the laws of both countries so that it is valid in both countries and can be executed seamlessly when the time comes. A Will needs two witnesses and the testator also appoints a trustworthy person to be the executor of the Will. Our lawyers at NRI Legal Services have served as executors for a number of NRI clients and we have experience of helping clients draft legally valid Wills. If you need help for drafting your Will or your parents or any other kith and kin need any sort of legal assistance, consult us at NRI Legal Services for expert advice.
A Succession Certificate is a legal document required by the inheritors to get the inherited property transferred to their name. In case a person dies without leaving a Will behind, the property is devolved according to the Laws of Succession of Indian jurisprudence. However a Succession Certificate is mandatory to get both movable and immovable assets transferred to inheritors’ names. Similar to drafting a Will, issuing a Succession Certificate is also subject to various personal laws. This further complicates the matter for an NRI. Owing to absence at the time of demise of their parents’ or being unaware about all the legal provisions about property devolution, NRI beneficiaries are often clueless about how to proceed in such situations. Our team at NRI Legal Services has handled numerous cases about securing Succession Certificates from the relevant courts and completing the procedure to stake claim to the property and getting the title deeds changed accordingly for property transfer to be completed post demise of the previous owner. It can be quite taxing to deal with all these legal procedures while coming to terms with the loss. Hence, NRI Legal Services can take this burden off your shoulders and manage it for you, without requiring your presence at every step. You can entrust the attorneys at NRI Legal Services to complete the entire process for you and make it hassle-free for you.