Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Safeguarding your Property Rights


Before entering into an agreement for purchase, verification of title is very important. It is not merely tracing the title but also examination of the genuineness of the records, identification of the property, notification in newspapers and physical possession of the title of the property. Clear and marketable title free from doubts and encumbrances with a right of physical possession of the vendor are necessary ingredients for peaceful possession and enjoyment of the property by the purchaser.
The first and foremost step in purchase of property is the scrutiny of title deeds before entering into an agreement with the seller / vendor. The ownership can be traced from the title deeds and the revenue records. The following are the methods of scrutiny:

The origin of the property is very important to trace the title of the property. It is otherwise called “Root of Title”. To trace the title of the property, examination of the origin of the property up to a maximum period of 43 years may be required in most of the cases. If a person is enjoying the property for more than 30 years, he will get title by adverse possession against the government as per the Limitation Act. As per Section 90 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 any document executed 30 years before is presumed to be valid.  Will, Partition, Family Settlement are not considered as concrete origin. Some of the old revenue records like Index of Land, Record of Rights, Phani, Survey documents are considered as better origin.

After ascertaining the origin of the property, it should be followed by methodical examination of later events and further transactions in an uninterrupted and sequential manner, involving the previous owners and the present owner of the property. Here, the purchaser's advocate has to very carefully look into all aspects from various legal angles as to how the property was transferred from the previous owners to the present owner. Such a transfer may be by possession, inheritance, settlement, will, sale, mortgage, release, gift etc., involving such intermediate parties. To get a clear picture of rightful ownership, title and interest, the advocate has to carefully examine the title deeds and other supporting documents like revenue and other records. It is also necessary to verify the identity of the names of parties and their family connections and examination of the proceeding involving the parties before any Court of Law and other legal forums and authorities including revenue authorities, if any. While scrutinizing the documents, Advocates have to apply their mind and logically link the relevancy of one document with the other.

Present Status” is an important factor to establish ownership over a property. The advocate has to find out who is the present owner and what are the title deeds and supporting documents the vendor has in his possession, whether it is an ancestral property or self acquired property, who are his legal heirs etc. If the legal heirs of the vendor are major, the vendor must ensure their presence while executing the Deed of Conveyance. If they are minors, the vendor has to get the permission from the court before executing the Deed of Conveyance. In some cases the vendor may conceal the fact of existence of legal heirs. Therefore, the advocate must insist upon the vendor to produce either the succession certificate or the family genealogical tree issued by the revenue authority. Similarly, it is necessary to verify and confirm that no acquisition or requisition or any other court proceedings are pending before any authority. It is also necessary to find out whether there exists any bank loan, charges, encumbrances over the property. 

For completing the sale transaction, various statutory clearances are to be obtained from the concerned authorities such as Income-tax, RBI, revenue authorities, etc. In case of purchase of agricultural land, there are various other clearances to be obtained before executing the Deed of Conveyance.
The advocate must find out in whose name the Khatha stands, whether the Khathedar possesses up-to-date tax paid receipt in his name and up-to-date Encumbrance Certificate to establish his right, title and interest over the property. The advocate has to check the Encumbrance Certificate covering the relevant period, generally for a minimum period of 13 years to 43 years on case to case basis. An examination of Encumbrance Certificate would go to show as to whether any kind of charge has been created on the property and whether such an encumbrance is still subsisting or not. Municipal and other revenue authorities also maintain records as to in whose possession the property exists, what is the amount of tax payable on the property and upto what period tax has been paid. All this can be ascertained from these records.

After thoroughly scrutinizing the documents, the purchaser or his advocate has to crosscheck all documents with the concerned revenue or other departments to ensure that the documents are genuine and are originated from the concerned departments and that they are not fake. In the case of buildings, it must be ensured that the vendor has constructed the building as per sanction plan and according to the statutory guidelines.

The identity of the property must be checked on the spot. Measurements mentioned in the documents must tally with actual physical measurement of the land available on the property. It must also be ensured that there is no encroachment on the property. In case of encroachment, the measurement of the available land must be recorded and this must be mentioned in the Deed of Conveyance. The boundaries in the schedule surrounding the property must be checked physically. Also, the purchaser may make enquiries tactfully with the adjacent property owners about the ownership of the property he is proposing to buy.

Though paper notification is optional, it is always advisable to notify in a leading local newspaper about the buyer's intention to purchase the property. This is done to safeguard the interest of the purchaser. Even after examining the various documents, the Advocate may not be able to find out whether the property is truly free from any claim or not. A paper notification will beget response from genuine claimants, if any. Therefore, paper notification will be of some help to the purchaser to make sure as to the genuineness of the ownership of the vendor.

In the case of a vacant site, the purchaser may, with the permission of the vendor fence the property with barbed wire or he may construct a compound wall and put up a signboard, if necessary, to display his  ownership over  the property. 
Even after entering into an “Agreement to Sell ”, the purchaser can continue to make enquiries about the title. A doubtful title cannot be forced upon the purchaser. Purchaser is not bound to complete the sale transaction, if there are defects in the property, material or latent, which are not discernible in the ordinary course. A mere suspicion of fraud will not make the title doubtful and the purchaser cannot reject the title.

 It would be of great help if a prospective purchaser utilizes the services of an experienced advocate for a thorough scrutiny of the documents as to the vesting of the marketable title with the vendor and genuineness of the documents who on examination of documents will be in a position to explain to his client about the risk involved in the transaction and guide him suitably so as to save the purchaser from litigations.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Most of the bore wells in and around Bangalore is dried Some intelligent people who own a small piece of land dig very deep and huge bore well to do water tanker business are the cause of drying the other bore wells in around that area.
One resident claims that water supplier continuously selling water for two years in his area has become the owner of a multi-storied Apartment which has been constructed on his land. This gives an insight about the quantum of money he has earned and saved after meeting all his other necessities in two years, with no liability to Income tax or any other local taxes. Whereas the BWSSB not charging anything for these bore wells since it is on a vacant land and is not registered. On the other hand the dried bore wells of residents/apartments continuously receiving the bills for bore well even though it is not yielding any water.
Due to this lucrative income, private water suppliers have mushroomed across the city, and who come to your rescue in times of crisis.
The vast part of the namma Bengaluru depends on the water they supply. Some of us like to believe the public authorities when they try to deny the existence of ‘Organised group’ in managing water or garbage but their existence is a reality. They exercise a form of ‘public authority,’ by controlling the water supply? What is not clear is how mafia authority is enacted and maintained and, in particular, the relationships of mafias’ share with 'the state’.
Water tanker operators are often backed by the local corporator, the legislator, or a powerful politician. In some cases, political patronage is open. In others, patrons operate in the shadows. These groups have strict unwritten demarcated territories to operate.

Most of the colonies mushroomed on the outskirts of Bangalore are totally dependent on the ground water supply only. The BDA has not recognised approximately 90% of residential settlements at Bangalore’s periphery – around 500 square km and a population of two million – have developed the way they have, and considered as  'unauthorised’.
Certain residential layouts acquire greater legitimacy than others through the exercise of public authority. The local governments accept the property taxes paid by informal resident, tacit sanction from an urban authority, investment in roads or water supply by a local politician, or protection offered through networks of political actors.
All settlements exhibit varying shades of legality and tenure security, dependingon the sanctioning authority. In fact, even the so-called formal BDA layouts possess varying shades of legality. Due to this fluid situation that water tanker has been able to flourish and service the majority of peripheral settlers. The key to the success of Water tanker owners is their complicity in both water and land regimes. From the early 1990s, the deregulation of land has fostered crony capitalism in the real estate sector, and has provided ample opportunity for speculative and exploitative land deals. This has further bolstered the authority of water mafias.
The BWSSB services approximately 5 lakh domestic connections with 900 million litres a day of treated water from the Cauvery River, only 10-30% of households at the city periphery have access to BWSSB’s water. Here, most depend almost entirely on groundwater sourced from household bore wells, municipal or village bore wells, and water tanker suppliers to meet their domestic needs.
The water tanker owners are tapping the aquifer quite indiscriminately in the absenceof groundwater regulation. This has encouraged households, apartment complexes, commercial establishments and water tanker businesses to tap the natural resources. The average consumption of ground water is estimated over 600 million litres per day in Bangalore, which is approximately half of BWSSB’swater supply. Over the years, water table has plummeted.
The domestic bore wells are not on public domain on where tanker businesses source their groundwater from based on their customer requirements. An estimate by the BWSSB suggests that there are around 200 private water tanker businesses in the city, each operating two to three tankers. The Tanker business work round the clock, making delivers to 15-20 houses per day at approximately Rs.250-300 per load which may contain approximately 4000 litres of ground water.  On an average he middle class people spends around Rs.1000 to 1500/- per month for procuring water from the tanker business. They generally use only tractors in order to approach informal settlements through unpaved and rough roads.
Running a tanker business is lucrative. The inputs are virtually free. Only a mobile phone and one or two water tankers are enough. On a typical day, a tanker owner operating in a densely populated residential area can make around Rs 8,000-12,000 depending on how many tankers he owns. If the business is able to pump groundwater through subsidised electricity or diesel-powered generators, the only cost is the diesel required to fuel trucks or tractors. Since diesel is also subsidised, profit margins can be quite substantial.

Territorial discipline:

Like any other business they too have stiff competition. So they want to have this competition within their territory and they will not step in to others territory. There is unwritten agreement to maintain their jurisdictional territories. They too have strong customer base. They claims to be social workers since they help the citizens neglected by the authorities. They have friends in administration and elected representatives on whose patronage they enjoy.

Artificially creating scarcity to maximize their business.

The tanker operators also collude with lower-level officials to restrict water supply so that they could offer the alternative and payments from consumers were shared with these officials. There is no difference between a politician and people like water tanker operators. Because once you have money, you can get power and become something, and once you have power you can get more money. Power is very necessary. That is the game of the day to become powerful politician and vice-versa.  

Saturday, 27 December 2014

FAQ for purchasing property


Yes. The Act is in force.

The relevant provisions for non compliance of The Karnataka Ownership Flats (Regulation of the Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1972,  are  sections 12, 13, 14, & 15. which are dealt with here in below:

Sec. 12: General liabilities of a person who takes a flat - Any person  who has executed an agreement to take a flat and who without reasonable excuse failed to pay at the proper time and place the price, the Municipal Taxes, Water and Electricity charges Ground Rent, and other Public Charges, payable in respect of the Flat taken by him, shall on conviction be punished with fine which may extend to Rs. 1000/-.

Sec. 13:Manager not to cut off, withhold curtail or reduce essential supply or service-  Any person, who is a promoter, or who is in charge of management or connected with the management as a member of the Managing Committee, Director, Secretary, who contravenes the provisions of Section 13 or disobeyed the directions of the Court for restoration of amenities shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 months or with fine or with both.

Sec. 14: Offences by promoter - Any promoter who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with or contravenes any provisions of the Act or any Rule made there under shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to Rs. 2000/- or with both; and any promoter who commits criminal breach of trust of any amount advanced or deposited with him for the purposes mentioned in Section 5 shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment  for a term  which may extend to  4 years  or with fine or with both.

Sec.15: Offences by companies - If a person committing an offence under this Act, is a Company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of and was responsible to the Company for the conduct of business by the Company as well as the Company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly except wherein such person proves that the offence was  committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

In case  an offence under this Act has been committed  with the consent or connivance of, or  is attributable to any negligence on the part of any director, Manager, Secretary or other officer of the Company, such Director, Manager, Secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Note : (1) Section 5 deals with the promoter to maintain separate account of sums taken as advance or  deposit and to be trustee thereof and disburse them for purposes for which given.

(2) The language used in this note under sec. 12,13, 14 and 15 are not the verbatim of the stature language.

In this regard the provisions of Section 32 of the Registration Act, 1908, are relevant which read thus:

Sec. 32: Persons to present documents if for registration Except in the cases mentioned in [Sec. 31, 88 & 89] every document to be registered under this Act, whether such registration be compulsory or optional, shall be presented at the proper registration office.

(a) by some person executing or claiming under the same or in the case of copy of a decree or order, claiming under the decree or order there under.; OR

(b) by the representative or assign of such person; OR

(c) By the Agent of such persons, representative or assign, duly authorised by power of attorney executed and authenticated in manner hereinafter mentioned.

On plain reading of the above provisions it is clear that a customer after executing an Agreement can authorize the company, by a simple letter to present the same for registration, before the Registrar, as per clause (b) of section 32 of the Act.

However, it would be advisable to obtain a registered general power of attorney executed by the purchaser in favour of the company to present the document for registration.

Friday, 26 December 2014


 valid transfer of property rights
Marketability of Title is the condition,precedent to sale of any immovable property. Under Section 55(1) (a) of the Transfer of Property Act, the seller is bound to disclose any material defect in the property or title and to produce all the documents of title to answer the requisitions on title made by the purchaser. Under Section 55(2) of theafore said Act, the Vendor is deemed to warranty the title or the right to sell.

The statutory covenant of title is implied in every contract for sale of an immovable property, even if there is no express clause embodying such a warranty. The term “Marketable Title” refers to the absolute right, title, interest and ownership of the Vendor to convey the property without any hindrance. In other words, the title is considered to be marketable, if the same is free from encumbrances and claims, beyond reasonable doubts. Thus, if there is any encumbrance or claim and the vendor does not discharge it, the title cannot be said as marketable. In fact, Section 55(1)(g) of the Transfer of Property Act envisages that if the property is sold subject to any encumbrances or claims, it should be clearly stated and the Vendor shall be under obligation to discharge any such encumbrances existing at the time of sale on the property. On the other hand, if any encumbrance is found to exist and the same is not revealed before completion of sale, the Vendor is bound to indemnify the purchaser in that behalf. Primary duty lies on the person intending to sell the property to prove that the title of the property is free from any defects and any subsequent transfer will not make such transaction either void or voidable.
For example, if the vendor owns a property as Karta of the Joint Hindu Family in which minor’s rights and interests are involved, the Karta is bound to prove the legal necessity for sale or to obtain an order from the competent Court seeking permission for sale of the property on behalf of the minors.

Implied warranty of title on the part of the Vendor, although absolute, will not however apply to the cases where there is a clear contract between the parties to the contrary. Such a contract can be either express or implied, but the contract must be such as would clearly negative the warranty of title. Thus, certain restrictions are imposed on the purchaser’s right to examine the title in full, which is done when the Vendor is not sure of making out a marketable title, particularly when the Vendor is not in possession of the property.
Though, the restrictions may be contrary to the provisions under Section 55 of the Transfer of Property Act, the same will be binding on both the parties by virtue of mutual agreement and understandings and even if defect is found in the title subsequently, objections in this regard cannot be raised due to such restrictions.
Where the Vendor stipulated that, the property would be conveyed as the same received from the predecessor or the title of the Vendor has to be accepted without dispute or it should not be enquired into and the Purchaser is bound to accept the title of the Vendor as it appears to be, such a stipulation would be contract to the contrary and Section 55(1) (c) and (2) of the Transfer of property Act will not apply. Further, such a condition will not relieve the Vendor from the obligation of making out the best title though the purchaser would be bound by such condition even if the title is proved defective. However, in absence of such a contract to the contrary, the Vendor is bound to remove all the defects even if the purchaser was aware of the same. Again an express covenant does not, in clear and unambiguous terms, supersede the implied covenant. Thus, by virtue of Section 55(2) of the Transfer of Property Act, the purchaser can rest the claim on the implied covenant of title contained therein.
Conditions restricting the title or proof of title to which the purchaser is entitled must neither state nor suggest things which, to the Vendor’s knowledge, are incorrect. The condition will not be binding if it requires the purchaser to assume such things which the vendor knows to be false or it affirms that the state of title is not accurately known to the vendor when, in fact, it is known.

In order to examine the title of the Vendor, the purchaser has to examine all the relevant title deedsin the possession or power of the Vendor. Under Section 55(1)(b) of Transfer of Property Act, the Vendor is under an obligation to produce not only those documents in his possession but also in his power to produce. Thus, if the Vendor has deposited the title deeds with a mortgagee, the Vendor has to produce such documents for inspection to the purchaser through mortgagee. However, the Vendor is not under obligation to produce irrelevant documents not in his possession or power but it is the discretion of the purchaser to inspect the same at the cost of the purchaser. It is only after production of all the relevant title deeds and assistance from advocates having sufficient experience in scrutiny of the title documents, the purchaser will be able to conclude whether the Vendor has got marketable title or not.
When the property market is favorable to the Vendor, the Vendor, many a times, dictates the terms and tries to foist a title on the purchaser. Under any contract of transfer, fundamental principles of Transfer of Property Act must be strictly adhered by the parties without letting out either of the parties to escape from their respective obligations, which will reduce litigations and ensure transfer of marketable title from the vendor to the purchaser free from encumbrances, liens, claims, etc. When a faulty title is passed on to the purchaser, it is bound to result in the spate of claims and litigations.
Purchasing the property involves various steps such as scrutiny of title deeds, verification of documents, examination of Agreement to sell, mode of payment as agreed between the Vendor and the Purchaser and transfer of ownership and title will be transferred in the name of the Purchaser by way of executing a Sale Deed. It is not advisable to purchase a property hastily by approaching the brokers and subsequently entangling yourselves into litigations in case of defective title. Ownershipand right over the property has to be passed in compliance of the provisions envisaged under law for which service of the Advocates having sufficient experience and knowledge about property transactions is necessary in order to avoid litigations that may likely arise in future.          

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Feng Shui and Building Design

Adapting Vaastu and Feng Shui in the construction and designing of a Home or office enhances the quality of energy flow and the benefits derived are tremendous. The premise behind Feng Shui is to ensure that your home and the surrounding exterior environment supports and enhances greater human potential, opportunity, and positive experience. By orienting your home to a good direction, properly placing important rooms, locating the ideal site for water features, wall decor, floorings, painting and even landscaping the house supports the occupants and gives them the motivation and strength  to weather the “storms of life” with minimum impact.
If it’s a home or an office which already exists then by adapting Feng Shui tenets and activating the good sectors by identifying them, one can transform the energy and the feel of the place and in turn correct the existing defects. This is applicable not just to grounded properties but even to condominiums and row houses which have a limitation in terms of renovation or reconstruction.
While the use of specific materials and certain colors can enhance individual areas of the home, the most important Classical Feng Shui factors in the home design and floor-plan are the correct chi/energy directions and their relationship to room placement.
The most important areas of concern are the location and direction of the front door which brings in the flow of Chi (energy) and in the case of apartments and condominiums the balcony and picture window also need to be considered apart from the main door orientation. Other important areas like the kitchen location and stove placement within the kitchen, the master bedroom and most importantly the location of the toilet need to be assessed. In Classical Feng Shui the location and direction are vitally and equally important and in case of existing buildings there are various methods which have been documented by the traditional Feng Shui masters to mitigate the ill effects.
The ideal house shapes are square or rectangular as these shapes ensure that all eight compass directions are represented—S, SW, W, NW, N, NE, E, and SE. The chi, or energy, is evenly distributed, and all sectors of the house, good or bad, may be influenced to benefit the householders. In Classical Feng Shui these shapes are considered the “four point gold,” and are very auspicious. This does not mean that all other shapes are necessarily bad so odd shape buildings can also bring fortune and good luck to the occupants provided they are fine tuned and balanced properly using the right method specified in Feng Shui.
In case the property is large and a water feature like a pool or pond has to be positioned it calls for a very precise calculation to ensure that the water energy to be activated is beneficial to the occupants and this is one of the best kept secrets of Classical Feng Shui. One has to identify where the water may flow from, and its proximity to the home accurately as it can bring great prosperity to the occupants. If a pool or water feature is located improperly, Feng Shui postulates trouble, legal battle and even bankruptcy.

In other words Vaastu and Feng Shui are simple tools to restore the equilibrium of the space with a touch of aesthetics, practicality and logic be it a new construction or existingbuilding.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Succession Certificate

 successen certificate
The Indian Succession Act 1925, deals with the Succession certificate. The relevant sections are 370 to 390 in Part X of the act.
The Succession certificate is representative in nature.  During one’s lifetime one might have lent money or acquired securities. He might have not have recovered those debts or money due under securities, when he was alive. When such a person, a creditor dies, somebody should recover such debts or money from the borrowers, which is generally done by the legal heirs, of the deceased. The law has facilitated this process and section 370 of Indian Succession Act provide for issue of Succession certificate in such cases.
But the issuance of Succession certificate has some limitations. The Succession certificate cannot be granted in respect of any debt or security to which rights have to established by letters of Administration or Probate as per Sections 212, 213 of Indian Succession Act.
As per the section 212, no right to any part of the property of the person who has died without making a Will, can be established in any Court of Law unless letters of administration are obtained from a Court of proper jurisdiction. Similarly no right as an executor can be established in any Court of Law unless a competent jurisdictional court grants probate of Will. 
But it should be borne in mind that the Succession certificate does not finally adjudicate as to the legal succession. The certificate simply authorises some person to recover the debts and as stated earlier it is merely representative in nature. All the money recovered and obtained has to be disposed off as per the rights of the persons who are finaly entitled to it. The Succession certificate serves dual purposes, it prevents debts from being time barred, on account of disputes among the legal heirs and helps the borrowers, who can discharge the debts by paying to the representative of the deceased, which provide a valid discharge.At certain times the court will insist on the security from the person to whom certificate is granted as source of indemnity to the persons ultimately entitled for such moneys. The grant of the certificate does not confer any title on the grantee.
The word debt has a wide meaning than generally understood. An amount due under life insurance policy is a debt and succession certificate can be obtained. Likewise amounts under provident fund; bank deposits, are also covered under debts. A share certificate is a security under which money is due and court grants succession certificate. However, in one interesting case (Ranchhoddas Vs Govindadas Banetwala (1976) 78 Bomb LR 219: (1976)) the court held that succession certificate cannot be granted in respect of gold jewels pledged by the deceased in a bank as there was no element of debt in that transaction.
It has been made clear in the Succession Act that no court shall pass a decree against a debtor of the deceased person for payment of debt to a person claiming, on succession, to be entitled to the assets of the deceased person or any part thereof except on production of Succession certificate with the particular debt specified therein.
Any person who has beneficial interest in debt, or security of the deceased can apply for Succession certificate provided he is a major and of sound mind. A guardian appointed under Guardians and Wards Act can also apply for Succession certificate. Any application for Succession certificate has to be made to the district court in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the code of civil procedure.
Succession certificate can also be revoked in some instances; like, the proceedings were defective in nature, the certificate was obtained by making false suggestion or concealing some information, the certificate was obtained by means of untrue allegations, the certificate has become useless, inoperative on account of circumstances that a decree or order made by a court in a suit or other proceedings with respect to the effects of debts and securities specified in the certificate renders it proper that the certificate should be revoked.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

How to Renovate Your House

It is relatively a lot easier to design a new building in an empty plot rather than renovating an existing building to suit newer and modern requirements. For various reasons including budget, one may want to redo the existing building with additions and alterations instead of demolishing the existing building completely. Many will think renovating the building will be cheaper. But usually, it is only after commencement of work that one will realise the intricacies and expenses involved.
Before starting the work, one has to do a careful planning and be doubly sure about what exactly one wants from the building. Otherwise, one will end up spending more than what they have planned for or may end up getting a poor building in many ways.
  • Touch up works which involve some minor repairs and finishes. This may be redoing a minor work on wiring, plumbing, sanitary or arresting leakages in the water tank or filling the wall cracks and having it repainted. Leveling of the pavements, repairing the doors and windows or combination of all the above.
  • Minor renovation may involve redoing the flooring, altering the entire bathroom by replacing the entire wall and floor tiles, plumbing and sanitary lines, shifting and adding electrical points, minor additional civil works, removing and redoing the weathering course and roof tiles.
  • Major renovation may involve redoing the floor plans, complete electrical works, sanitary, plumbing, flooring, doors, windows, grills, gates, painting, interior and exterior finish and elevation modifications. Only exemption could be basic structural system.

Today let us talk about some finer points with regard to additions and alterations:
  • Step by step process and study are needed in understanding the nature and the requirement of additions and alterations of the building. One has to clearly plan on the need and make the best use of the available building.
  • One has to completely study the structural system of the existing building so as to modify the floor plans without much of structural complications.
  • If any part of the building is damaged extensively, one should not hesitate to demolish that part and redo it.
  • If any part of the building is not going to be really in use and also going to hinder in fitting in the newer requirements, do not hesitate to demolish it. After all, redoing work is for convenience and comfort only. No point in retaining the portion of the building just for the sake of it.
  • When you alter the building, see to it that it meets the local Government body rules and requirements.
Apply for the fresh plan and get the sanction before starting the construction.
Do not think it is only additions and alterations and one can manage without discussing with Architects and Interior Consultants. It is much more necessary to discuss with them to get an effective result.Any structural alterations have to be done with extra care and supervision.
If more floors are to be added, check the existing foundations by an Expert. Even if it is a minor or major alteration, do not extend the existing wiring lines. Instead, remove the old wiring and go for the newer ones and the same thing holds good for plumbing and sanitary lines too.Necessary precautions have to be taken to rework the dampness on the roof and the wall completely.
One can go for a totally fresh concept and look. It is not necessary to carry on the previous image of the building. But at the same time, it is worth retaining the image of the building, if it is reflecting the local culture and architecture even in a very small way.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Families seem unwilling to move to the housing projects in extended industrial hubs

 families seems
Housing has always remained a key element in any major industrial development project especially because of new industries or industrial clusters that come up way out of any City or town and it becomes incumbent on the part of Investors to promote housing colonies in tandem to woo Staff and Employees to the new locations. Viewed in this context, the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) or Rajiv Gandhi Salai as it is now called, and the National Highway to Bangalore has acquired great significance because of the industrial and Business Developers in these two directions. While the roads radiating from the OMR drew a lot of attention from realtors, the Sriperambudur and Oragadam belts became very active both for setting up new industries and promoting housing. There was also speculation that a Green filled International Airport would up near Sriperambudur.
Five years on,several housing projects in these belts have not received the reception or response as they were expected to. According to some of the Promoters, the pricing was attractive, the plans were clean and flexible and Bank loans were available for most of them. Some of the leading Promoters even tied up with School and Hospitals to set up facilities in their Townships or Colonies to add more value and woo more Buyers. Though the initial response was good and a lot of enquiries came in, it did not translate into buying. As such, the subsequent phases of massive projects were put on hold. This is also true of some major projects on the G.S.T. Road upto Chingleput.
Some of them had the tag of reputed Developers. They had tied up with Schools like Vidya Mandir, DAV, or PSBB for instance to reassure the parents that their children were taken care by way of good schooling. Clinics, Department Stores, Security and other basic facilities were provided. Yet, selling has not been easy, the Promoters confess. Only their advertisement budgets have risen and this has also to be factored in the pricing.
The industries on their part cannot force their staff to move in to close by housing. They are forced to operate buses to ferry the Staff from the City to the industry and back everyday. This no doubt adds to the wastage of fuel, and pollution too, not to talk about the traffic snarls. Taking to some of the Staff themselves, they make it clear that their family does not want to move out to a suburb or township some 30 to 40 Km out of the city. They cannot keep coming for everything to the City. It is easier for me to commute everyday instead of asking their wife and children to do that. All the entertainment, the social activity and shopping are in the City. While some children are already entrenched in a school and they do not want to move at this stage. 

When one has already acquired a two bedroom flat in Saidapet, so how or why do we move out?

Now, even their neighbours have tried moving into a flat in OMR. But, the entire colony was dependent on Water Lorries. The borewell water had too much metal and mineral content, making it unfit for use. So, they decided to get back into the City and the story goes on. Government wants to decongest the core City. Industries have to move far away from the City to avoid polluting the environment. Housing stock is coming up in new areas, but there are few Takers despite theaffordable pricing.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

How to protect your property

How to protect your property
One has to spend a great amount of time and money in owning a dream house. If one is living in a rental house then you have got to shed money as much as demanded to reside in apartments.
Unwrap the newspaper or turn the news channel on; one can witness the increasing number of crimes in the City and strange forms of robbery that has left many of us with the feeling of insecurity.
Many of those living in independent houses, especially those in remote places feel they are the primary target of the offenders. In cruel cases the housebreaker goes to the extreme of killing innocent old people, women or kids just for the sake of money and materials. So, the immediate question rising in one’s mind is: ‘are we safe in this civilized Society’?
On the other hand people residing in apartments are timid. Despite employing vigilant safe guards, some of the minor but life risking mistakes we tend to overlook are unlocking the upstairs gate or leaving no information to security guards about what has to be done in the absence of the Owner.
No definite remedy can be sought to curb robbery completely in this Country, but one can be assured of his or her safety by following few guidelines set by our City police Officials. Police force strongly recommends employing efficient and skilled safety guards. One must devote some time and money to mould these Security Guards according to the current needs of Society.
It is advisable to spend money for employing two trained guards and make them work in two shifts a day. Don’t ask the watchman to do your daily chores because professional offenders will be biding their time. When you’re away from your house instruct your watchman to keep tab on every Visitor since burglars disguise themselves as Visitors. One has to make sure that the entrance to the house is inaccessible to burglars.
But what exactly is happening in our Society is that every day there are crimes such as abduction, robbery and other social evils. It is better not to risk your life by paying less and employing incapable persons, instead pay little more and employ capable persons.

Friday, 5 December 2014

FAQs on Securitization

 FAQs on Securitization

Yes. Though it is not compulsory under the lay, it is in the interest of the Bank that the situation may not go out of control, it is necessary for you to issue Securitization Notice to the borrower and guarantor, so that it will work as a pressure.

If the borrower pays over-due installments with interest and charges up to the date of their making the payment, there is nothing wrong in the Bank treating the Asset as Performing Asset, as Securitization Act does not say that it cannot invoke Securitization Act repeatedly for the same Account. If in the bank’s view, the party is genuine and they had genuine difficulty and they pay the money – overdue installment and interest and other charges, with a covering letter that they will not default in future, and thereby requesting the Authorized Officer to withdraw the notice, in our opinion, there is nothing wrong in regularizing the account; however, the Bank has to take a commercial decision in this matter.
Authorized Officer is advised to take the Bank’s permission before treating the Account as Performing Asset. However, depending upon the party, you can even refuse to stop the proceedings unless entire amount with interest and charges are paid the Bank, as per the Securitization Notice.

Mere paying a small amount may be a mischievous act on the part of the borrower and unless the installment with interest & charges are not fully serviced for 3 months, the Account need to be treated as NPA. The very fact that he has not serviced the entire amount of installment and Bank charges for 90 days title the Bank to treat the account as NPA and Bank may issue notice under Securitization Act. However, since issuing Securitization Notice is not compulsory, administrative decision has to be taken, to be issued for a future date.

There is no such date given in the Securitization Act, but in case of movable properties, it is in the interest of the Bank to proceed forthwith and take physical possession after the expiry of 60 days notice period. If it is movable item, perishable, the Authorized Officer can forthwith sell and recover the money. Such recovered movable property must be taken care of and insured as a person of ordinary prudence would do if the material belonged to him. Insurance and other charges can be debited to the Defaulters Account. If the movable property is not likely to fetch sufficient money to even cover the cost of storing, the Authorised Officer may sell the same at once.

It can either be sold by Public notice, newspaper or by calling for quotation from businessmen, who are dealing with such material and or by Private Treaty, but all those actions of the Authorised Officer must be transparent and the Principle of Natural Justice has to be followed. We have already explained in the earlier pares.

If notices are dispatched at the last known address available with the Bank and if the notices come back with the reason: “Refused”, then if the notices is returned with the reason “Left” it is better that you must paste the notice or to publish it in two newspapers, one in vernacular language, then proceed with the matter after 60 days. If the Borrower and Guarantor are Registered Company, notice sent to Registered Address will be enough. Notices under Securitization Act can even be enough. Notice under Securitization Act can even be served by e-mail, fax and courier or by hand delivery. But, all these must be properly authenticated to show that in fact attempt has been made to deliver the notice. The best way of ensuring that notices are saved is to send by Registered Post A.D. and send a copy under UPC.

Though in certain cases it can be done, but it is advisable to make an application under Sec.14 of the Act and once the Magistrate passes an order, Court Officers proceed to the site and by taking police help, they take possession of the secured asset themselves and then the officer of the Court will hand over the recovered charged property to the Authorised Officer. Hence, though physical possession is taken by the Court Officer, the Authorised Officer of the Bank must be physically present at the site while taking over of any of the assets charged to the Bank, by the Court Officer, as directed by the Magistrate.

Since, taking of physical possession of the assets charged to the Bank is to be recovered by the Officer of the Court, with the help of Police; the question of any attack on the Authorized Officer does not arise. However, the Court officer’s along with the police must be accompanied by the Authorised Officer of the Bank to the site as after the Court Officers take physical possession of the property, the Authorised Officer should take charge from the Court Officer. Therefore, the presence of Authorised Officer is a must while taking physical possession of the property, and nobody normally dares challenge the Court Officer and Police. The Panchanama drawn by the Court Officer must also be signed by the Authorised Officer.

The Court Officer will draw the Panchanama of the items seized by him and he will take 2 signatures from independent witnesses and after taking the physical possession of immovable property, the Authorised Officer should fix a board at the site giving the full description that under the Securitization Act, this property has been attached by the Bank (name of the Bank, Address of the Bank must be specifically mentioned) and a notice preferably on a metallic sheet must be fixed at the premises properly fixing the nail and preferably a photo must be taken of the site after fixing the Bank’s name plate. The Authorised Officer must also put the Bank’s lock to the premises and he should safeguard the property as if he would have done if it had been his own property. In certain cases, the property may be of very high value and then the Bank may even engage some Security Guards to safeguard the said properties till such time the properties are disposed off.

If it is a moveable property, the Court Officer, will take physical possession of the property and make a Panchanama with two witnesses and an Authorised Officer must ……………  properties to an Official and go down or post security guards at the site to safeguard the property of the Bank.

It should be done within a specified time limit of 60 days, which is shown in the notice under Section 13 of the Act. Before expiry of 60 days after getting the notice, they should make a representation/objection in writing, and the Authorised Officer must reply by giving proper speaking order within 7 days of such representation. This reply must preferably be drafted by a Legal Man so that from reading of the reply, it must be seen that justice is not only done, but also appears to have been done by the Authorised Officer. Just rejecting the representation may result into invoking Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India by the borrower and the High Court in a Writ may interfere, thereby action under Securitization Act will be delayed and unnecessary legal expenses will have to be incurred by the Bank.

Yes. You can attach the Guarantor’s property as long as Bank has the charge on that property and such properties can be attached irrespective of belonging to the borrower or guarantor. What is required is that the property must be charged to the Bank and while issuing notice of 60 days, you ensure that the borrower as well as the guarantors is served with Sec.13 Notice, without exception.

If after receipt of the Securitization Notice, during the period of 60 days or thereafter, if the borrower or guarantor sells the property which is charged to the Bank, this sale or assignment is an illegality and therefore, the Purchaser or the Assignee will not get the title. Moreover, as per section 29 of the Act, if any person contravenes or abets the contravention, the provision of the Act or any rule made thereunder, he shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend for a period of one year or with fine, or with both. Therefore, if anybody transfers or sells the charged properties, after getting the Securitization Notice, the person who is the Purchaser, the Borrower and the guarantor (in which the Bank has a secured interest), and if disposed, they may be prosecuted under Sec.29 before the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class Court. Section 29 provides that not only the contravention of the provisions of the Act but also rules made therein. Therefore, it is difficult for the Offender to escape from the clutches of laws, if any monkey business is done by him by disposing of the secured assets charged to the Bank, after getting the Notice u/s. 13(2) of the Act. Moreover, in case of immoveable properties, those are charged to the Bank normally by creation of an Equitable or Registered Mortgage and almost all the Original Title Deeds are with the Bank, as such, the Original Title Deeds are left with the Mortgagor. Hence, he cannot sell or dispose of the immoveable properties, if done, the Purchasers right to the property will be subject to Banks first claim being satisfied. However, Banks right to declare the sale/assignment as invalid cannot be denied to the Bank. Even a criminal case can be filed by the Bank against all the concerned.

Yes. If the State in which such Equitable Mortgage is made, there is a State Stamp Act, which prescribes Stamp Duty to be paid on such Stamp Act which prescribes Stamp Duty to be paid on such Equitable Mortgage created in the State, you must draw Memorandum of Entry and affix the requisite stamp duty and keep it with the Title documents. If no stamp is affixed on the Memorandum of Entry which is required under State Law, the Stamp Officer of the State can enter the Bank and take physical possession of all those mortgaged documents; thereby the Bank will be bereft of the security. Not only the Bank should draw the Memorandum of Entry and affix stamp as required by State Law, but also the Memorandum of Entry must be entered in a Register maintained by the Bank.