In a recent article on joint development projects, it was said that the developer is usually given the power of attorney to sell the flats.

At what stage should the owner of the land hand over the original documents to the developer?

Won't the buyers insist on original parent documents?

How does the original owner safeguard his interests in handing over the original documents?

Uma Shankar, Chennai

In a Joint Development scenario, the ratio of ownership of land and built up area would be arrived at initially and the Agreement will reflect the same.

The Developer will be authorised by the owner to obtain approvals and sanctions for the entire property and to mortgage/ sell the undivided portion allotted to the share of the Developer.

The Developer will need the original documents of title at the time of obtaining approvals and sanctions to building plans.

Based on the understanding between parties, the documents are either handed over to the Developer or kept in Escrow till the project is completed.

Thereafter, the same have to be returned to the owner if the owner is retaining built up area in the project.

If not, the documents have to be handed over to the Association of Flat Owners.

Suitable recitals in the Joint Development Agreement will protect the interests of the owner.