Property Plus

Be wary of realty scams

Rubble after the wall of an old house adjoining a gated community collapsed.

Rubble after the wall of an old house adjoining a gated community collapsed.  

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Exercise maximum caution to prevent fraudulent transactions, says G. Shyam Sunder

Here is a list of possible scenarios and how you can avoid them:

Fabricated title deeds

In such cases, there would be one original document that would have been registered. While applying for the encumbrance certificate from the sub-registrar’s office, the name of the owner and the sale deed document details would be reflected (since the original document would have been mortgaged with a money lender).

A fake document quoting similar details as mentioned in the original sale deed could be prepared.

How to avoid it: The authenticity of any document can be detected only when a certified copy of the document is compared with the original document to ensure both tally.

False revenue records

In this scenario, there would be no parent title deed documents to support the ownership of an individual except a land revenue record. Such frauds usually take place in government, temple land deals.

How to avoid it: The revenue record should be cross-verified online and if no online facility is available, it should be verified with the revenue department authorities.

Fabricated death and legal heirship records

Properties are sold based on fake legal heirship certificates. Usually in such frauds, the original parent documents will not be available. Instead, an advertisement stating the loss of the original document will be published in a lesser-known newspaper.

How to avoid it: One has to be very careful in dealing with properties when original title deed documents are not available. The death certificate should be cross-verified online or with the records of the issuing authority.

Chennai Corporation has this facility for the last 86 years. The legal heirship certificate should also be verified to ascertain its authenticity.

If you lose the original sale deed document, take the following steps:

a) Lodge a police complaint.

b) Obtain a non-traceable certificate issued by the police.

c) Publish an advertisement in two reputed newspapers (one English, and one local publication).

d) Get a letter from an advocate stating that further to the publication of the advertisement you have not received any objections.

e) Obtain an Undertaking Letter or Affidavit from the present owners stating that the originals have been lost, and once traced, will be handed over to the intending purchaser.

Impersonation of

the ‘real owner’

In this scenario, a fake power of attorney is executed, based on which the power agent executes a sale deed in favour of unsuspecting buyers. The title deed of the real owner is usually fabricated and the seller will claim that the originals are lost.

How to avoid it: If the seller claims that the originals are lost, follow the procedures listed above. Also, intending buyers should insist on obtaining copies of the seller’s pan card and voter ID and get them verified. Similarly, the power of attorney must be verified with the owner.

The writer is a Chennai-based advocate and author of ‘Property Registration, Land Records and Building Approval Procedures Followed in Various States in India’

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:21:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/Be-wary-of-realty-scams/article14630790.ece

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