Checklist for signing purchase deeds for homes and holdings

Jain Housing apartment complex at Maradu which has been ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court.

Jain Housing apartment complex at Maradu which has been ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu


As the Maradu events send sent shock waves across realty sector in Kerala, experts put forward certain reality checks one should do before signing purchase deeds for homes and holdings

The Supreme Court verdict to pull down four illegal apartments in Maradu constructed in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms has triggered panic across the State.

Several people, from prospective homebuyers to those who have settled down in their waterfront apartments have been caught in the ripples caused by the verdict.

The builders, especially those who have constructed apartment complexes on waterfronts, are flooded with calls from panic-stricken apartment owners.

The news about the proposed crackdown on illegal structures and the government’s move to track down all violations in the coastal sector have added to their concerns.

With the police booking criminal cases against the erring builders in Maradu and freezing their bank accounts, the builders in Kerala are jittery and feel that the sector is sliding towards an unprecedented crisis.

Worried owners

“Worried customers are ringing up developers seeking clarification on the status of even projects that were occupied years ago,” said Najeeb Zackeria, past president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India, Kerala chapter.

Checklist for signing purchase deeds for homes and holdings

People invest in projects and buy apartments on the basis of the trust they repose on the builder. Suddenly, there is an erosion of that trust, says Mr. Zackeria.

“It is worse than the post-flood situation, when the demand for homes, especially the waterfront ones, nosedived,” feels Tom Mathews,marketing manager of a Kochi-based private developer.

Meanwhile, those in administration feel that the public could verify the legal status of holdings and homes making use of existing facilities.

Verify legal status

One shall apply for CRZ clearance from the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority before constructing buildings on waterfronts. Prior permission is required for all such constructions. Applications shall be forwarded to the authority, along with the detailed building plan and all relevant documents, through the secretary of the local body concerned, says an authority official.


Before purchasing a waterfront apartment, ask for the approved building permit and a copy of the no-objection certificate issued by the authority for the project.

One can check the CRZ status of the holding from the Coastal Zone Management Plan of the area. The survey numbers of the plots where CRZ norms hold good have been marked in the plan. The plan can be accessed at the website of the authority (

Buyers cautioned

A Local Self-Government Department circular calls on prospective buyers to verify the legal status of the holdings for construction through the registered licensees of local bodies.

Local self-government institutions can be approached for verifying whether any particular area has been included in any town planning or road schemes.

Info from LSGIs

Information on such aspects can be obtained from the local self-government institutions, the district town planner or the helpdesk set up at the office of the district town planner, say the guidelines.

At present, there is no single window clearance system, which could help a prospective builder or buyer of holdings and buildings to get his/her documents and applications cleared.

One needs to get them cleared by various agencies, said an official of the department. Checking the basic tax register in the village offices concerned will help to verify whether a particular holding has been classified as paddy field. There are restrictions on reclamation of paddy field, the official said.

There could be restrictions on constructions in heritage zones and places where some town planning schemes have been announced. Also, there could be restrictions on constructions in areas near railway lines and areas through which high tension power lines are being drawn. Before venturing out for constructing buildings, get prior clearance from the Town and Country Planning offices concerned to avoid issues in future, she suggested.


CRZ 2011, applicable to Kerala

CRZ 1: Ecologically sensitive areas such as marine park, mangroves, coral reefs, turtle nesting grounds, mudflats, archaeologically importance heritage sites

CRZ 1 (ii): Area between High Tide Level (HTL) and Low Tide Level (LTL)

  • Permissible activities in CRZ 1: No new constructions except projects of Department of Atomic Energy and laying of pipelines and transmission lines
  • Permissible activities in CRZ 1 (ii): Extraction of rare earth, natural gas and salt harvesting

CRZ 2: Municipalities/corporations or urban areas, developed areas close to the shoreline and places with substantially built-up areas within legally designated urban areas

Permissible activities:

  • Buildings permitted only on landward side of existing road or existing authorised structure. Approved floor space index or floor area ratio have to be followed
  • Storage facilities for petroleum or LNG, desalination plants, storage of non-hazardous cargo and facilities for non-conventional power generation permitted

CRZ 3: Rural or Panchayat areas

Permissible activities:

  • No construction shall be permitted except repair/ reconstruction of existing authorised structure not exceeding the plinth area of existing one
  • Construction /reconstruction of dwelling units of traditional coastal communities, including fisher folk, permitted between 100 and 200 m from HTL

CRZ 4: Up to 12 nautical miles on the seaward side and waterbodies between LTL and LTL

Special Consideration for Kerala

  • Repair or reconstruction of existing dwelling units of local communities within 50 m from the HTL
  • Dwelling units of local communities can be constructed beyond the 50 m from the HTL towards landward side of backwater islands
  • Fishing jetty, fish drying yards, net mending yard, fish processing by traditional methods, boat building yards, ice plant, boat repairs permitted within 50-m width from HTL

CRZ Clearance for residential buildings

For obtaining CRZ clearance, details, including the buiding plan, location, HTL and distance between the proposed structure and other relevant details shall be certified and forwarded by the secretary of GP/municipality/corporation concerned to KCZMA

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 7:33:00 PM |

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