The process governing sale of land in India are manifold and vary across states. One of the biggest concerns for a prospective buyer is to gather information/literature on local laws and regulations prior to purchasing land. At the end of the day, whilst purchasing land, the concept of "let the buyer beware" prevails. This process note endeavors to give a bird eyes view to any interested person who intends to acquire land in Maharashtra. In this note, we have tried to cover (i) various steps/laws involved in purchase of land parcels in the State of Maharashtra and (ii) the points to be considered prior to acquiring land in the State of Maharashtra.
STEPS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF SALE
STEP I : PRELIMNARY DOCUMENTATION
- Interested parties enter into a preliminary agreement recording the terms of sale between a seller and a
- Terms include consideration, manner of payment & certain conditions to be complied prior to the sale.
STEP II: DUE DILIGENCE
- Search in revenue records & review of title deeds: The prospective buyer should through their lawyer conduct investigation of title in respect of the subject land. Such investigation of title will include (i) conducting online and physical searches in the revenue records in respect of the land; (ii) review and inspection of title deeds to establish chain of title and if there are any defects in title; (iii) ascertain if land is agricultural in order to determine its implication on the transaction and (iv) mitigation of risks (if any). In the state of Maharashtra, the revenue records (7/12 extracts/Property Card, mutation entries) are accessible on the Mahabhumi portal (https://mahabhumi.gov.in/mahabhumilink ) which is an online portal introduced by Government of Maharashtra to access land records and other property related
- Litigation Search: As a prospective buyer, it is not possible to conduct physical search in all of the courts within whose jurisdiction the subject land is located. A purchaser can conduct such litigation searches on the official websites of various courts or through external The Government of Maharashtra has also started providing access to details of pending civil court cases in respect of a particular 7/12 extract/ Property card on the Mahabhumi portal.
- Encumbrances search: It is important to ascertain if there are any existing encumbrances in respect of the subject land such as mortgage, pending taxes etc.
- Issuance of public notice: A public notice should be issued through the lawyer conducting diligence to ascertain if there are any third party claims in respect of the subject land. Such public notice also establishes that buyer is a bonafide purchaser.
- Analyzing permissions required for sale of land (if any): In the State of Maharashtra, it is to be ascertained whether any prior permission is required from the Collector or any statutory authority for sale of land under (i) Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 ("MTAL Act") (in case of agricultural land); or (ii) Maharashtra Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947 ("Fragmentation Act") (in case of fragmented land), or (iii) Section 36A of Maharashtra Land Revenue Code (in case of land belonging to tribals) etc.
- Use of land as per zone certificate: Prior to purchase of land, it is essential to determine the zone/usage of land (residential/commercial/industrial etc.) to ascertain whether the proposed activity which the buyer intends to conduct on the land is permissible as per the zone allocated by the concerned authorities.
STEP III: OBTAINING PERMISSIONS FOR SALE OF LAND
It is essential that any permissions required to be obtained for sale of land as mentioned above are taken prior to entering into the sale deed and the same should be made a condition precedent to the execution and registration of sale deed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.