The most frequent disagreement in Indian real estate is land dispute. Cases range from of illicit land grabbing and illegal land sales, to instances of purchase of land where no actual purchase has taken place. The real estate market has historically been plagued by such issues. The current government’s initiative of facilitating e-registration to streamline the registration of immovable properties, is an extremely progressive move. This has been universally welcomed for its transparency and ease of use.
E-registration has simplified the process for providing evidence of titles and facilitating transactions, and will go a long way in preventing the unlawful disposal of land. This system effectively brought to the forefront, the various underlying problems and loopholes in the traditional land registration process. The Land Registration Act of 1925 typically involves Powers of Attorney, sale or mortgage of land and transfer of property under rent. The Land Registration Act of 2002 introduced the new system using verified electronic signatures to transfer and register immovable property online.
See also: E-Registration: Procedures and safety
If a piece of land has been passed on for generations or has seen multiple owners over time, a proper hierarchy of land holding needs to be available, so that current buyers or tenants can ascertain the exact value of land or the rent according to current market values. This is possible only when there is complete transparency in document verification and full disclosure of details about the property – gross carpet area, number of rooms, foundation details and wiring blueprints. Nothing should be hidden from the future investor/buyer. E-registration has provided a much-needed level of transparency to property dealings.
The role of a broker after e-registration
Does e-registration negate the need for a real estate broker? While all details of the property may be available online, it may not be enough information to make a firm investment decision. The question of whether a particular property makes good investment sense – regardless of how many details are available online – can only be answered by a knowledgeable consultant.
The fees a broker will charge are definitely reduced by e-registration, but a broker is still required – not only to provide inputs on the advisability of the investment, but to mediate between the involved parties and help negotiate the price.
Benefits of land e-registration
- The usual resource challenges at registrar offices are reduced drastically, allowing them to tend to more sensitive matters like disputes.
- Consumer pays a relatively affordable registration amount.
- There is no need to visit multiple offices to register a property.
- Details and documents pertaining to land records can be accessed online.
- Transparency in the registration process increases significantly, thereby, rationalising broker fees and negating the need for bribes to officials.
- There is a software to calculate the stamp duty on the basis of the stored data which can be paid online directly.
- A state-of-the-art system will reveal the current market price of any land located anywhere within the state.
(The author is the CEO – Residential Services, JLL India)