How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu

An encumbrance or ‘villangam’ certificate in Tamil Nadu establishes your complete ownership over a property. In Tamil Nadu, you can apply for this certificate online

Property buyers in Tamil Nadu must make it a point to check the encumbrance certificate before purchasing land in the state. In Tamil Nadu, the sub-registrar under whose jurisdiction the property falls, issues the encumbrance certificate. This is the place, where the property is registered, when it is purchased or sold.

An encumbrance certificate (EC) proves whether or not an entity, who is not the property’s original owner, has any control over it. For example, if a property is mortgaged with a bank, the encumbrance certificate would show that the said bank has an interest in it and the property is, thus, encumbered. The certificate is also known as a ‘villangam’ certificate in the state.

You can apply online for encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu by visiting the Inspector General of Registration (IGRS) Tamil Nadu or TNREGINET website. The portal was developed by the Government of Tamil Nadu, to ease registration for marriage, birth and death, firm, chit fund, etc. Services, such as search for encumbrance certificate and property valuation, can be accessed through the portal. To apply for an EC online, all you need to provide, is information such as your name, address, zone, district, SRO, street name, village, house details and appropriate extent and boundaries of the property, to submit the application form online. Here is a guide.

How to apply online on TNREGINET portal for encumbrance / villangam certificate in Tamil Nadu

Step 1: To apply for an EC online, you will need to register yourself on the TNREGINET portal. If you already have an account, sign in, else sign up to login and access the services.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 2: If you are a first-time user, you will need to sign up and provide details such as username, password, address, identification number (PAN/Aadhaar/driving licence/others) and contact details. Complete the sign-up to receive an OTP on the contact number.

On signing up, you will receive the following screen:


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 3: Check your email id for a verification link from the authority.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 4: Once your details are verified, you can sign in to the TNREGINET portal.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 5: A registered user can now go to ‘E-services’ tab on the homepage > Encumbrance Certificate > Search and apply EC.


Step 6: You will be required to fill in the following details:

Location: Zone, district, sub-registrar office.

Time: EC Start date and EC end date.

Survey details: Village, survey number, subdivision number.

House details: Plot no, flat no, door no, ward, block, boundary details, extent and build-up area.

Additional details: Old survey no, TS no, old door no, declared owner, father’s name, any registered document.

Once you feed in these details, you can proceed to entering the captcha to search for the EC.


Step 7: Once you click on ‘Search’, all the documents pertaining to the details you have entered will be displayed. Proceed to ‘Apply Online’.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 8: Enter your name, contact details and save it and proceed to pay.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 9: You can see the payment details, select the pay option to move to the e-payment screen.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 10: Enter the details in the e-payment section such as name, address, sub-registrar office etc.


Step 11: Choose the bank you wish to make the e-payment from and pay.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 12: Once your payment is successful, you will be provided with a bank reference number, CIN number and transaction ID. Keep these details handy. Upon selection of the applicable data and approval of the application by the sub-registrar, the encumbrance certificate will be sent to the applicant’s login with a QR code added in all the pages and a digital signature of the sub-registrar affixed in the end. An SMS notification will be sent to the applicant.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


You can view the digitally signed EC under ‘E-services’ > encumbrance certificate > Request List.


How to apply for TN EC / villangam certificate offline

List of documents required to make an application for EC

  • Attested copy of address proof
  • Details about property
  • Title details

Along with this, you will also be asked to pay the requisite fee applicable for this service.


Step1: An application needs to be submitted in the sub-registrar’s office, along with the aforementioned documents. You can download the application format here.


Step 2: The concerned authority will go through all documents to ascertain its legality.


Step 3: An EC with details of all transactions or in the absence of transactions, a Nil Encumbrance Certificate is issued. This may take 15-30 days from the date of application.


How to search Tamil Nadu encumbrance / villangam certificate online on TNREGINET

Step 1: Visit the official website of the TNREGINET/ Inspector General of Registration (IGRS) Tamil Nadu.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 2: At the bottom of the page, you will see various services, opt for ‘ENCUMBRANCE CERTIFICATE’. Click on it to apply for an EC online. You can also tap on the ‘e-services’ tab on the home page to be directed to the same window.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 3: You will be directed to the page where you will have to feed in details such as zone, district, sub-registrar office, EC start and end date, survey details such as village, survey number and subdivision number. Enter the captcha to confirm and search for your EC.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


Step 4: You can also choose to opt for the ‘document-wise’ option on the above screen. You will be asked for details such as sub-registrar office, document number, year and document type. Proceed after entering the captcha.


How to apply for an encumbrance certificate in Tamil Nadu


If you wish to know the data availability period for an encumbrance certificate or villangam certificate in Tamil Nadu, click here.


What is a nil encumbrance certificate?

If there have been no transactions pertaining to the said property, during a certain period for which an encumbrance certificate is sought for, then, a nil-encumbrance certificate will be issued.


When is an encumbrance certificate needed?

You would require an encumbrance certificate in the following cases:

  • When you are buying a property.
  • For taking a home loan to buy a property.
  • To withdraw money from your provident fund to buy a house.
  • For property mutation.
  • For sale of the property.


E-signed encumbrance and certified copies in Tamil Nadu

The state government has given its sanction for e-signed encumbrance and certified copies in the state. The move will be a step towards modernisation of the existing system. The entire onus of enabling and facilitating this move is on the sub-registrars.

Those seeking encumbrance certificates and certified copies will be provided with a QR-enabled copy with the digital signatures of the respective sub-registrars. The Aadhaar linked e-sign can be utilised by any official with the password. Once the sub-registrar’s thumb impression is placed on the biometric system, the system will automatically recognise the Aadhaar number of the sub-registrar and his/her digital signature would be encrypted in the certificates.


Court litigations to be seen in EC

In what is being called a rare ruling, the Madras High Court has said that prospective buyers and interested parties should be able to see court rulings in the EC. Justice N Anand Venkatesh stated this given that, so far, buyers had to approach civil courts, to remove disputed entries in the jurisdictional civil courts.


How is EC different from CC?

A CC or Completion Certificate is issued by the local authority to a builder or developer, upon the completion of construction of a building in compliance with the building rules and plans. An EC establishes the ownership and financial liability attached to the property, if any.

What is Form 22 used for?

In case you want to apply for an encumbrance certificate offline, you can use Form 22 to make the application.

Where can I check the transaction status for the e-payment?

To know your payment status, visit the TNREGINET website and go to E-services > E-Payment > Payment > Payment status.

Is there any time limit for getting the encumbrance certificate?

According to the Standing Order 979 (ii) in respect of the offices and period, which is not computerised, the encumbrance certificate shall be completed within four days from the date of admission of application. In case of computerised period, the EC will be issued immediately.


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