What is mutation of property and why is it important?

Among the many legal procedures that buyers have to follow, to attain complete ownership of the immovable asset, is mutation. In this article, we explain what mutation is, how it is carried out and why completing the process is important

After a property is registered in the name of the buyer, he also has to initiate the mutation process, in order to ensure that the immovable asset is listed against his name in the government’s records. To put it simply, property mutation or land mutation is crucial to establish property ownership. In this article, we talk about the nitty-gritties of the property mutation process, to have a clear understanding about it.


What is mutation of property/land?

Land is a state subject and each state has a record of land/property deals. These records act as a proof of ownership and help the common man to keep their property investments safe. As all the information regarding land records are registered, this reduces the scope for property-related frauds. The records show who owns a particular property and what kind of encumbrances are there against it. All buyers and investors have to do, to stay clear of fraudsters is to check these records.

Now, once a buyer completes the land-buying process, the responsibility to get the new information registered in the revenue records arises. Land and property mutation also helps the state to fix property tax liability.

In different states, the process has different nomenclature. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for example, the process is known as Dakhil-Khariz (entry-omission).


When does the need for property mutation arise?

  • The need for initiating the property mutation arises:
  • When you buy a property.
  • When you inherit a property.
  • When you receive a property through a gift or a will.
  • When you purchase a property through a power of attorney.


Who has to get property mutation done?

Those who buy land or apartments or inherit the same through a will or gift deed, have to get property mutation done.


Land mutation

It must be noted that in case of a land buyer, property mutation is compulsory, because without getting this done, the transfer of ownership will not be complete. It must be stated here that while land mutation is not legally binding on the land buyer, they must get it done within 3-6 moths of the land purchase so that the government records are updated and there are no confusions with regard to the change of land ownership.

See also: Commonly used land and revenue record terms in India


Apartment mutation

For buyers of flats and apartments, the transfer of ownership takes place as soon as the property’s registration is done; mutation is more of a legal formality, which can be completed any time after the transaction. However, one would have to show the mutation documents, if one were to sell the property in future. These documents may also be required, while applying for utilities such as power and water services.


What is mutation of property and why is it important?


See also: How to calculate income from house property


Difference between mutation and property registration

While a property is registered by way of executing the sale deed, after the buyer and the seller reach a consensus, property mutation takes places after the actual transaction. The property mutation process is basically a buyer’s responsibility, wherein the buyer gets his newly-owned asset updated in his name in the local revenue office.


How to apply for mutation of land/property?

Municipal bodies that govern your area maintain land records and that is where you have to get the mutation of your land or property done. While you could go online and start the mutation process, since several states have launched services on that front, you would ultimately have to appear in person at the municipal office, to complete the task.

In Bihar, land owners can get the land mutation done online. States such as West Bengal have launched plans to make the process completely online but the process has not yet been completed.

Also see: How to calculate land value?

Does property mutation happen before or after property registration?

Property mutation takes place several months after the property registration.

What documents are required for mutation of property?

While documents required to complete the mutation process might vary from state to state, a buyer would have to submit the following:

*Correctly filled property mutation application form

*Copy of the sale/title deed

*Affidavit on stamp papers

*Indemnity bond

*Copy of  Aadhaar Card

*Property tax receipts

*Copy of will or succession certificate or death certificate of the owner (if applicable)


What is property mutation fee?

There is a nominal fee that states charge for property and land mutation. This may vary between Rs 25 and Rs 100, depending on the state. Also note that this nominal charge is just a one-time duty.


How is property mutation done?

The buyer must appear in the municipal office, along with all the documents. Following the submission, the department would conduct a physical verification of the property and then, issue the property mutation certificate. In some states such as Bihar, the land mutation process can be completed online.


Dakhil Kharij online check

As a lot of states now allow you to complete property mutation online, you can simply visit the official portal concerned, to go ahead with the process. You could also check the previous mutation or ‘dakhil kharij’ records online, by visiting the official portal and providing the details of the property and the owner.


How much time does it take to complete property mutation?

Once you submit your application, along with the required documents, it might take the municipal body 15 to 30 days to update the record, after which it would issue a property mutation certificate to you. In case of land mutation, it will take at least a month for the records to show change in land ownership.


Is there a time limit for the buyer to complete property mutation?

While buyers of land must immediately complete the mutation process, buyers of flats and apartments can get it done according to their convenience. However, the job must be done as early as possible, to keep your property documents in order.


What if property mutation is not completed?

Since the penalty is not very high (states typically charge Rs 25 to Rs 100 as the penalty for delays) and one is free to get the property mutation done as and when they find it convenient to do so, buyers often continue to postpone the process. However, it is advised that the property mutation process be completed as soon as all the other tasks pertaining to the purchase are complete. You would need the proof of the mutation, when you plan to sell the property in future. Even otherwise, it is legally much safer if a property mutation is done immediately after the purchase, from the point of view of transfer of ownership.


Can you claim title of a property based on the fact that it has been mutated in your name?

Owners must recall here that mutation entries can only be used as proof of possession over a property and not ownership. The Supreme Court of India has passed several judgements stating that.


Supreme Court (SC) view of mutation as property ownership proof

According to the top court, mutation records do not confer the title of a property on a person. In a declaratory suit, the owner will have to establish his ownership over the property independently, the SC said, while rejecting a special leave petition filed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, in January 2021.

While passing its judgment in the Bhimabai Mahadeo Kambekar versus Arthur Import and Export Company in 2019, the apex court had established the same point, saying mutation entries of revenue records did not create or extinguish title over the land, adding that such entries did not have any presumptive value on the title of such land. 


Can you file an appeal in case your application for mutation has been rejected?

An aggrieved party can file an appeal before the additional collector or the deputy commissioner, within 30 days of the order of rejection.



What is mutation of property?

Mutation of property refers to the change in title ownership when a property is sold or transferred, which is recorded in the land revenue department.

How to apply for mutation of property?

A property owner must apply for mutation of the property in his/her name at the municipal body which maintains the land record of the said property.

Why mutation of property is required?

Mutation of property in the owner’s name, acts as a proof of ownership of the property. This document is also useful, while applying for power and water services.

What happens if a mutation of property is not done?

Mutation of property is compulsory for buyers of land. In case of non-agricultural land and for buyers of flats and apartments, mutation is a legal formality and failure to do so, does not take away one’s right in the property.


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