Due Diligence Process
Due Diligence Process
Identification of relevant documents:
Tracing and scrutiny of title:
For the purpose of scrutiny of title, property can conveniently be divided as registered and unregistered.
As a general rule, the seller should show a good title. For making the Buyer’s job easier, he should deliver to the Buyer an abstract of title (such as Wills, deeds of conveyance and also the events causing devolution of the ownership) at his (Seller’s) expense. Observe if there are any defects.
Unlike the unregistered property where the responsibility of the Seller is heavy, the Buyer has more care to be taken in case of registered property. The seller here, no longer need to trace the history of the property. The maxim caveat emptor applies and the Buyer carries more responsibility to trace the title of the Seller.
- Absolute Sale Deed/Conditional Sale Deed/auction sale deed executed by the statutory bodies.
- Encumbrance Certificate from the Sub Registrar from the date of the allotment till date or 30 years earlier till date.
- Possession Certificate issued by the statutory body/society.
- Allotment letter issued by the statutory body/society.
- Khatha Certificate issued by the statutory authority.
- Certified or copy of the Lease-cum-sale agreement/auction sale agreement.
- Latest Tax paid receipt
- Auction sale confirmation issued by the statutory authority in case of auction sites.
- Genealogical Tree.
Obtain an authenticated copy of the site plan. See, if the schedule of the property tallies with the plan
Searches in various offices like, Sub Registrar’s office, Taluk Office, Municipal Council, City Corporation, Registrar of Companies, Civil Courts etc. have to be carried out and find out if the Seller has concealed any thing that is vital about the property in question.
Search into revenue records is very important because the entries in revenue records depict possession.
Presumption regarding entries in revenue records
If name of a person is entered in revenue records, a presumption arises in favour of the person and unless and until this presumption is rebutted, the entries have to be considered as true and correct.
Effects of entries in revenue records:
However, the entries in revenue records alone will not convey and title or will not have the effect of extinguishing the already existing title.
Two revenue records relating to same property:
If there are two sets of revenue records regarding the same property and their entries are conflicting then the latest of the records will prevail.
The entries in revenue records which are unchanged fairly for a long time till not be rebutted by some stray entries.
Entries in Patta Book do not confer any title.
Whenever transfer of immovable property takes place, the name of the transferee (purchaser, lessee, mortgagor etc.) and nature of transfer will be entered in the revenue records. The entries are called the mutation entries.
Searches in the revenue records:
Search of revenue records in revenue offices, Municipalities, Panchayats, City Corporations, etc. evidences possession of the property and also payment of property tax or land revenue as the case may be which fact can be further ascertained from the receipt issued at the time of payment.
Searches in Sub-Registrar’s office:
Book No.1 and Index thereto are the registers to be looked into. These registers show name of the Village, town or area and also the names of the transferor and the transferee. They also describe the property, page Numbers, document Numbers and also volume Numbers. Once the name of the proposed transferor’s name is found, compare the description of the property with that of the deed produced by him.
Searches in land acquistion offices:
This is an extra precaution to be taken. By making searches in the office of Land Acquisition Officer, check whether the land in question is proposed for acquisition in future. In Urban areas this fact can be ascertained from what is called as the Comprehensive Development Plan or Outline Development Plan as the case may be, which can be obtained from the concerned development authority.
Searches in Registrar of companies:
The Register of Charges is the Chief record to be looked into the office of the Registrar of Companies. By looking into this register, see the particulars as to date of creation of charge, date of its registration, assets covered by the charge, name of the charge holder etc.
Searches in courts:
Though this is somewhat tedious job, it is inevitable. Visit the Ministerial Office or the concerned office of the Jurisdictional Civil Court where sits and probate and succession cases are filed. Inspect the concerned register and make a search for at least 15-20 years and find out whether there is any dispute pending regarding the property in question. If the property is bequeathed, find out whether the same is probated.
The title report is the sum and substance of the findings that have cropped up during tracing and scrutiny of title. Therefore a title report is the sum and substance of the various exercises under taken for investigation of title.
Specimen title report
Title report of the property address…………………. of M/S. ………………
- Title: Title report regarding the land and building belonging to…………
- Name and Address of Buyer/Lessee/Mortgagee etc.
- Discuss on the title of the property in the context of the Seller’s title
Discuss on the title of the property with respect to the predecessors.
- Searches: Discuss the results emerged as a result of searches made in the Sub Registrar’s office, ROC, Courts etc.
- Defects: Point out about the defects if any, in the title. Discuss about the remedies for curing the defects in the title
- Conclusion: As a conclusion discuss about the title of the seller or lessor or mortgagor as the case may be and give recommendations about the property and point out if the Buyer/lessee/mortgagee can proceed with the property or not and if not state reasons.