Chat with us
September 26, 2023

How To Verify Property Documents Without A Lawyer

Property dealings are of an intricate nature, owing to the number of documents associated with them. The complications are exploited by miscreants, to gain undue profit. The number of frauds in real estate has come down with stringent regulations by RERA and other competent bodies. Nonetheless, it is not completely free of deception.

A lawyer with specialization in property documentation is normally approached for examining the property documents before purchase. In circumstances, wherein you are unable to reach out to a lawyer, you can undertake the verification of documents yourself. At the same time, we suggest you be cautious and examine each certificate or document related to the property meticulously. Take your time reviewing those, even if the seller or the land dealer compels you to expedite.

Documents to be Verified Before Buying a Property

All the documents associated with the property must be checked prior to paying the advance or finalizing the purchase. Get help from an expert if you face any confusion or doubt regarding the terminologies used or suspected issues with the property.

  • Tax receipts: – Property tax has to be paid annually for both the land and the asset. The tax receipt will contain the details of ownership. Furthermore, the tax receipt confirms the pending debt on the asset.
  • Title Deeds: A title deed is the main document pertaining to a property. It will have all the details regarding the ownership, the number of times the property has been sold, etc. With the title deed, you can reach out to the local municipal office for confirming its authenticity. Read each line from the title deed diligently. At times, it may have complex language.
  • Encumbrance Certificate: An encumbrance certificate would tell you whether any mortgage or loan is pending against the property. The subject certificate is issued by the sub-registrar office of the area. It would clearly indicate even if one of the previous owners had taken a loan against the property and defaulted.
  • Sale Deed: A sale deed is prepared by an authorized person or a lawyer. It can also be prepared by the individual using the template provided online. A sale deed is a document with which property is transacted between the seller and buyer. It would contain all the details about the property, including the dimensions, cost, location, land survey number, etc. The personal details of the buyer and seller would also be on the sale deed.
  • Possession Certificate: A possession certificate would state who is in possession of the property. In case you are buying a property from a real estate developer, the possession certificate will have confirmation regarding the payment and the date on which the property will be handed over.
  • Plan approval: Every construction project requires approval from the authorities. They will check the plan, confirm that the dimensions and specifications are as per the regulations, and issue the approval. The builder is supposed to pursue the approved plan only, and any major deviations can lead to trouble. Check the approved plan vis-à-vis the building.
  • Type of Land: You need to check with the sub-registrar office or village office to confirm the type of land. There are limitations regarding house construction on agricultural land. Of late, the conversion of agricultural land has also become difficult. Therefore, obtaining a home loan would also become an issue if the property was mentioned as agricultural land.

Documents to Be Checked When Buying an Apartment

Some additional documents also must be checked when you opt to buy villas or flats in Kochi. Of course, many trustworthy builders in Kochi provide all the necessary documents for verification by the buyers. You may ask the seller if they are handing over the documents on time.

  • Date of Possession: The contract signed between the builder and buyer would specify the timelines for installments and contractual obligations. The agreement would clearly state the date of possession. It is the date on which the developer or seller should hand over the apartment, flat, or villa to the buyer. Failing that, the customer has all the rights to approach a court.
  • Schedule of Payment for the Property: The schedule of payment is more significant in the case of an ongoing or newly commenced real estate project. The customer has to abide by the timelines mentioned in the contractual agreement. He or she can discuss and amend the schedule as convenient, with the approval of the seller, prior to signing the contract.
  • Adjudication and Mediation Clauses: These are alternatives to the litigation process if any of the parties fail to abide by the contract. In such a scenario, the affected party can opt for adjudication or mediation, rather than going through a complex legal process. Ensure that the clause is included in the contract.
  • Amenities and Specifications: Quality issues, lack of amenities promised in the offer document, and deviation from the specifications mentioned can occur. Especially when you choose an unreliable real estate developer. Visit the apartment or villa before taking possession, to confirm that everything is as stated initially by the builder. Take the necessary measures if you find something amiss.


We expect that this checklist will help you on to verify property documents without a lawyer. Never hurry-scurry with a property purchase. Examine all the options available, do a site visit, ascertain the reliability of the seller or property developer, ensure that the documents are proper, and discuss with your family before moving ahead with the decision.


Discover your dream home with Skyline

Experience a new way to stay in your favourite cities.