In India, more than two-thirds of all litigations deal with land and property. I’ve certainly heard it and you’ve probably heard it too. At this point, I’ve gone beyond just beating a dead horse. Having said that, it is still important to appreciate how property-related cases continue to engulf the Indian legal system. In 2022 alone, there were more than seventy-two lakh new cases added. Many of these issues can be attributed to the maxim Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware. Simply, this means that the onus is on the buyer to make sure everything about the sale is correct. Now that we’ve recognized their existence, let’s go over common property and security hurdles that a landowner may face.
I wasn’t lying; You weren’t asking the right questions
A common issue that arises during acquisition of property is that the final exchange doesn’t match the original agreement. The seller may be overpromising or, in certain cases, just outright misrepresenting what he is actually in possession of. Often times, the buyer will experience that he will have negotiated to buy land of a certain size. However, come time of sale, the buyer will find that physical location of the land does not match what he was informed or there is a discrepancy in the size of the property. In either case, the buyer can look forward to a lengthy legal battle that can easily become generational.
Thanks for the gift!
With the passing of a loved one, many, suddenly, inherit property without clear distinctions but concrete problems. Often, many are unsure of the exact boundaries that piece of land has. If there are co-inheritors, the problems are compounded as they figure out who gets what, where, and how much. In this era of urbanization, many are leaving their ancestral homes and venturing further and further out in search of opportunities. As distance grows, so does unfamiliarity. The confusion and familial disputes over distribution grow exponentially the further the inheritor ventures and are off the charts in the case of NRIs. Landowners can quickly find that their new boons have turned into longstanding banes.
And the results say it’s not even yours!
So, the buyer dotted his i’s and crossed his t’s. He checked and double-checked the location and size of the property. The buyer is all set, right? Maybe? Sometimes, all the details of the property check out, but none of the details of the owner do. There exist a non-trivial amount of examples in which a seller attempts transactions with land he does not even own! The buyer must have proper due diligence every step of the way to avoid disputes and litigation.