Points to consider before investing in a villa
An independent house was what K Sathya Anand was looking for, and hence the villa at Thalambur was his best option.
There are many points to be considered before investing in a house. There is no rulebook dictating these guidelines since it will vary according to the personal choices of a person. For example, a person who loves the company of neighbours and prefers the amenities, which are provided within various apartment complexes, would choose to buy a flat that is located in a building, among other houses.
But for some, like K Sathya Anand, the Vice-President of a global financial technology company, it is essential to have some space around the house. He was not too comfortable with living in an apartment, in a building. So he opted to buy an independent home in Navalur.
He purchased a villa in Thalambur, in December 2017. “We wanted to live in a place that was not too cramped. And we wanted a good amount of space around it, and that’s why this villa perfectly fit the bill. Both, my children and parents now have enough space. Kids have the space to play. The house is well ventilated and well-lit. All these were driving factors behind the investment,” he says.
He wanted to buy a house in a place where there was no water logging. He also ensured that the roads in the particular area were wide. “Besides, this place is a serene spot. There is so much of green cover in the neighbourhood,” he adds.
The 4-BHK house costs approximately Rs 4,000 per sqft. He believes that the decision to buy a home should be well-thought and people should not rush to purchase a property. He advises, “Check and assess your finances, only then purchase a house. Have some savings left in the bank and do not put all your money in one place.”
Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai
Plot summary: Constructing your own house
V S Rajasekaran talks about how buying a plot near Medavakkam in 1994 and building a house on it, has benefitted him.
While buyers today mostly have the option of apartments or villa to choose from, not many will have the luxury of choosing a plot to build their house upon. But for those who bought homes in Chennai a few decades back, they had the option of buying an empty land and constructing their house on it.
V S Rajasekaran, a government employee, is one among those who bought a plot. “I bought a 2,178 square feet of land near Medavakkam, in 1994. And in 1995, we constructed a 2-BHK house there and moved into it. We have been living there ever since,” he says. The fear of buying a plot or its encroachment always existed. Recounting this struggle, he further adds, “We ensured that the land came with proper patta (legal document for land ownership). Besides, we immediately started construction, which also helped. So, there was no fear.”
Having lived in Chintadripet, as a tenant in a rented house, he was glad to have moved into his own independent house. Medavakkam was far away from the bustle of the city. “It was considered a back of beyond area. There was just one bus-51H, which would ply between Saidapet and Tambaram, which would stop at a bus stop in Medavakkam. Travelling to other parts of the city was difficult. Thankfully, there are innumerable buses today, which help the residents here commute to many parts of Chennai. Also, there are good amenities that have come up in the area, like good hospitals, schools and shopping malls,” he says.
The plot and the construction together did not exceed Rs 3 lakh. Overall, he is glad to have made the investment.
Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai
Imported sand from Malaysia selling briskly in Tamil Nadu
River sand imported by the state government from Malaysia is selling briskly at the Ennore Port, with 30% of the stock being sold in two weeks. In the wake of rising demand for the construction material, the government has placed an order for a second consignment from the Southeast Asian nation.
Officials at the Kamarajar Port at Ennore said about 15,000 tonnes of river sand had been sold. The sand has been stocked at the port premises where lorry operators who have made bookings arrive to take the loads.
“About 50,000 tonnes of sand have been imported from Malaysia. The number of trucks transporting sand from the port has increased in the last three days,” a port official said.
While 195 lorries carried nearly 460 units of sand on October 19, 182 trucks ferried sand out of the port. On an average, about 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of sand are being sold per day. “If the sale continues at the same pace, the sand will get exhausted in the next 20 days,” the port official added.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has fixed a price of Rs 10,350 per unit of imported sand weighing 4.5 tonnes.
Apart from sand lorry owners, members of the public can also purchase sand through the web portal of the PWD’s sand operation wing.
Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owner’s Federation S Yuvaraj said the market for river sand sourced from abroad is growing in the city. “There is a strong demand for such sand. The waiting period for getting the imported river sand is just one day,” he said. While the state government’s first consignment of imported sand arrived at the Ennore Port on September 23, the distribution was kick-started on October 8.
PWD officials said around 225 to 275 bookings are made every day to buy the imported sand. “The order for the next consignment of river sand has been made,” a senior PWD official told TOI, adding that it was expected to arrive at the port from Malaysia in the next two to three weeks.
South Chennai is hub of property fraud in city
South Chennai accounts for the highest number of fake property registrations in Chennai zone, with forged Power of Attorney (PoA) topping the list of documents used for the scam. North Chennai is in second place followed by the southern suburbs falling under the Chengalpet district registrar’s office.
Data accessed by TOI shows that sub-registrar offices in South Chennai had recorded 500 fraudulent registrations over 20 years. A total of 165 petitions on fraudulent land registrations were reported in North Chennai, followed by 117 at Chengalpet, 73 at Kancheepuram and 66 in Central Chennai district registrar offices.
“PoAs make up the largest proportion of forged documents used in land registrations. Bogus legal heir certificates, fake pattas and forged identity cards are the other documents used for this purpose,” a senior registration official told TOI.
In one such case two months ago, the Central Crime Branch police registered an FIR, with the subregistrar of Madhavaram as an accused for creating a fake PoA to sell a plot worth ?4 crore by forging the identity card of a person born in the city, who currently lives in Australia.
Officials said sub-registrar offices in southern pockets of the city have always been on the radar for fraudulent registrations. “About three years ago, a popular layout promoter lodged a complaint that his housing plot falling under the Neelangarai sub-registrar office has been sold using a fake PoA. Further inquiries revealed that the plot was sold to a leading jewellery shop owner in the city, who told us that he was unaware of the forgery,” another registration official said. Housing plots in subregistrar offices under the ambit of Tiruporur sub-registrar office that have not recorded any transaction for a number of years are also vulnerable to such frauds, added the official.
Complaints on fraudulent registrations started pouring in at the registration department after district registrars were given the powers to cancel them in 2011.
However, the powers were withdrawn in 2017 in the wake of a Supreme Court order, which categorically asserted that only civil courts have the authority to declare such registrations null and void.
Later, the office of the inspector of registrations began a review of these complaints filed with the respective district registrars across nine zones in Tamil Nadu.
The Chennai zone comprises 64 sub-registrar offices located in different parts of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, which are functioning under north, central and south Chennai, besides Chengalpet and Kancheepuram district registrars.
“The menace of impersonation and fraudulent registration of properties will end only if Aadhaar is made mandatory,” a top registration official said. Last week, the state government notified the Tamil Nadu Registration (Identity Verification for the Registration of Documents) Rules, 2018 of the Registration Act, 1908, allowing authentication using Aadhaar details obtained from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with a rider that it should be with the consent of the individuals concerned.
Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai
Did you receive an SMS alert from Chennai corporation to make a self-declaration of your house/flat details for property tax purposes? This is part of a system put in place by the state to introduce a revised tax regime.
A detailed set of guidelines has been issued to commissioners of all local bodies on the preparation of a master list of properties and a time frame has been set to map them. At a meeting, officials were asked to first accumulate records of all properties available with housing society, housing board, slum clearance board, ration cards maintained by civil supplies department and other registers maintained by municipalities and corporations to verify omissions in assessment.
Officials are to cross-check records by going door-to-door and finally submit the verified data to seniors. Armed with this verified database, officials will ensure that residents file returns from October 20.
“Field staff will be deployed and 100% filing of returns must be ensured. The returns filed by the owners will be kept in safe custody with no room for tampering. Wherever returns could not be obtained before the due date, the property concerned should be inspected by the revenue staff and returns prepared and submitted to the office,” said a senior official.
Officials of the municipal administration department told TOI that all officials were informed of these guidelines and the deadline. “While everyone is aware that property tax has been revised, we wanted to create a system for officials to implement it which is why we came out with a set of guidelines for them,” said a senior official.
Source Komal Gautham, Economic Times, Chennai
At your service
With a growing number of house owners not having the time to take care of their property, they are beginning to rely on professional property management services to take care of their needs.
House hunting can lead to having interesting experiences for each person. When Srividhya, a financial analyst, was scouring the city for a house to move into on rent, she contacted a person whose phone number was listed on a website. “I found myself speaking to a property manager who enquired about my requirements. He was managing the property that belonged to someone else. But what surprised me the most was that he wanted to interview me to see if I fit the bill of the property owner. I was not aware that the city had such services where an owner could hire such people so that they don’t have to micro-manage certain tasks,” she says.
Many from the earlier generation may have built houses to live in them. But today, buying a house is not merely to live in it, but it is also seen as an investment. Hence an owner, today, need not essentially live in the same house. And this is where home management services are sought.
How exactly is it relevant today? T Chockalingam, Managing Partner, 360 Property Management Services, says, “20 years back, if you owned a house in a city that you currently did not live in, you would take the help of a relative (family member) or a friend to help find a tenant, or to help with anything that was related to the property such as a repair or renovation work. Today, there are a lot of Indians who are settled abroad or live far away from the property, and they may be reluctant to ask a relative’s help in this regard. Simply because they may know that these people may not feel obliged to help them, or they may live far from the property themselves and may find it inconvenient to visit it often.” And that is how these services have become crucial to many Chennai residents.
These companies offer a range of solutions. They help in buying and selling houses, and finding tenants for the house. Tenants are often interviewed, the information is verified and that is shared with the house owner. Sometimes it is also their job to find tenants according to the demands of the owner. “Sometimes they will be particular about tenants having a small family, or belonging to a certain state or community. We have to find them accordingly. Then a rental agreement is drafted and the deal is finalised. We then become facilitators,” says a property manager.
Further, services pertaining to electrical, plumbing, carpentry, flooring, wood work and painting are taken care of by a team from property management service companies. Also, property tax, maintenance charges, water and sewer charges and other expenses are paid on time by these organisations. They visit the property from time to time to check if it has been well maintained by its occupants and even pictures and videos of the same are shared with the owners.
“The prices for the services depend on the size of the property, its location and the specific work that we need to do. Generally, people think it is only NRIs who look out for such help. But even those who have multiple assets, or own a small building with many apartments, take our help,” says Prabhu Shankar, Manager, Nimmadhi Property Management. He offers a word of advice, “Verify if such a company is registered. You can try and do that by checking if that company has a GST number. Also, read the reviews online, see the customer feedback and check if anyone you personally know has enlisted their help.”
Beware! The plot you’re going to buy in South Chennai may be no man’s land
If you are planning to buy a plot of land in south Chennai and its peripheries, then exercise maximum caution before investing in the property as it could be a plot usurped through fraudulent documents. In the past four months, 17 cases of land registrations through double documentation worth of Rs 200 crore have been unearthed in the sub-registrar offices located in the southern parts of the city. Land sharks have been eyeing no man’s land, vacant plots including the government’s poramboke to make a fortune in the realty market.
All cases have been reported in the sub-registrar offices under the purview of the South Chennai District Registrar. The cases have come to the light, incidentally, after the arrest of a registration official P Sivapriya attached to South Chennai District Registrar who has been accused of aiding illegal property registrations in and around the Pallikaranaimarsh land.
Registration department sources told TOI that illegal registrations came to light during a verification of a property transaction. According to official sources, every stamp paper has a different identity serial number. “But in one of the sale deed, whose registration was traced to November 1975, the same serial number was present in all the stamp papers. This raised our suspicion,” an official said adding that further inspection of the sale deed revealed that the entire document was forged.
This apart, complaints from the original owners also brought the murky activity to light. Sources said about 40% visitors to the South Chennai District Registrar’s office were victims of forgery and had come to file complaints.
Officials said there was a pattern to the fudging of documents. “The registrations with fake documents pertain to unclaimed and open land, and poramboke land of the government. It needs strenuous efforts to differentiate between a forged sale deed and original document because the fraudsters have recreated rubber stamps matching the old style,” a registration department official, privy to developments, said.
While 17 such illegal documentations have been unearthed, steps are being taken to file FIRs, sources added. “The total transactions would be worth of Rs 200 crores,” an official said.
When contacted, a senior official with the office of inspector general of registration said they have received complaints in this regard. “Fraudulent property registrations are generally rampant in South Chennai,” the official said.
Source: Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai
Plot regularisation files move at snail’s pace at corporation
Inordinate delay by Chennai Corporation in processing and disposing of applications for regularisation of unapproved layouts has been frustrating applicants, who have to make several trips to Ripon Building to follow up on their papers.
The civic body has received 5,297 applications for regularization since the scheme was rolled out on May 4, 2017, with most of the applications coming from Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valsaravakkam, Perungudi, and Shollinganallur zones. Since the extension of the May 3 deadline, the corporation received 1,891 applications.
Calling for decentralisation of the process, which could be handled at zonal office levels involving more officials, residents say it is taking months now. “After I applied for approval of a plot in Puzhuthivakkam in November, not even an acknowledgment was sent. For every status update, I need to keep visiting Ripon Building. After all these months, I am yet to receive an approval,” said V Moses.
Sources said only six engineers were working on the regularization files, though the number of pending applications ran to several thousands. Two plot owners were flummozed when they were asked to produce no-objection certificates from Airports Authority of India for layouts in Moulivakkam and Madhavaram.
“What does AAI have to do with properties so far, in Moulivakkam?” questioned a resident. “We need a hassle-free and public-friendly approach. What is the use of conducting camps urging people to get their sub-divisions and layouts regularised, when the process is so cumbersome and never-ending?” questioned G Satish of Sholinganallur.
Officials, however, told TOI that 240 layouts had been approved till date and that the process was picking up steam when compared to earlier months when only 13 layouts got approval in a span of a year. According to officials, 597 applications were for plots in CRZ area. “Non-submission of all the required documents by the applicant is one of the causes of delay. Once we get the update from CMDA, the applicant can submit all the missing files even in a day,” he said. Scrutiny of the framework plan takes two weeks for the CMDA if the documents are in order. Orders have been issued to involve two more engineers in regularization work, said an official.
Source: Shruti Suresh, The Times of India, Chennai
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