Legal documents are absolutely crucial when it comes to property related transactions. For instance, the sales deed is a proof of purchase and enumerates various important aspects of the property and transfer of ownership. So, without it, the property is legally unsafe to buy and technically also, unfit to be transacted.
If you are unable to locate your documents despite rummaging through your house, you can follow this procedure in order to get back a certified copy of the property document:
Step 1: Lodge a police complaint. The minute you realise that property documents have been lost, lodge an FIR immediately. “Lodging a police complaint is very crucial because a sale deed determines the ownership transfer after paying the required stamp duty. The deed is typed on a stamp paper which can’t be made again but can be copied,” says a real estate lawyer. Keep the FIR copy safely with you, as at the time of sale, buyers may ask for that as well.
Step 2: Give an advertisement in newspapers. Two notifications in two newspapers (one in an English newspaper and one in local daily) under the seal of a lawyer has to be given. “The notification usually states that for any issues or claim, if the copy is found it has to be returned to the owner/ lawyer,” says a real estate expert. Then wait for 15 days to see if anybody finds it and returns it.
Step 3: In case of a flat, you can furnish the copy of the police complaint to the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) seeking a duplicate share certificate. If the application gets approved, the RWA issues you a share certificate after charging a nominal fee. It’s advisable to also ask for an NOC (non-objection certificate) from them as it will help you while transacting the property at a later stage.
Step 4: Register with a notary. The next step is to notarise the loss of document on a stamp paper. Along with the two newspaper advertisements and the copy of the FIR, get the documents attested and registered with a notary. “The documents are attested and registered with the notary to ensure that your undertaking becomes legal,” explains a lawyer.
Step 5: Seek a true copy from the sub-registrar’s office. With the copy of the FIR and clippings of the newspaper notifications, the next step is to write to the concerned sub-registrar seeking issuance of a certified copy. “A sales deed has two copies. One copy lies with the purchaser while the other copy lies with the registrar. If the sales deed gets lost or stolen, the registrar issues the certified copy,” says the real estate lawyer. The letter, along with the relevant Application Form 22 (which can be downloaded from the department’s website), is to be submitted. Documents such as identity proof, FIR copy, passport and utility connections bill also have to be submitted.
After paying a nominal fee, the certified copy is granted in a couple of days.
Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai