Property-related frauds aren’t uncommon in India, especially when it comes to land purchase. In this article, we discuss how buyers can prevent themselves from becoming victims of land-related frauds.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents: Documents prove the seller’s ownership over a plot. Aside from getting their document verified through a professional lawyer, the buyer must also check the land record in the local revenue department office to be doubly sure. Among the papers that prove the ownership of the seller are title deed, encumbrance certificate, 7/12 khata extract (in states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka) and property tax payment bills.
Get a boundary wall constructed: An unattended open land parcel is likely to attract the land mafia. To keep them away, construct a boundary wall. A nameplate on the main gate should mention the name of the plot owner and warn against trespassing.
Keep a caretaker: Hire a caretaker to guard your land against illegal possession. However, if that’s not an option, make regular visits to the site or ask your family or friends to do that for you. These visits would give the neighbours an idea about the real owner.
Seek your neighbour’s help: If the plot is in an already inhabited area, befriend your neighbours and request them to monitor your land— even if you have hired a caretaker. Informal as it is, this is quite an effective strategy to keep your immovable asset safe.
Be quick to report: Even the law would refuse to help you if a squatter sits on your property for a long time without you reporting the matter to the police. According to several verdicts passed by the judicial system in the country, a squatter gets the legal rights over a property after 12 years of holding it. In case you see a red flag, waste no time and report the matter to the police immediately.
Factors That Determine Price Of Plots:
Land is an important asset and investment in land or plots, is known to be lucrative as it assures better appreciation and offers higher long-term returns for investors. This is particularly true when compared to residential properties. The value of any property, besides factors like its structural attributes and location, is significantly influenced by its land rates.
The value of land has increased manifold in the last 20 years. So, for anyone who is considering investment in plots, it is essential to understand the major factors that impact land pricing. The major factors which determine prices of plots.
Location is a crucial factor which determines the price of land. The kind of development that takes place in the area, affects the land price. Proximity to main roads, transport linkages, upcoming highways, population centres or an important landmark, leads to a higher appreciation of the plot. Also, land which is surrounded by greenery is priced higher than plots surrounded by industries or factories. With increasing land scarcity, governments in many Indian states, are working on land norms to facilitate the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural use.
The topography, soil quality, climate, presence of ground water, etc., have a significant influence on the land price. For instance, land with weak soil or rocky terrain, will be unable to support the structures and thus, will be less preferred. The fertile agricultural land will fetch more value than a plot with no prominent features.
Demand for land
In simple terms, anything which is tradable and available in plenty possesses lesser value than something which is available in less volume. Property prices in prime locations of any city are higher than prices in the suburbs since such prime areas are equipped with all facilities and thus, attract investors and buyers. Similarly, land parcels in city outskirts, are available in plenty and are more reasonably priced.
Industrial development in a location, too, has a direct implication on the plot prices. Plots located in an area with extensive economic activities such as markets or industries, etc., command higher prices.
Floor Space Index
The Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR), is a vital factor influencing plot prices. FSI is determined by parameters like plot size and width of the road. It denotes how much space in a plot can be utilised for construction. The FAR is restricted by the zoning code and impacts the land value. If the planning authority increases the FAR, then the market value of the plot increases.
Present and future land use
Often, the government or local authorities place restrictions on the kind of development that can be done on the land. Land value is also fixed by the land use permitted in the land premises. This is also a crucial factor for land pricing. Usually, industrial or institutional land use attracts higher prices.