When you buy a property, it is very important to check if there are any legal complications associated with it. If you are wondering how as a buyer you can get access to this information, then an Encumbrance Certificate (EC) will help you find out if there are any charges created on the property.
If a property is purchased by availing a mortgage or if it has been pledged, the lender will add a “Lien” or a charge to the property. This will ensure that the borrower/property owner does not sell the property until the mortgage is paid in full.
An Encumbrance Certificate is a legal document which will help you find out if there are any charges made on the property – financial or legal. You can avail an EC by visiting the respective Sub-Registrar's Office.
Before buying a property, you must ensure that the property has a clear title. Getting an Encumbrance Certificate will assure you that the property you wish to buy is free from such financial or legal liability. If you notice a charge on the EC, it is important to rectify it before you make the purchase. It will also help you find out if there are any existing owners who can legally claim the property.
Apart from that, if you are planning on availing a loan to buy a property, an EC is one of the documents you will be required to submit to your lender.
There are two types of encumbrance certificates. They are:
The sub-registrar's office issues an encumbrance certificate on Form 15 if a property has any encumbrances during the period for which the applicant has sought a certificate. While a nil-encumbrance certificate is issued on Form 16 by the same office if a property has not registered any encumbrances during the period for which the applicant has sought a certificate
When you apply for an Encumbrance Certificate, you will be asked to specify the period for which you need the information.
If there are no charges placed on the property during the requested period, a “Nil Encumbrance Certificate” will be issued. This means that no lender has placed a lien on the property during that period.
The application fee to get an Encumbrance Certificate differs from state to state. It depends on the location of the property and the state government that governs it. However, the fees to get an EC in some of the popular states are:
|Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (as on 17 August 2013)||Search and issue of certified EC copy- Rs.200 per certificate Search and issue of EC copy up to 30 years- Rs.200 per certificate More than 30 years- Rs.500 per certificate|
|Kerala (As on 31 March 2018)||Single search and copy- Rs.10 Extra sheets (over first 2 sheets used)- Rs.10 per sheet|
Note: Please check with your respective authorities for the updated fees and charges applicable.
The steps to apply for an Encumbrance Certificate differs from one state to another. A few states in the country allow users to apply for an EC online. If you cannot apply for an Encumbrance Certificate online in your state, you must visit the respective Sub-Registrar's Office.
Below is the procedure to apply for an Encumbrance Certificate online:
Encumbrance certificates are primarily granted physically throughout India, with the exception of a few states. Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana are among the states that provide encumbrance certificates online.
Following technical issues with the state’s online system, Kaveri Online Service, the Karnataka government opted to return to the offline method for the issuance of encumbrance certificates and other property-related papers on 10 June 2020. Due to the site’s failure, the state had also permitted farmers in Karnataka to apply at a later date. Property registrations in the state’s capital, Bengaluru, was also affected by the problem.
The steps to track the status of your EC application differs from one website to another. Most of the government websites that allow you to apply for an Encumbrance Certificate online will let you track the status of the application.
For example, the official Kerala Government Website allows its users to check the status online. The steps are as follows:
As mentioned earlier, the process to obtain an EC differs from one place to another. If you apply for an EC in person at a Sub-Registrar's Office, you will get the certificate within 15 to 30 days.
However, if you apply for an EC online, you will get it faster. Online applications usually take 2 to 3 working days to be processed.
As mentioned earlier, if the respective State Government website allows you to track the status of your EC application online, you will be able to download the file once it is generated.
Some of the documents you would need while applying for an Encumbrance Certificate are:
Please visit the nearest Sub-Registrar's Office to know more about the Encumbrance Certificate in your region.
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