In a country like India where land is premium, owning a property is perhaps the ultimate goal for millions. It is fair to say that property transactions can be a murky affair, often changing lives, either for better or for worse. Simple mistakes during property transactions could be disastrous, with cases of fraudulent purchases in the news every other day. In this context it would be imperative to know about the “Khata” system which is followed in parts of our country. Purchasing a property does not herald the end of procedures related to it, as property tax forms an important part of after-purchase “services”.
What is a Khata?
A Khata is a revenue document containing the assessment for a property, especially with regards to its tax implications. It is an identification which provides details about the property, including its location, size, constructed area, etc. It signifies that a property owner is paying the necessary property tax to the concerned authority.
History of B Khata:
The history of B Khata can be traced back to 2007, when Bengaluru was reorganised into its present civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. 7 City Municipal Councils consisting of Bommanahalli, Dasarahalli, Mahadevapura, Krishnarajapuram, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Yelahanka and Byatarayanapura were merged with the Town Municipal Council of Kengeri and 110 villages to form BBMP. Post this reorganisation a new and uniform property taxation system was implemented and properties which did not have approval of the agency but still continued to enjoy amenities were categorised as B Khata properties.
In essence these were properties which were unauthorised and which did not pay any property tax. An acknowledgement was issued to these properties post an amendment to the laws and they came to be termed as B Khata.
These properties were termed B Khata as they were registered in a separate register which went by the name B register, a nomenclature which is still used today.
What is B Khata - Meaning
B Khata certificates are given to any property which does not fall under BBMP jurisdiction. Such properties are unauthorized but receive all the amenities provided by the civic agencies. B Khatas are not considered as valid Khata extracts and owners will not get the same benefits as A Khata properties.
B Khatas were traditionally issued in the following cases.
- If the property is part of an unauthorized layout.
- If the property is on revenue land sans DC conversion.
- If a property doesn’t have a valid Occupancy Certificate.
Importance of Khata:
Khatas are extremely important documents related to property, the benefits of which are mentioned below.
- Loan approvals – Banks do not approve home or land loans for properties which do not have a valid Khata. A valid Khata is an important prerequisite in order to obtain a loan against property.
- Civic amenities - A valid Khata enables property owners to apply for basic civic amenities like water connection, electricity supply or telephone connection.
- License – All commercial establishments need to have a valid Khata in order to obtain a commercial license.
- Building license – A valid Khata is necessary before a property owner gets license to construct a building.
- Sale – A Khata reflects the tax history of a property, helping buyers gauge their purchase.
Properties which have B Khata are not entitled to licences or loans but can offer temporary solutions to purchase land, although constructions are not allowed on such lands/properties.
How to Convert B Khata to A Khata?
Property owners who wish to convert their B Khata properties into A Khata properties need to follow three simple steps.
- Request for DC conversion of their property, i.e. it should be changed from agricultural use to non-agricultural use by the District Commissioner.
- Ensure that all property taxes are paid till date without any dues.
- Pay betterment charges. A betterment charge needs to be paid to the civic authority for the amenities in place.
The concerned civic authority might convert the B Khata to A Khata once these tasks are performed, provided the documents are in place.
High Court Judgement:
B Khatas have been in the news recently and a judgement related to them was recently passed by the Karnataka High Court. The High Court judgement has termed the practice of issuing B Khatas illegal and ordered the BBMP to ensure that all properties are registered in the Form A Register henceforth. This would provide relief to thousands of landowners who were caught in a tussle between builders and the BBMP.
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