Registration of immovable property must for valid, marketable title

The Private Client team at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas shares their comments and opinions in an article in the  following Q&A which was published by the Mint Newspaper on 7th June, 2021 and the online edition of the same can be found here.

My elder sister and I are the only two surviving legal heirs of our father, who had passed away in 1973. We are cultivating our father’s share in some land in farming in our ancestral village in Punjab. The mutations are still continuing in the joint names of our father and his brothers.

As we are now senior citizens we are looking to consolidating these landholdings. My sister has two sons and I have two sons. She may not wish to have any share transferred in her name, but would prefer to gift the same to me or to my sons. How should I proceed to obtain mutations in our names? Will it be necessary to first transfer the property in our names and thereafter further apply for transfer of her share to me or my sons?

– Name withheld

We understand that mutation records pertaining to the said property continues to record the joint names of your father and his brothers. The mutation of immovable property records with the municipal authorities is only for property tax assessment purposes, and it does not confer any title to the immovable property. In order to have a valid and marketable title over immovable property, one should have a registered title deed in his/her name. Hence, it would be important that you consult a counsel to get a partition deed or a family arrangement deed drawn up between your father’s brothers or their legal heirs together with you and your sister and get the same registered with the sub-registrar of properties.

Basis the partition deed or a family arrangement deed, the property can be mutated in your and your sister’s names. Thereafter, your sister can transfer her share over the property to you or your sons’ through a registered transfer deed or a gift deed. Subsequently, the said transferred portion can be mutated in your and your sons’ names, as the case may be.

Note that stamp duty on a partition deed/family arrangement deed is payable at 2% on the circle rate value of the largest share out of the partitioned property. 1% on the circle rate value of the largest share out of the partitioned property shall be the registration fee payable on such deed.