A Guide To The Legal Process Of Buying Property In A Metropolitan City

A Guide To The Legal Process Of Buying Property In A Metropolitan City

When we think of buying a home, we usually only consider the monetary aspect of it. While that isn’t wrong in any way, it’s also prudent to consider the other factors associated with buying a home. Let’s say you’re eyeing a residential apartment in a metro city like Chennai. If you’re new to the property scene, it’s easy for you to miss the fine print surrounding property acquisition. 

This negligence may not sound like a big deal, but it can have severe repercussions if you inadvertently violate the sale deed terms in any way. Therefore, it is always better to have a grasp on the legal terms associated with the property you buy. This article will give you all the know-how you need to be in the loop regarding this topic. Let’s begin at the start of the househunting process. 

The Basic Terms

To kick things off, let’s get acquainted with some of the popular terms associated with real estate property purchase. 

The RERA Factor

RERA is the Real Estate Regulation Authority in India. They are the governing body on all real estate ownership matters. Whether it’s a 2BHK flat or a property for a commercial lease, RERA has a say in what goes and what doesn’t. Househunters check for RERA approval as a benchmark to what residential apartments are trustworthy.

The Paperwork

Buying a house can involve a lot of signatures and forms to fill out beforehand. This process may just seem like a boiler-plate formality, but you must pay attention to the details within so that you don’t get caught off-guard. 


When you are targeting a 3 BHK flat, for instance, you’ll probably be spending more time doing the background research rather than the actual purchase itself. After all, in real estate, the investment is a sizable amount, so you can never be too careful!

These pointers will help you get the general pulse of the legal aspect of buying a property. With these points in mind, let’s delve further into the legal procedures of buying a residential property. 

The Foundations

As with any official procedure, your first order of business as a house hunter is to make sure all your papers are in order. This endeavour can be quite a tall ask, so we’ll break it down into simpler terms for you. 

Background Check

As the buyer, you have to ensure that the property you’re eyeing has a clean legal slate. That means no outstanding payment sums on the property, no mortgages and no legal infringements of any other kind. Whether it’s a 2BHK flat or a studio apartment, its legal profile needs to be squeaky clean. To ensure this, you’ll need to go down the years and check the documents associated with the property. If the property has a colourful past, you may even have to check as far back as three decades!


You want to know whether the property seller is legitimate or not, right? If you want a guarantee on that, you have to dig deep on their credentials. An honest seller will have all their paperwork in order before they put their property on the market. Still, it is in your best interest to scope out the seller’s credentials, including the PAN card and other particulars, especially if it’s a 3BHK flat. If an organisation owns the property, then you’ll also have to account for additional documents like their registration number. These steps are a precaution to avoid legal discrepancies in the future.

The Land Parameters

Once you’ve cleared up things with the seller of the residential property, it’s time to check the property itself. To avoid legal action, you’ll need to make sure that the property is built on land cleared for residential use. For properties under construction, ensure that any land conversion documents are accounted. For existing properties, there’s the question of checking the essential clearance documents like water and electricity board formalities. If everything is in order, you have the legal green signal.


In the case of a residential property, you have to ensure that you have the occupancy certificate from the seller. You must get this document ready before property ownership is transferred to you. If you let it slide, it could have serious legal consequences in the future. The other primary aspect to look out for is property taxes. Your seller needs to have their property taxes paid upfront, with no discrepancies. You can get in touch with the authorities to help you with the logistics of this process.

Sealing The Deal

You’ll notice a pattern in the above steps. Most of the steps involve document verification of some sort. By now, you should have a sense of how many legal gears are spinning to ensure a safe residential property for you. As you approach the end of the process, things do ease up a bit. So let’s soldier on and check off the final items in the list!

The Loan/Mortgage Issue

Before the property is handed over to you, it’s better that you check any pending loans and mortgages on the property. If you don’t, then anyone can come and legally claim a share of the property you now own. To be on the safer side, ensure that your home has no claims, even if it is just a 2BHK flat.   

RERA Approval

Last but most definitely not the least, you must get the RERA clearance for your project. If your project isn’t RERA-approved, it is illegitimate and in breach of the laws surrounding real estate. Run your property by RERA, just in case. 

Signed, Sealed and Approved

Once this process is complete, you’re good to go! Enjoy the full benefits of owning a residential property in a metro city. Upon property handover, feel free to move in and furnish the place as you please. The essential point to note here is that the legal process associated with real estate can be a burden at times. People are often tempted to cut corners. However, to ensure your peace of mind, you must check that everything is in place before you sign on the dotted line. Let’s all pledge to be more informed before we set out to buy our dream homes!

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