One has to keep in mind the legal aspects of everything before doing anything nowadays. After all, who knows when the government or people around you might start acting funny ?
Legal Aspects of Architecture and the construction process
Legal architecture is what an architect and his client should focus on, no one wants to fall in thick soup, right?
Actually there are some rules that you may skip (depending upon the strictness of authorities), but then there are some legal aspects of architecture that you can’t afford to overlook.
A competent and reliable lawyer, who is known for handling legal matters pertaining to real estate honestly and efficiently, should be appointed. Some points to be kept in mind are:
1. The title (legal ownership) of the plot should be ‘clear’, i.e. it should be free from any encumbrances like mortgages, objections from other claimants, claims of heirs (specially if the plot owner belongs to certain religions), etc.
2. Both, the purchaser and the seller should get the property valued by a competent ‘approved’ valuer to minimize risk of acquisition by the government.
3. The plot should preferably be freehold or should be taken on a long ‘lease’ (contract to use land for a specific purpose and for a particular period in consideration of rent). Lease conditions relating to the legal aspects of architecture need a good study.
Sale deed of the present owner and legal constraints like the Land Ceiling Act should be studied.
4. It should be made sure that no other party has a right to pass through the property. The adjoining property owners may be having an ‘easement’ (right of usage of certain benefits arising from the concerned property) or any other rights like ‘Ancient lights law’.
Read my article on Ancient Lights Law for a better understanding.
5. If the prospective fan agricultural one must first enquire whether it can be easily converted into land for non agricultural (NA) use.
Every sale deed has to be registered with the Registrar of the district and payment of registration charges and stamp duty, based on a certain percentage of the sale amount, made.
These charges are quite considerable (particularly stamp duty) if there are existing buildings on the land. The charges are normally shared equally by the seller and the purchaser. This point should be clarified before finalizing the transaction of the sale.
6. The boundaries of the plot should be clearly marked and verified by the city survey or district land records office.
An authorized copy of the record drawing showing plot area, its dimensions, adjacent properties and roads, should be acquired.
‘Property card’ (an official statement concerning a property showing its exact area, ownership and other details) or any relevant extracts from land records (called 7/12) should also be obtained from these offices.
It is advisable to fence the property immediately after the purchase to avoid any encroachments from neighboring plots or unauthorized hutments.
7. If only a portion of a plot is to be purchased, enquiries should be made as to whether sub-division of the plot is legal, and, if allowable, whether permission for sub-division is required from any public body.
8. It is advisable to give a notice in the newspaper through a lawyer, announcing the purchase of a particular property; the name of the purchaser need not be mentioned. This is to prevent any claims on the property in future.
I hope that now you won’t land in trouble because of architectural and construction laws. Even if you are not an architect, this little bit of architectural information would be helpful. Hope not to see you behind bars. Good day!