How to Obtain Encumbrance Certificate in Kerala

How to Obtain Encumbrance Certificate in Kerala

The term “encumbrance” refers to the legal liability on a piece of property that lowers its value. It is usually used with respect to property that is kept as security by the owner, but the dues have not been fulfilled. The document that lists out all the encumbrances on a particular property over a specific time duration is called the encumbrance certificate.

The encumbrance certificate is a very important legal document that has to be obtained before any property purchase. It lists out all the financial and legal transactions that have been made with respect to the property for a specified time period.

The encumbrance certificate is evidence that the property on sale is free from mortgages, and there are no legal disputes revolving around it. The encumbrance certificate permits the property to be sold as a free title and the buyer gets the ownership without any pending dues attached to it.

The encumbrance certificate is vital for the purchase of any property, and for taking out a loan against the property. Most banks and government offices require at least 13 years of encumbrance, but you can get up to 30 years listed on the encumbrance certificate.

The encumbrance certificate for a property can be obtained from the relevant sub registrar’s office where the deed was originally recorded. Here’s the process to be followed to obtain an encumbrance certificate.

How to Obtain Encumbrance Certificate in Kerala

Step 1: Get the Property Details

Find out the survey number of the property, and the owners’s name. This is the basic information that is required in order to apply for the encumbrance certificate.

Step 2: Apply for the encumbrance certificate (EC)

The EC application needs to be filled out with mandatory details such as:

  • Name of the property owner
  • Survey number of the property
  • Property description (including measurements and boundaries)
  • Period for which EC is requested

The application is made through Form 22 to the Tehsildar with a Rs. 2/- non-judicial stamp. The applicant will also have to furnish additional details such as their complete residential address (with address proof), and also mention the purpose for which the EC is required.

The application can then be submitted at the jurisdictional sub-registrar’s office.

Step 3: Pay the required fees

The applicant needs to pay the required fees at the sub-registrar’s office for the application to be processed. The fees will be charged year-wise, with even a fraction of the year being considered as a full year. For the purpose of encumbrance certificate, the year starts on April 1st and ends on March 31st .

Step 4: Issuance of the encumbrance certificate

The Tehsildar look into the reports from the Talatti (Patwari) to check if there is any entry for the property/owner under question. If there is no such entry, a detailed enquiry is made the the EC is issued between 15 to 30 days.

The EC is issued on Form No. 15 or Form No. 16 based on whether any encumbrance is produced on property or not. If there is no encumbrance on the property during the specified time period, then Form No. 16 will be issued with nil encumbrances.

On the other hand, if there is any charge against the property for the specified time period, then Form No. 15 will be issued. Form No. 15 will also include relevant details such as, the nature of the charges produced, documents of the property registered, amount secured, registration details, references, etc. that have been registered and recorded in Book-I by the registration authorities for the time period for which the EC was requested.

The officer completes the verification of the EC and generates a print out which specifies all the transactions made during the specified period.

Step 5: Verify the encumbrance certificate

Make sure that the EC has been signed and stamped with the official seal. The survey number and other details pertaining to the property also have to be cross-verified with what was mentioned in the application.

Limitations of the Encumbrance Certificate

The encumbrance certificate does have some limitations, though. It cannot be considered as the only evidence to verify the encumbrances of a property.

Certain transactions regarding immovable properties, other minor transactions are not captured in the encumbrance certificate because they are not required to be registered under the Registration Act, 1908.

Details of equitable mortgage, where a mortgage is taken by depositing the original title deeds of the property with a bank, are not registered at the registrar’s office, and will therefore not reflect in the encumbrance certificate. The same is the case for testamentary documents or leases for a period lesser than a year.

Other transactions like tax liabilities, oral tenancy, family arrangements, prior unregistered agreements, unregistered wills, and other miscellaneous agreements do not need to be registered, and will not be present in the encumbrance certificate.

The encumbrance certificate certainly cannot be neglected during a real estate deal, but it’s best to not rely on that alone. We hope this article has clearly outlined the steps you need to follow to obtain an encumbrance certificate in Kerala.

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