The Indian real estate sector is growing, and so are the scams and frauds associated with it. Consumers nowadays are more informed, but ironically are still susceptible to scams.
Real estate scams run the entire scale, from legal frauds and fly-by-night operators to false promises and untenable buy-one-get-something-free offers.
Fake documents: This is the most popular way to be cheated by a seller. In a majority of the cases, a naïve property buyer is handed over fake property documents. It is advisable to verify the essential papers from the sub-registrar office.
Double mortgage chances: There are possibilities that before selling the property to you, the seller might have mortgaged the property with two separate banks. There have been various instances where sellers have availed of loans against the property, distribution of the property and vanish into thin air. You have to struggle a protracted legal battle to get your hard-earned money back. It’s better to get the facts of ownership verified from the sub-registrar office.
Title Frauds: This occurs with both individual sellers as well as developers. There have been instances where scammers have duplicated title deeds of vacant or disputed projects and sold them to innocent buyers. On the time the fraud is discovered, the scammer is far out of sight, counting the wads of money he has got. A related sort of real estate scams is where property buyers buy their dream home only to come later to know that the project does not include that part of the land the developer had specified as theirs when they booked it.
A general power of attorney: There are possibilities that the property and land you’re buying was granted a general power of attorney (GPA) by the real property owner. A GPA is lying to fraud because the same property may be sold to another person. There have been situations where the real owner allows more than one person for the GPA, and each of them end up selling the property to distinct people.
The land belongs to the government: A fraudster may indicate you a government land. You might become the victim of fraudulence if the seller has created an unauthorized layout of property in government land. You must ensure that he/she really own the plot or the house shown to you by the owner. Making local enquiries always come helpful.
Property Encroachments: Many cases have been notified where the seller has encroached upon his neighbor’s land and property by violating the layout of the property. He may register this encroached layout in your name after extracting an extensive amount from you. Later on, you recognize that you’re not the rightful owner of the said portion. This would make it impossible for you to claim your funds back if your seller has escaped from the scene.
Dubious agreements: There are possibilities that you are handed over dubious agreements. For example, you buy a 250-sq-yard plot, and after paying a large amount, you get the plot registered in your name. Though, when you measure the plot size at a later stage, you realize the plot size is lesser than the one that is specified in the agreement.
Property buyers will be able to suspect a real estate scams by looking out for some simple things like varying signatures, missing originals, notarized documents, missing seller, sale deed signed in blue inks and so on. Thus, some property buyers you won’t be a victim of fraudulence provided you are checking these during your purchase.
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