Types of property ownership in India

Law Civil Law
01-Jul-2022
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The word property is referred to in numerous senses in general. If one looks around, everything available in the surroundings may be categorized as Property. Every tangible or intangible object has some value to human beings and may be called Property. The essential characteristic of a property is the value attached to it.

In one way or another, it is a source of wealth—the value may be personal or monetary. Therefore, Property consists of land, shares, buildings, and debts due to another person. However, when used in the legal sense, the term has a definite connotation. It is the right to enjoy and dispose of certain things absolutely as one thinks they fit.

Property can usually be owned in one of two ways: as the sole owner or jointly with other persons. However, there are many different types of joint property ownership, which we will understand in this article. We'll also examine how this property ownership affects the owners' and joint owners' rights and responsibilities.

Types of property ownership

  1. Individual ownership/ sole ownership of property 
  2. Joint ownership/ co-ownership of property 

Individual ownership/ sole ownership of property

A single person is called an owner when a property is purchased and registered with their name. Individual property ownership is termed "single ownership" or "individual ownership." If the name of the principal buyer records the sale deed, then the parties who supported the owner in receiving cash for the property purchase have no rights to the property. Even when other parties assisted the owner in arranging finances for the purchase, they do not have any rights to the property if the sale deed is solely recorded in the name of the primary buyer. An instance is stated below.

Suppose a buyer needed his wife's help to get money for a house's down payment. He also names his wife a co-applicant. In this case, the property is recorded by the husband's name. In this situation, the property would be solely possessed by the spouse. While the wife will continue to have a legal right to the property, the fact that the husband entirely holds the property will be unaffected by the country's current inheritance laws.

After the owner's death, his property is distributed according to the terms of his will. If there is no will, specific inheritance rules will apply, and the property will be divided among the late owner's lawful heirs.

Benefits of sole property title holding

Here are some benefits that a sole proprietor enjoys:

  1. Legally, they have the only authority to determine whether or not to sell the property.
  2. There would be no requirement to ask for permission from anyone else to do so. Since there are fewer owners, it is also simpler to divide such a property. 
  3. When the owner dies, his property is distributed according to the terms of his will. If there is no will (this is referred to as the owner dying intestate in legal terms), particular inheritance laws will apply, and the property will be divided among the late owner's legal heirs.

Joint ownership/ co-ownership of property 

In the case of co-ownership, the property's title deed works on the concept of unity by providing them equal shares in the property. The key

Joint ownership is when the names of many people register a stable/immovable asset, or Joint owners of an asset are people who share ownership of the property. It's crucial to understand that there's no legal difference between co-ownership and joint property ownership, and the terms can be interchanged. There are a variety of substitutes for joint-owning a home. Here are a few examples:

In the case of joint tenancy, the property's title deed works on the concept of unity by providing their equal share in one parcel. The critical factors of unity in this form of joint ownership are unity of time, unity of title, unity of interest, and possession. As the result of this arrangement law of survivorship works upon the demise of one joint owner. After this, his share will automatically pass to the surviving owners.

Joint tenancy

In the case of joint tenancy, the property's title deed works on the concept of unity by providing their equal share in one parcel. The critical factors of unity in this form of joint ownership are unity of time, unity of title, unity of interest, and possession. As the result of this arrangement law of survivorship works upon the demise of one joint owner. After this, his share will automatically pass to the surviving owners.

Tenancy in its entirety

Joint tenancy is between married persons and is the most straightforward kind of co-ownership. This kind of property is co-held by spouses by the arrangement. If any of them want to change their share, they must get the other person's permission first. At the time of death of one partner, the surviving partner will receive the total property ownership.

Tenancy in common

Tenancy in common refers to a property when two or more persons jointly hold one property without sharing equal rights.

Coparcenary

The Hindu Succession Act (HSA), 1956, lays out the coparcenary form of ownership between the members of Hindu Undivided Families as the Hindu law does not provide for multiple types of joint ownership. Every coparcener acquires an interest in a coparcenary property at birth. This concept, similar to joint tenancy, allows (a child who is not even born yet) to have an equal share in the property.

Fractional Ownership

In fractional ownership, you have a slice of the real estate and are given a deed to the property rather than a period to utilize it. The prices here may be less than full ownership, but if you're happy with the sharing arrangement, you'll still have access to the home.

Property ownership by nomination

Property ownership by nomination occurs when the property owner nominates a person to get the right of ownership after their death. Property nomination has already become one of the standard practices among owners because the property owner can ensure that the property will not remain unclaimed or become subject to litigation after his demise. This type of property ownership is also common among cooperative housing groups, which require members to designate someone when applying for membership. In the occurrence of the owner's death, the cooperative housing association transfers the property title to the nominee. 

Rules regarding property ownership in India

Depending on your property's location, any documents needed to be registered must be submitted to the Sub-Registrar of Assurances, with two authorized witnesses' signatures present (of both buyer and seller). For the approval of the documents, the witnesses, as well as the buyer and seller, must have evidence of identity. 

The paperwork and required fee must be submitted to the sub-registrar within four months of execution. Failure to register your property can put you in problematic conditions.

Even though the real estate legislation is centralized, each state retains the power to enact its standards. 

Homebuyers can now go to special real estate courts in every state if they have a problem. This proved effective in pacing up the redress process during the last few years.

The builder will be penalized for any delays in housing projects. The builder will either have to repay the entire payment or pay interest until the property is delivered to the homebuyer. The interest rate will be 2% more than that charged by the SBI or State Bank of India on the total amount paid by the investor.

Law governing property ownership in India

The legislation of document registration is contained under the Indian Registration Act. 

The Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA) 2016.

The FEMA or Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 and the Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI Policy) 

Conclusion

As we understand in detail above, there are several types of property ownership to select from, and each has its pros and cons. Before you start on a real estate asset, it’s essential to have complete information about the various implications of the form of property ownership you are including.

FAQ

What are the different types of property ownership in India?

The three types of property ownership in India are-

What is joint tenancy?

When the property title deed works on the concept of unity and provides each joint owner an equal share in the property, the ownership is known as joint tenancy.


Author Bio: Adv. Abhishek Kukkar is a distinguished advocate specializing in Civil law, property law, Commercial law, criminal law as well as multiple other fields of law. With over 10 years of legal experience, Adv Abhishek Kukkar brings a wealth of expertise in representing his clients before the Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, Districts Courts & Tribunals. For the past few years, Adv. Abhishek has also been representing the government as well and his legal expertise and unwavering dedication to his clients have earned him widespread respect and admiration in the legal community.