What are the Property Laws in India?

Law Civil Law

Property laws in India are common laws in India and every individual seeks to be aware of them at some point in their life. Due to so many legalities and jargon involved it can be a complex task to understand property laws and property rights in India.

There are two types of real estate laws in India, central and state laws because ‘land’ falls in the State list and ‘transfer of property and registration’ falls in the concurrent list. We have certain central laws for properties applicable to the whole country and every state has its respective laws for its lands.

To avoid misrepresentations and fraud in the purchase and sale of the property it is necessary to know your legal property rights in India. In this article, we will know about property law in India in detail.  

See what things you should keep in mind before buying a property and questions you can ask builders before signing the agreement.

Right to Property in India

Formerlythe Right to Property was a fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (f) of the Indian Constitution, which was repealed and changed to a constitutional right after the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978. A new article 300A was inserted to discourage the zamindari system and to redistribute land to the landless people of India. Certain legalities regarding the right to property act in India are as follows:

1. Property Rights Can Be Transferred:

Property can be sold, exchanged, or gifted by its owner and can be passed on from generation to generation. 

2. Difference between ownership and possession: 

There is a contrast between ownership and possession of an object in property rights. Possession does not give ownership rights to the person possessing the property. 

3. Property is Non-human: 

This refers to the fact that the object of the property has no rights of its own and is simply the passive recipient of other people's rights. The land does not have any rights of its own, it exists solely to serve the landowner. The object is used to serve the owner's will, discretion, and advantage.

  1. The types of rights over land as applicable in India vary in nature, such as leasehold rights, freehold rights, easement rights, development rights, and mortgage rights, among others.

You might be intrested in: Types of Property in India

Modes of Acquisition of Property

Property can be acquired in various modes under the purview of property laws in India. Below are five different modes of acquisition of property which is as follows:

1. Possession

In general, possession refers to actual possession of a piece of property and possessing direct control over one's property. This is considered prima facie evidence of ownership of the property in question. Although there is a fine line between possession and ownership, unless there is a contract to the contrary, the person who is said to have possession of a thing, asset, or property is generally deemed to be the owner. 

The property that belongs to no one, or Res nullius, belongs to the first owner of it, and he receives a legal title to it against the rest of the world. When one else takes possession of something that has already been in one's possession, custody, or ownership, the title to that property passes to him eventually. 

2. Agreement

Property in India can also be acquired through agreement, which is the most common method of acquisition as per the property law of India. In the Property Selling Procedure in India, It is a formal agreement between two parties, the buyer and the seller, to exchange property in exchange consideration. The possession, i.e., title deed of the property or ownership, is transferred partly or totally to the other person according to the conditions of the agreement. Sale Agreement and Agreement to Sale are the most common agreements executed to transfer properties.    

3. Inheritance

Inheritance has historically been the most common method of gaining property in India. It is the transfer of property from one generation to another. Such an inheritance can be done while the owner of the property is alive, or it may be made after his or her death, in which case the property of the deceased person will immediately devolve to his or her heirs (testamentary or intestate).

4. Gift

The last, but most essential, method of acquiring property is through gift. A gift is an instrument by which a person's property is given to another person in exchange for no monetary payment. In this approach, there are a few requirements that must be followed to constitute a valid gift:

● Property

● Real Ownership 

● Free Consent 

Gifts are regulated under Sections 122-129 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. Any gift of property given without free consent, or a gift of future property given for compensation, is considered void.

Learn in detail about the Gift deed of the property in India.


1. What are the four property rights?

Right to ownership, Right to possession, Right to disposition, and Right to gain income is the main property rights in India.

Who legally owns a property? 

The person whose name is reflected in the registered documents of a property is considered to be the owner of the property

What are the types of house ownership?

There are three main types of house ownership:

  • Individual Ownership
  • Joint Ownership
  • Ownership by nomination