Making property services slick with a click
The shift to getting more things done online, driven by the pandemic, has also nudged the slow-moving property-related services in the government into a more citizen friendly one. There has been an acceleration in providing online access to citizens for various procedures, by various States (property is a state subject). From getting information such as circle rates to submitting forms and paying fees, departments at various levels are making it easy to get things done digitally.
You can check out services.india.gov.in and go to the “Housing and Property” section to access most of the online services available. You can also look at State Government websites such as eservices.tn.gov.in in Tamil Nadu. Only a few examples for the type of options available are covered here and it will be good to verify what else has been added through an online search.
Property documents have been getting digitized over a long period. These public records are accessible to everyone to view and print. The coverage of the data varies between States and they also differ in what they make available on the internet.
Some data is available without providing any reference information. Uttarakhand for example gives information such as the size of land for all areas including rural areas in devbhoomi.uk.gov.in website. In Rajasthan, you can view and print Jamabandhi document for any piece of land online. The apnakhata.raj.nic.in site is in Hindi. In Maharashtra, the Mahabhulekh website (bhulekh.mahabhumi.gov.in) provides land record documents (known as 7/12 or Satbara Utara) and property card which gives the record of land ownership history.
Some data, such as verification, requires providing specific details or fees. For instance, you can get data on dues paid on a property by giving the property ID in Kerala’s land information site (erekha.kerala.gov.in). Karnataka’s land records site, karnataka.gov.in shows various property related data such as Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (for agriculture land), mutation register and status, once you provide reference information such as survey number.
Various State governments are working towards digital land records that will enable end-to-end digital service and process – registration, transfers and mutations, duty payments, record modifications, verifications and reporting. Even now, you can get various services online.
The simplest one is getting an encumbrance certificate (EC). It gives information on monetary and legal liability of the property and is required by banks for a loan. This routine service can be availed online in Tamil Nadu by filling an online form with property specifics such as survey number in tnreginet.gov.in website.
Property tax payments – another recurring routine procedure – is also online in various municipalities and corporations. In Andhra Pradesh, cdma.ap.gov.in website provides a one-stop access to this. For others, such as in Maharashtra, it is distributed with nmmc.gov.in for Navi Mumbai, pmc.gov.in for Pune etc. In West Bengal, you can apply for mutation (change of ownership) and land-use conversion (say agriculture to residential) online. The wbregistration.gov.in site provides many services including certifying documents.
Other government permissions can also be sought digitally. For instance, in Karnataka, if you wish to purchase agricultural land for Industrial purpose, you can directly raise a request with the project details. Once the process is completed, you can also get the permission order copy electronically.
Need to do registration of a property and want an appointment? Haryana lets you check available slots in the next 60 days and book your time online. Delhi’s doris.delhigovt.nic.in shows that over 2.2 lakh documents were registered online in 2021.
In Punjab, pbindustries.gov.in website lets you apply for building plan approval, completion and occupancy certificates and many more. In Karnataka, you will also be able to notify any alterations to the property (such as change in area, tenancy change) and pay taxes.
With the implementation of RERA, nearly all States have a portal with the list of registered projects and agents. You can also file complaints online by providing detailed information, supporting documents and paying a fee. Delhi’s online property registration website also has a section to register grievances. In Haryana, lost property details can be reported at haryanapolice.gov.in with user registration.
Not just land and property ownership, rental related registrations are also online. One example is tenancy.tn.gov.in for Tamil Nadu. Likewise, you can access various government schemes such as housing grants online. Gujarat’s sje.gujarat.gov.in site provides access to urban and rural housing programs. In Tamilnadu, you can apply for housing board homes and track the status of your application with the tnhb.tn.gov.in website.
Greater Hyderabad’s website (ghmc1.ghmc.gov.in/Tax/calculationofpropertytax.asp) features online calculator for property tax. Many sites also provide a dashboard on process related information.
The author is an independent financial consultant