From August, Mumbaikars will be able to apply for and obtain individual property cards for their flats and commercial structures. In a major land records reform, the state government will launch pilot projects in all revenue divisions to grant such property cards, making Maharashtra the first state in India to do so.
In August 2019, the state cabinet had approved the ‘Maharashtra Land Revenue Record of Rights and Registers for Apartments and Buildings rules-2019’ under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code (MLRC), 1966. In the present system, property cards cover multiple structures on a plot and these are horizontal records without a register or record of vertical constructions on them like apartments or buildings. This leads to lack of firm ownership records.
Now, individual property cards will grant ownership rights, ensure easier transactions and ease of doing business, and help transition from a presumptive title to a guaranteed land title regime.
S Chockalingam, settlement commissioner and director of land records, said the final notification would be issued by the state government soon, after which pilot projects would be launched to create land records for vertical properties like apartments.
“We are in the process of finalising the vertical property rules. They may come into effect next month. By mid-August, we can operationalise pilot projects in each of the six divisions,” he told the Free Press Journal.
In Mumbai, a city survey office with lesser workflow and disputes will be selected.
“No one keeps vertical records in the country. There is no point in opening a Pandora’s box. Hence, pilot projects must be launched before expanding the project,” an official said.
Maharashtra has around 56 lakh property cards (in urban areas) and about 2.50 crore rural land records (7/12 extracts) as registers of horizontal properties.
The new system will see two property cards being created, namely, a principal property card or 7/12 extract, and a supplementary property card for each flat or structure on it with details of area, ownership, encumbrances and the transfer of change of ownership.
At present, there is no system to establish the identity and ownership of individual flats. Hence, a property may be mortgaged or sold to multiple parties
There are multiple registers like those of municipal bodies (for tax purposes), and departments like land records and registration and stamps
An individual property card will reflect any encumbrances like loans and mortgages and change in ownership
The new system will curb frauds, transactions on illegal properties and benami transactions
It will also be easy to trace the transaction history of a property for sale, purchase and mortgages