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What is meant by valuation of property?

The valuation process evaluates the market value of the property. Demand and supply forces operating in the market, as well as other factors like type of property, quality of construction, its location, the local infrastructure available, maintenance, are all taken into consideration before the market value is decided.

How does property valuation help?

Typically, if a real estate agent is asked to judge the value of a piece of property, he would do so based on information of recent sales or purchases of similar properties in that area. Though this may give a fair idea of the property’s market value, an official property valuation would carry more weight. E.g. if you need to use this piece of property as a security against a loan, the bank’s loan approval process would be faster and smoother if the property is certified by an official valuer. Many banks now insist on valuation certificates before issuing loans using properties as security. The value thus certified may also have chances of getting a higher amount of loan sanctioned. Another benefit of official valuation is that it is a useful negotiating tool when selling the property. Such certification also becomes essential in situations where the correct value of the property has a legal bearing—such as, a will statement, insurance papers, business balance sheets etc.

What is the meaning of a property’s market value? How is its stamp duty decided?

The price that a property can command in the open market is known as its market value. Stamp duty is based on the market value or the agreement value of the property, whichever is greater.

What does the term ‘Leasehold Property’ mean?

When a piece of property is given or ‘leased’ to an individual (known as the ‘Lessee’) for a stipulated period of time, by the owner of the property (known as the ‘Lessor’), the property is referred to as Leasehold Property. A certain amount is fixed by the Lessor to be paid as lease premium and annual lease. The land ownership rights remain with the Lessor. Transfer of property requires prior permission.

What does the term ‘Freehold Property’ mean?

When ownership rights for a piece of property are given to the purchaser for a price, that property is referred to as Freehold Property. Unlike in the case of leasehold property, no annual lease charges need to be paid and the freehold property can be registered and / or transferred in part(s).

Are there any benefits in converting a leasehold property to a freehold one?

There are several benefits: if you convert the property to a freehold property, you become a full-fledged owner by getting the sale deed and having it registered. A freehold property has better marketability and can be sold, mortgaged or kept for standing security, which cannot be done with leasehold property.

Are there any income tax considerations while transferring newly acquired property?

If the transfer takes place within three years of purchase, the income tax exemption under Section 54F of the Income Tax Act does not hold good.

What constitutes conclusion of sale of a property?

An agreement of sale, coupled with actual possession of the property would be considered as a conclusion of the sale. Usually, the entire amount is paid at the time of handing over possession.

What is the difference between carpet area, built-up and super built-up area?

The area of an apartment or building, not inclusive of the area of the walls is known as carpet area. This is the area that is actually used and in which a carpet can be laid. When the area of the walls including the balcony is calculated along with the carpet area, it is known as built-up area. The built-up area along with the area under common spaces like lobby, lifts, stairs, garden and swimming pool is called super built-up area.

When there are apartments of different sizes in a complex, how is the maintenance charge calculated?

Legally, the actual area owned by the individual is the basis for calculation of maintenance charge.

Why do Co-operative Housing Societies collect a Sinking Fund?

Co-operative Housing Societies have a statutory obligation to collect a Sinking Fund. This is done so that in case the building needs to be repaired or reconstructed in the future, the society has sufficient funds to carry out the work. The amount to be contributed is decided by the General Body of the society; it should be at least ¼ percent per annum of the cost of each apartment, excluding the cost of the land. This fund may be used after a resolution is passed at the General Body meeting with the prior permission of the Registering Authority. This could be to carry out reconstruction, repairs, structural additions or alterations to the building as the architect thinks is required and certifies.

How is a lease agreement created?

A lease agreement can be reached in either of two ways, depending upon each case: • In cases where the lease contract is from year-to-year / exceeding one year’s rent / reserving yearly rent, then a registered instrument can be created, which both the lessor and the lessee must execute. • In cases other than the above, an oral agreement followed by delivery of possession is considered enough.

What are the charges to be paid while gifting property?

When a gift of property is made, a gift deed needs to be made by a lawyer. Stamp duty on the market value of the property also needs to be paid, as well as the necessary registration charges.

Can corporate bodies use residential properties as office space?

It is illegal to put residential properties to commercial use. However service-based industries are allowed to operate from residential areas, on the condition that they will vacate the property if any complaint is received from other residential owners.

Before purchasing property owned by a company, what aspects should be considered?

Before purchasing property from a company, it is necessary to verify with the Registrar of Companies that the property is not mortgaged or is not being used as a security against a loan, otherwise it is not considered a freehold property.

What are Income tax benefits of taking and repaying a housing loan under EMI Plan?

You will be eligible to claim both the interest and principal components of your repayment during the year. o Interest can be claimed as a deduction under Section 24. You can claim up to Rs. 150,000 or the actual interest repaid whichever is lower. (You can claim this interest only when you are in possession of the house) o Principal can be claimed up to the maximum of Rs. 100,000 under Section 80C. This is subject to the maximum level of Rs 100,000 across all 80C investments. o You will need to show the statement provided by the lender showing the repayment for the year as well as the interest & principal components of the same.

If I buy a house jointly with my wife and take a joint home loan, Can we both claim income tax deduction?

Yes, if your wife is working and has a separate source of income, both of you can claim separate deductions in your income tax returns.The repayment of principal amount of the loan can be claimed as a deduction under section 80C up to a maximum amount of Rs.1 lakh individually by each co-owner. In cases where the house is owned by more than one person and is also self-occupied by each co-owner, each co-owner shall be entitled to the deduction individually on account of interest on borrowed money up to a maximum amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh. If the house is given on rent, there is no restriction on this amount. Both co-owners can claim deductions in the ratio of ownership.

My husband and I have jointly taken a home loan. He pays 75 percent of the EMI. What will be our individual tax benefits?

As you have taken a joint home loan, both of you are eligible for tax exemption for your share of the EMI paid. For claiming income tax deduction, the EMI amount is divided into the principal and interest components. The repayment of the principal amount of loan is claimed as a deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act up to a maximum amount of Rs. 1lakh individually by each co-owner. The repayment of the interest portion of the EMI is also allowed as a deduction under section 24 of the Act, which is given under the head “income from house property”. In case you are living in the house for which home loan is taken, both of you shall be entitled to deduction in the ratio (3:1) on account of interest on borrowed money up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh individually. If the house is given on rent, there is no restriction on this amount and both co-owners can claim deduction in the ratio of ownership- 3:1 in your case

I plan to buy a house by raising loans from friends and relatives. Will I be eligible for tax benefit from all sources?

Interest payment to friends and relatives can be claimed u/s 24 but only against a certificate received from them. In the absence of the certificate, you would not be eligible for the deduction. The recipient of interest income who issues the certificate is liable to pay tax on the interest income that he receives. As far as the principal payments are concerned, they would not qualify for tax benefit as loans only from notified institutions and banks are eligible for such deductions.