With time, every human attempts to amass his wealth so that he can leave behind a considerable lump sum for his future generations. The transactions regarding the sale and purchase of property occur now and then, whether it is the purchase of a flat, farmhouse, or the like. A sale deed (which is also known as a final deed or conveyance deed) is a pivotal legal document that acts as evidence of ownership’s transfer from one hand to another, or precisely, from the seller to buyer. Stabilizing the overall stand of a grantee or buyer in case of a legal dispute by providing strong proof of the occurred transaction, and also being enforceable by law, it is made on a non-legal stamp paper whose value gets prescribed by the state government. This extremely crucial document must be drafted by a lawyer, who would ensure that all the necessary elements get included, assuring the adherence to all the terms and conditions mentioned under the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.
What does a sale deed contain?
There is a clause of ‘warranty’, which takes into account the legitimate position of the buyer as the owner of the property, who possesses the right to further sell it. A sale deed contains intricate details about the property and the parties involved, the full name of the buyer and seller, their phone numbers, occupation, age, address of the property, identification number, constructions details, location and its dimensions etc. This nuance document also cites the price at which the deal has occurred, accompanied by dates of payment, the mode via which the payment has to occur, the amount of advance amount already paid to the seller or to be paid, or further providing the receipt and other relevant details of the transaction. In various instances, there might be provisions regarding payment in instalments. To safeguard the core interests of the concerned buyer, there is an encumbrance and indemnity clause, which involves an undertaking from the seller that the property in consideration doesn’t possess any sort of liability, it is free from loan, litigation, charge and encumbrance involved, and verification of the same from the office of the registrar is a must. The buyer or the transferee is indemnified concerning any pending charges like water, electricity bills, impending property tax, maintenance charges etc., with him having the right to examine the relevant documents before the property gets registered. It must have a clause or provision declaring penalties and assuring damages if either of the parties, either the transferor or the transferee, defaults on his part so that the execution of the sale deed is not hampered. Finally, the date of handing over the possession is also explicitly stated in the sale deed. Words of conveyance or ‘transfer of title’ specify the intention of the seller to transfer the property to its new legal owner.
Not only does the ownership gets transferred, but the rights associated with it like the right to sell, use, lease or mortgage the property pass on to its new owner. Albeit, there is a cover of indemnity for the purchaser, he has to bear expenses of registration, being either 1% or agreement value, whichever is more and Stamp Duty, which is a kind of tax imposed on certain legal documents, which varies State-wise, currently revolving between 4%-10%, under Section 3 of the Indian Stamp Duty Act,1899. There are various states of India which charge a comparatively less stamp duty if the property is being registered in the name of a female. Registration is mandatory under the Registration Act of 1908 to validate the transaction, within 4 months from the date of execution and must be duly signed by both parties, with the ratification of two witnesses, who would have to furnish their names and full addresses, which is also known as the testimonium clause. However, the grantor, under the reddendum clause, might reserve some rights in the property, for example, on the types of institutions that could be erected on it, or restricting their size etc. ‘Time is of the essence clause ensures that there is no ado and the process of transfer goes smoothly. If the sale deed needs to be cancelled, due to misrepresentation of facts, where a person feels that the deal might cause him damages, it could be dismissed by the unanimous consent of both parties. It is up to the discretion of the court to ask the other party to return the benefit enjoyed or claim received to the other party and restore the earlier position.
The distinction between a sale agreement and a sale deed
These terms are not synonymous with each other. The sales agreement is drafted when both the parties agree to enter into a particular deal, and agree upon some terms and conditions, while the sale deed is created to give expression to the transfer of a particular property, with its registration completing the entire process.
Lost the Sale Deed? Want to obtain a Certified Copy?
The loss of this document is undesirable, as the value of the said property consequently plummets, but unfortunately, if it has been lost or stolen, there is still a way out to obtain a duplicate copy. Firstly, an FIR (First Information Report) needs to be lodged in the nearby police station, which can only be performed by an owner, mentioning that it has been misplaced, stolen etc., as the situation might be. After obtaining a copy of it for future reference, notifying the media via ‘Lost and Found in newspapers and magazines is the next compulsory step, which would inculcate an invite to claim over the property. Having a copy of the published advertisement and awaiting the expected response from the public for a fortnight should be considered, and meanwhile, an advocate’s letter must be sought if there are no other claims over the concerned belonging. An affidavit should be drafted on a stamp paper, citing the relevant credentials, with the copies of the advertisement and FIR attached, and thereafter, it should be signed, attested and registered with a public endorser. In the end, a duplicate copy could be obtained from the office of the sub-registrar, by providing all the above-mentioned documents and the payment of certain fees, which would vary with location, and could take up to one month to get complete.
The sale deed ensures that the whole process of transfer of ownership of property takes place lawfully and comprehensively. Sundry clauses ensure that every exercise by buyer and seller must match their respective goals, to avoid any conflict. A person must ensure professionalism and regular scrutinisation at every stage of this lengthy process to ensure that it matches his interests as when this legal document has been signed and registered, both the parties would have to abide by what has been written on the same .
Author(s) Name: Armaan Kukreja (Panjab University)
 Components of a Sale Deed and How to draft one in India
<https://www.myadvo.in/blog/sale-deed-in-india/> accessed 22 April 2022
 The Indian Stamp Act,1899
 What does a Sale Deed consist of?
<https://www.proptiger.com/guide/post/everything-about-your-real-estate-sale-deed> accessed 22 April 2022
 Here’s why Sale Deed is so important
<https://www.nobroker.in/blog/sale-deed/> accessed 22 April 2022