The arcana of buying land

I think I have covered all aspects of legally obtaining a title to a land. This is purely a user’s experience and therefore I insert a caveat here that this guide is not a substitute for the services of a real estate lawyer. So don’t send me any queries because I am not an expert. Instead, post your questions, comments and experiences at the foot of this article and see if anyone -maybe, me- responds usefully.
But you can read the article to learn the jargon to toss around with the various people you will interact: chitta, patta, adangal, document, decree, VAO, sketch etc are milestones in your paper chase.
There are no shortcuts and the process can be time-consuming. For the 17 acres for pointReturn, six weeks passed between the decision to buy and the date of registration. Six people -between 18 and 70 years of age- had to sign as sellers. Four witnesses came along as well. A document writer near the registrar’s office acted as counsel to my bewildered self. A consortium of four brokers that put the deal through, hung around keeping amity and cheer among our party totalling 15 people in all . Several trips, meetings, false turns and delays had preceded the event. As of date, five weeks after the date of registration the patta is yet to be issued- thought it has been on a ‘will be done tomorrow’ for 10 days now.
The road to your dream rural retreat can be bumpy and un-poetic.

5 thoughts on “The arcana of buying land

  1. I think it is an interesting information that I have read. Thanks to let me write a comment in your page.


  2. I have gone thru identical issues in buying land near Denkanikottai. I am also stuck at the last stage where it is taking forever to get the Khata transferred. It has been 2 months since I applied for the same, it is being postponed every day with some odd reason or the other. Am wondering how much longer it will take to get the same.

  3. Hello ira…

    I’d like others to come in on your query with more authoritative expansion with relevant citations. I have only the counsel of my lawyer who is also a Chartered Accountant with many NRI and foreign clients.

    He says, only Indian citizens [which includes NRIs, of course] are allowed to buy land – not just agricultural. Foreigners after a certain number of years residence, and with proof of ‘real need’ are allowed to buy a reasonable size of land for residential purposes only. I further know [-by hearsay] that companies with controlling foreign equity cannot own agricultural land [- industrial, residential land, yes]. That is to say, foreigners can own equity in companies that own non-ag. land.

    Laws are constantly changing and the government in search of the Holy Grail of 10%+ growth may well have thrown open the whole country to all comers.

  4. Nice post.

    Am intrigued by your assertion “One major law to consider is that many states stipulate that ‘outsiders’ may not buy agricultural properties …In Tamil Nadu there are no restrictions as long as one is an Indian citizen.In Tamil Nadu there are no restrictions as long as one is an Indian citizen”

    What is the basis (please cite relevant central or Tamil Nadu law) for the assertion above that it is only Indian citizens that are permitted to buy agricultural land in Tamil Nadu?

    I am familiar with the provisions of a central law called FEMA. Per FEMA, a resident of India, even if he or she is a US citizen, is not prohibited from buying agricultural land in India. However, FEMA prohibits even an Indian citizen who is not resident of India, from buying agricultural land in India.

    I would like to know the source (preferably authoritative and not mere hearsay) of your information that only Indian citizens are allowed to buy agricultural land in Tamil Nadu.

    Thank you.

    Please feel free to send a reply to

  5. DV,
    This is really useful , Ramesh and I have been asking around about the modalities of buying land and also restrictions regarding non-agriculturists buying agricultural land etc etc…
    We will wait for the rest of ur article and have many more questions

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