Why is mutation of property records crucial?
Applying for mutation at the earliest helps in updation of property records and minimises disputes over property transfers
For individuals who have recently purchased, acquired or inherited an immovable property, applying for mutation of property records in their favour is an important procedural requirement. Mutation of property records is carried out at the local competent municipal authority. In Delhi, both the Municipal Corporation of Delhi ( MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) undertake mutation of property records. In Mumbai, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation undertake mutation of records of properties under their jurisdiction.
One benefit of applying for mutation at the earliest is that it helps in updation of property records in one’s favour for the purpose of payment of property/ municipal tax, as well as minimises disputes over transfer of property and secures one’s rights in the property. As checking full and timely payment of property tax is part of the due diligence carried out by prospective buyers of the property, another significant benefit of mutation is that it eases the process of sale/ transfer of one’s property at a later stage.
However, what prospective buyers must keep in mind while checking property records is that mutation of a property does not by itself confer or create title of ownership in a property. The title of the owner must be properly ascertained by inspecting the chain of title documents.
Mutation i n c a s e of transfer of property
In Delhi, the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act (DMCA) lays down rules for notice of transfer of immovable property. The transferor and transferee are required to notify MCD in writing about a transfer of property within three months of execution of any of the following - instrument of transfer, registration of instrument of transfer or transfer being effected, if no instrument of transfer has been executed.
Failing to notify MCD about transfer of property would attract payment of penalty as per DMCA. Similarly in Mumbai, as per the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, when the title of any person primarily liable for payment of property tax is transferred, the transferor and the transferee are required to give notice of the transfer in writing to the commissioner, within three months from the execution or registration of the transfer deed.
Mutation i n c a s e of inheritance of property
I n t he event of death of a person who is primarily liable for payment of property t axes, t he beneficiary who has inherited the deceased’s property is required to notify MCD about such inheritance. The beneficiary must notify so in writing, within six months from the date of death of the deceased. In case the deceased has left a will, irrespective of whether such will is registered or unregistered, a beneficiary may apply for mutation in his favour. To support the application, a beneficiary may furnish relevant documents ( copy of the will, death certificate, etc) proving that his/her inheritance is lawful.
In Delhi, mutation of property records may be allowed in cases of inheritance under an unregistered will, subject to submission of no-objection letters from other legal heirs of the deceased. In case no-objection letters are not furnished, MCD will issue notice to legal heirs of the deceased for their letters to be given within one month.
If such no-objection letters are received/ not received on time, despite MCD having issued a notice, mutation shall be carried out in favour of the person claiming mutation.
In the event MCD receives any objections from legal heirs of the deceased, the person claiming mutation in his/her favour is required to obtain probate/ letters of administration, as the case may be, as well as furnish an indemnity bond.
The author is senior partner at Zeus Law, a corporate commercial law firm. One of its areas of specialisation is real estate transactional and litigation work. If you have any queries, email us at htestates@ hindustantimes. com or ht@ zeus.firm.in