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Things to Keep in Mind while Buying Agricultural Land in India

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Agricultural Land in India

Buying agricultural land in India could be a daunting task if you don't understand the legal guidelines. Hence, one needs to be vigilant about the documents involved and, most importantly, confirm the title deed, required clearance certificates, and the land agreement, especially when more than one owner is involved.

It will ensure that the land you buy is a lucrative deal and help keep the fraudsters at bay. We hope this essential guide on legal tips to buy agricultural land will help you make an informed decision and mitigate the risks.

Check the Title Deeds of the Agricultural Land to Verify the Ownership: The title deed confirms the seller’s name and also checks whether the seller has the right to sell the property or not. If the present title deed and the previous title deed have more than one owner for the existing agricultural land, then it is suggested to get it examined by a lawyer before registering the documents to ensure that the owner has not given access to others through the land.

Verify the Documents and Sign a Land Sale Agreement: After the verification, the seller and the buyer draft and sign a written document that mentions the advance payment amount, balance payment, and the actual sale period. All these must be signed under a lawyer’s supervision and two witnesses. It’s a pivotal part of buying agricultural land. So, one must be extremely careful and read the terms and clauses thoroughly before signing the document.

Find out the Stamp Duty on the Land: It is another vital aspect of real estate purchase. Stamp duty is the tax imposed by the government on a property.  The stamp duty imposed by the government on land varies from state to state. It is a legal document that can be used in front of a court of law.

Required Documents for the Registration of the Land: Registration of land is a document that states the transfer of property in the buyer’s name and must be signed by both parties at the registrar’s office. According to the Indian registration Act 1908, the deed is supposed to be registered at the sub-registrar’s office. Documents like – house tax receipts, previous deeds, original deed along with two witnesses are required at the time of land registration.

Sale/Conveyance Deed of the Land: It is a document that transfers the ownership from the seller to the buyer. These documents also consist of all the required details like – location, measurement, and boundary details.

Collect the Encumbrance and Land Measurement Certificate: This particular document assures the buyer that the agricultural land is free from any legal hassles or complaints. One can obtain the Encumbrance certificate from the sub-registrar’s office.

Ensure there are no Pending Tax Receipts and Bills of Land Records: It is advised that before buying the property, the buyer must ensure no outstanding bills or notices are there relating to the land. They must also check that the water, electricity, or other bills are all clear and updated.

Changing the title of the Agricultural Land: After the entire legal procedures and vital aspects of buying the agricultural land are done, the name of the land’s new owner is added to the village office record.

Rules and Restrictions when Purchasing Agricultural Land: Before you plan to buy agricultural land in India, you must know that the legal procedure varies from state to state. Here are some rules and restriction details of a few states –

State

Rules and Restrictions

Tamil Nadu

There are no restrictions if you are planning to invest in agricultural land. The maximum extent of agricultural land one can purchase is 59.95 acres. By the orders of the district collector, the land can be converted into non-agricultural land if no agricultural activity is carried out during the period of the last ten years.

Andhra Pradesh

 In Andhra Pradesh anyone is allowed to purchase agricultural land regardless of their profession. However, there's a maximum ceiling limit of land area. The family unit can hold or purchase a maximum of 10 Acres in Class A, i.e., irrigated land, and 54 acres in Class K that includes dry and non-irrigated lands.   

 

Kerala 

Similar to Tamil Nadu, in Kerala too anyone can purchase agricultural land. The maximum ceiling limit of the land area according to Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963 is as follows:

a) If a person is an adult unmarried or a family consists of a sole surviving member, 5 standard acres subject to a maximum of seven-and-a-half acres. 

b) For a family of two or more family members but no more than five members, 10 standard acres and up to a maximum of 15 acres. 

c) In a family with more than ten members, the standard limit is 10 acres, increased by 1 acre for each member more than 5, and the maximum limit is 20 acres. 

d) For any person, except a joint family, the standard limit is 10 acres, subject to a maximum of 15 acres.

 

Maharashtra

Maharashtra allows only an agriculturist to purchase agricultural land with a maximum ceiling limit of 54 acres. 

   

Haryana

Certain areas in Haryana have been declared 'controlled areas.' Suppose someone wants to purchase agricultural land in these areas for non-agricultural purposes. In that case, they will be required to obtain a certificate from the Government of Haryana that indicates land-use change.

Gujarat

A non-agriculturist cannot purchase agricultural land in Gujarat. Earlier, only the ones belonging to the state of Gujarat were allowed to invest in agricultural land; however, in 2012, the Gujarat High Court passed a judgment that allowed any agriculturist across the country to buy agricultural land in Gujarat.

Himachal Pradesh

Only an agriculturist belonging to Himachal Pradesh is allowed to purchase agricultural land. People from other states would require prior permission of the Government of Himachal Pradesh u/s 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. And the maximum ceiling limit is 160 bighas or 32 acres. 

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