Know your rights as a homeowner

Know your rights as a homeowner

Home buyer's education series | May 10, 2022 | 10 min read

Once you become a homeowner, there are certain rights conferred to you. What are those rights and how do they benefit you?

Becoming a homeowner is considered to be a great feat. Although with rising incomes people can buy or build multiple home units these days, it is still considered a once-in-a-lifetime event when someone buys a home or a residential property. As a homeowner, you have certain rights and obligations that are immediately conferred to you.

Without these rights, it will be difficult for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor and effort. Hence, the laws of the country give many benefits and privileges to property owners. Some of the rights of home buyers are listed below.

1. Rights of a landlord

Although the government of India gives many rights to the tenants, eventually, the rights of the homeowners need to be protected against unlawful occupation and expectation.

Evicting tenants, for example, used to be a big problem for the landlords. It may still be, but now there are many provisions under the Draft Model Tenancy Act 2015 that enable the landlord to get the property evicted for various reasons, including breach of the rental agreement.

With due notice, a homeowner can get the property evicted if he or she needs the property for his or her own occupation.

2. Right of possession for homeowner

This is the document that you receive when you completely own the property as a homeowner. This happens when you have paid the amount (the value of the property) as a lump sum or if you have cleared all the dues with a finance company and you have received the clearance certificate. This document is also called the “Title”. This gives you legal ownership of the property. If you have taken a mortgage, this right of possession is normally owned by the creditor (the bank or the lender) and then it is transferred to you once you have paid all your dues.

3. Control and enjoyment rights of a homeowner

Although it depends on the restrictions applied by the local laws and the Residential Welfare Association (RWA), under these rights, a homeowner is within his or her right to use the property the way he or she wants. For example, if you hold the events (like late-night parties or musical gatherings) and if they disturb your neighbors, they may object to the event but otherwise, within the periphery of your house, anything that is legal and does not infringe the right to the peaceful existence of the others, you can do it. There are some designated domestic areas where you cannot run commercial services (having an office in your residential apartment with employees coming in and out) but you can obtain permission from local authorities on a case-to-case basis.

4. Exclusion rights of a homeowner

This is the right to privacy and choice. As a homeowner, and as a titleholder, it is your right to decide who enters your house and who doesn’t. You are well within your right to not allow someone to enter your house. Even the law enforcement authorities need a valid warrant to enter your property.

5. Title insurance

This is relatively a new concept in India and not many homeowners are aware of this. The “title” in terms of being a homeowner is the legal right to property. Whenever there is a new homeowner, the “title” of the property goes to that person.

This right provides you indemnity as a homeowner against losses or defects in the title. The title of the property must be impeccable when it changes hands and goes to the new owner. In case some faults exist (missing documents, legal case, lack of substantiation or government approval) and despite those faults, the title of the property is legally and properly transferred to the new owner, somehow, the new owner is indemnified against these discrepancies.

6. Disposition/selling right

Under this right, the titleholder (the legal homeowner) is well within his or her rights to sell, lease, or rent his property as he or she wishes, at whatever mutually agreed price. He or she has the right to sell the property to whomever he wishes. The only caveat is that if the loan is taken over the property, it must be cleared. Unless the loan or the mortgage of the property is cleared, the property cannot be sold.

Conclusion

The immovable property is also called a “bundle of rights” because it gives you a collection of rights over the property. Once you become a homeowner, you enjoy the full transfer of the property and you can use it, within the ambit of the law, in whichever manner you feel like. In some cases, the owner may have partial rights and the remaining rights may belong to the previous homeowner or another owner, but in most the cases, when you say that I own the “title” of the property, as a homeowner, you enjoy the entire “bundle of rights”.

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