If you are a property owner, you will know how important your property documents are. These documents are proof that you are the owner of the property, and they are absolutely essential if you plan to sell the property or use it for any other transaction.
It won’t be easy to sell or take a loan against your property if your documents are missing. That’s why it’s extremely important to keep your documents safe.
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That being said, these documents can sometimes be misplaced or lost. Finding yourself in a situation like this can be a little worrying but you can take steps to work around the situation. So, what can you do if you lose your documents? Just follow the steps below to get a duplicate sale deed for your property.
File an FIR
As soon as you are aware that your property documents are missing, you should head to the nearest police station and file an FIR or First Information Report. In this report, you need to mention whether the documents have been misplaced, lost or stolen. You should also keep a copy of the FIR with you as you may need it in the future.
Publish a notice in the newspaper
The next thing you need to do is put a notice in the newspaper with the details of the property and you must mention that your documents have been lost. You, then, need to wait for 15 days to see if anyone returns your lost property documents within that time frame. Note that this notice must be put in both an English daily newspaper and a regional newspaper.
Get a duplicate share certificate
In case your property is a part of a housing society, you will need to get a duplicate share certificate from the Resident Welfare Association (RWA). You will need to make an application for this and provide the RWA with the FIR and the newspaper notice. The RWA will call a meeting, and once they check these documents, which act as proof of loss, they will charge you a fee and issue a duplicate certificate.
Making things legal
The next step is to prepare an undertaking on stamp paper mentioning the details of the property, the documents which have been lost, the FIR, and the newspaper notice. This should be registered, attested, notarised, and submitted to the registrar’s office.
Getting duplicate property documents
Once you have done all of the above, you can apply for a duplicate sale deed for your property at the office of the registrar. You will need to take a copy of the police complaint, the newspaper advertisements, the duplicate share certificate from the housing society, and the attested undertaking that you made, and submit them to the registrar’s office. You will have to pay the necessary fee and a duplicate sale deed will be issued to you.
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A few things to make a note of:
- If you have deposited your property documents with a bank for safekeeping and the bank misplaces them, the bank is liable to pay you compensation for this.
- Some cities give you the option to file certain complaints online. To save time, you can explore the option of filing the FIR online if the option is available to you.
- Only the property owner can file the FIR stating that the property documents are missing or lost.
While there is some expense and effort involved in getting duplicate copies of your property documents, it’s worth it, as at the end of it all, you will be in possession of a legally-certified copy of the sale deed of your property. Banks will still give you a loan against the property on the basis of these duplicate documents but they will first check the authenticity of the documents. Also, keep in mind that the loan approval is entirely at the discretion of the bank. All said and done, it’s always better to keep your property documents safe.
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