What is the procedure to convert the agricultural lands into plots?

agricultural land

For many, buying a piece of land is the first step to building a home. Therefore, it is important to confirm that the land has a clear and marketable title to prevent it from having legal problems. If you buy agricultural land in India, you must confirm that there are no disputes or legal issues and that the process of registration should be hassle-free. Procedures for purchasing agricultural land vary from state to state.[1]

What is Agricultural Land?

Agricultural land is generally defined as the part of the earth’s surface that is found in permanent pastures, crops or arable land, etc. Agricultural land is explained according to different state statutes. According to the collection of development indicators by the World Bank, agricultural land in India would have been 60.41% in 2014.

The law does not allow to build houses, factories, industries, etc. On agricultural land, regardless of the ownership of the property. Construction of any kind should only take place after the agricultural land is converted into non-agricultural land. It is essential to be very careful before buying a property for construction / residential purposes. You must always make sure that the land on which construction is underway is non-agricultural land. If it was initially allocated as agricultural land, it should be converted to non-agricultural land.

Conversion of Agricultural land to Non-Agricultural land

Land is a subject of state, and each and every state there the laws governing lands are different. So, the procedure also differs in each and every state. For converting your agricultural land for residential purposes, you have to approach either to the planning authority in your city or the revenue department. For instance, land owners have to approach the revenue departments of their cities for the conversion, in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.[2]

Here are brief steps;[3]

1. A mandatory permission from the local authorities is required to effect a ‘land use change’. “An application form must be sent to the Commissioner of the Department of Land Revenue to explain the reason for the conversion.

2. The following documents must be attached with the application letter:

  • Original deed of sale (or gift / partition deed)
  • Mutation letter
  • Certified recording card
  • Latest receipt for tax paid
  • ID proof

3. Fee Payment: When converting agricultural land to non-agricultural land, a mandatory fee is necessary to pay, depending on the type of property and the environment.

4. Details such as the extent of land, mortgage loan, type of crops and land, names of past and present owners, etc. Must be mentioned.

5. Certified copies of the documents mentioned earlier can be obtained from the Tahsildar or the Revenue Service. All unpaid fees must be paid, and copies of the proof of payment must be added.

6. It is now the duty of the Deputy Commissioner or Collector who is authorized to permit the conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural land. Deputy Commissioner or Collector will only allow conversion if they are satisfied that the necessary conditions have been met and there are no pending fees or litigation on the land.

7. The conversion should be permissible according to the master plan of the country. After complying to this condition, then only a conversion order permitting the change of land will be issued.

8. The agricultural land is officially converted to non-agricultural land after a conversion certificate is obtained.

Important aspects

Title deed of the land plot:    

The title of the property confirms the name of the seller and also confirms whether the seller has the absolute right to sell the property. The original deed and prior deed must be examined by an attorney to verify that the seller did not allow access to others through this land. It is important to have the release of the other participants before registering the documents, if there are more than one person who owns the land.

Agreement:

After verifying all the documents, a written agreement is entered into on the cost, prepayment and the time during which the actual sale will take place. The agreement must be signed by an attorney and signed by both parties and two witnesses.

Stamp duty on the land:

Stamp duty is state tax and varies from state to state. A stamp duty paid is considered a legal document and can be admitted as evidence in court.

Registration of the land: 

Registration is the process by which a copy of a document is recorded and the title of the immovable property in the name of the buyer is transferred to the registrar’s office. Pursuant to the Indian Registration Act 1908, the deed must be registered with the sub-registration office within four months of the date of execution of the document. Details such as original title deeds, previous deed, tax returns and two witnesses for registration of the property must be provided in the document.

Conveyance deed or sale deed of the land:

A deed of sale is a document that transfers the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. This document will help you understand the ownership of the property and the details such as site measurement, boundary details, etc.

Tax receipt and bills:

The buyer must check the latest property tax bills and ask them at municipal offices. The buyer must also ensure that notices or requests regarding the property are not outstanding. Water, electricity are other bills, must be up to date.

Encumbrance certificate:

A certificate of encumbrance can be obtained from the registrar’s office for the last 13 or 30 years to ensure that the county has no legal duties or complaints.

Measuring the land: 

A recognized surveyor can ensure that the dimensions of the plot and its boundaries are accurate and as indicated in the title certificate.

Change of the title of the land in the village office:  

The complete legal procedure for the purchase of the property is completed, only if the name of the new owner is added to the village office. An application can be submitted to the village office, along with a copy of the registered deed.

Purchasing land from NRI land owners:

A person living abroad can sell his or her land in India by authorizing a third party to sell the land on his or her behalf. In such cases, the power of attorney must be attested and duly signed by an officer in the province’s Indian embassy.

Important guidelines for converting:[4]

  • Any development that must be undertaken in agricultural land must take place only after the land has been converted into non-agricultural use.
  • An application form must be submitted to the relevant authorities, with the reasons for the conversion.
  • The necessary documents such as deed of sale, tax payable receipt and letter of mutation must be submitted together with the application form, together with its dimensions and scope.
  • Depending on the property and location, a fee must be paid for the conversion of land for non-agricultural purposes.
  • The authorized person, such as the Deputy Commissioner or the Collector, will allow the conversion of the land if the necessary conditions are met and there is no litigation.
  • The land is declared non-agricultural land after receiving the official certificate of conversion.

Edited by Pushpamrita Roy

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje 

Reference

[1] https://housing.com/news/legal-tips-buying-agricultural-land-india/

[2] makaan.com/iq/buy-sell-move-property/how-to-convert-agricultural-land-for-residential-use

[3]https://vakilsearch.com/advice/procedure-converting-agricultural-land-non-agricultural-land/

[4] https://housing.com/news/legal-tips-buying-agricultural-land-india/