Can Foreigners Buy Property In India?

If you are a foreigner and want to buy property in India, this article will guide you through it. Here is everything to know.

India has a lot to offer and is expanding quickly, and property prices are thus becoming a more favoured investment. People who reside overseas, in particular, research the laws governing who is permitted to purchase real estate in India.

For instance, a person who left their home country to get US citizenship could be curious about the laws that govern buying property in India.

Can foreigners buy property in India? This question might put you in a dilemma. According to this rule, a resident living outside India may possess property in India if the property was purchased by or passed down via an Indian family. According to the legislation, anybody who is neither an Indian citizen nor a resident is permitted to own property there.

Foreigners’ Residency Prerequisites

A foreigner must be a “Resident of India” following Section 2(v) of the Foreign Exchange Act, without the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) consent, to lawfully acquire real estate in India on an individual basis must meet the criteria for a Management Act (FEMA).

A non-Indian must likewise go by her RBI’s criteria for non-Indians and foreigners. When purchasing real estate, your visa for entry into India is crucial. It is because the visa category should accurately represent your plan to remain in India for an ambiguous amount of time when determining your resident status.

Foreigners who fulfil all the requirements and have resident status under FEMA can buy real estate in India; however, limits apply to buying farmland, farmhouses, and plantations. Thus, you must ensure that you have verified your eligibility to purchase such land lawfully.

Purchasing real estate in India is illegal unless you have a working or business visa or are eligible to live in India as a foreign resident. Regardless of whether the acquisition was made in good faith, any foreigner who buys property in India without complying may be subject to inquiries about the transaction and the property’s legal status. The property will thus be seized, given back to the Indian government, and punished.

Timeshare

With well-known and respectable businesses, agencies, and resorts operating lawfully, honestly, and profitably, timeshare ownership is gradually growing in India.

However, it asserts to provide several benefits (stock market investments, reduced travel and lodging costs, etc.) to timeshare participants who trade ownership or join vacation clubs. Numerous unethical businesses participate as well.

Most often, once the deal is signed and closed, these incentives don’t happen. You should proceed with great caution if you are approached by an agent using such a scheme.

Some Tips to Buy Property in India by Foreign Nationals

  • Avoid employing lawyers that the seller suggests or offers.
  • Only a skilled lawyer knows all the checks to be made before property investment. Always look for different opinions and ideas before taking your big decision.
  • Keep in mind that you must employ a notary public’s services. A notary public does not represent you or provide you with advice. He or she is a government representative responsible for ensuring all transactions are done appropriately.
  • The notary public must see both parties to the acquisition at the same time. You can also authorise someone else to act on your behalf, such as a lawyer.
  • Get in touch with a reputable, experienced real estate agent or suggested developer.
  • If Hindi or another official language is not your first language, you should always translate the documents (Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, etc.). a title deed that accurately reflects the original document’s content.
  • Make sure a lawyer certifies in writing that no mortgages or other commitments on the property you want to buy be listed under the seller’s name; No unpaid state or local taxes pertain to the sale. Ensure that all community payments are current.
  • Before registering your purchase, you should show how the money arrived in India; thus, please send money to India using regular banking methods. The lawyer should review the RBI regulations before making any financial transfers because he might need to inform or acquire approval if undertaking sizable transactions.
  • You need to receive impartial expert guidance from purchasing real estate. Loss of money and property and potential fines may follow from doing this.
  • Give only when you are very certain of the situation and have expert confirmation that everything is in order.

What is the Role of Local Police?

Call the police in your area if you believe you may have been a victim of property crime. Remember to request the incident number when requesting a copy of the statement. You need to be aware that there can be a deadline between when a suspected crime is found and when a report is filed.

Components Involved in Buying Property in India

The real estate agent has a task for the business to identify properties that suit their needs, so it is good to hire a real estate agent. Brokers are compensated for executing trades effectively.

Initial Letter of Intent Preparation and Negotiation (LOI)

It is the initial document that outlines the fundamental structure and conditions that the parties have agreed upon. With no consideration or upfront payment, the LOI is an unenforceable contract. However, market custom in many Indian cities requires payment of the token sum upon the completion of the LOI, making it a legally enforceable contract. It is better that an Indian entity carry out the LOI.

Contracting for a Lease or Sale and Putting it into Action

A business will often sign into a lease or sale agreement before finalising the main agreement if preliminary criteria need to be satisfied. An agreement of this kind is optional, though.

Sales contracts may be subject to significant stamp duty in some jurisdictions, a type of tax paid to the government that varies from state to state. According to the Registration Act of 1908, several states demand that sales contracts be registered with the relevant Registrar of Insurance.

Carrying Out a Thorough Investigation of the Property

Before purchasing or leasing a property, careful due diligence must be done to look into the property’s ownership, usage, structure, encumbrances, and any active legal matters. The lack of centralised records is one challenge, necessitating physical scrutiny at numerous offices and local courts. Although documentation is typically identical, each property has unique quirks depending on its location. It is wise to speak with a lawyer who is knowledgeable in the subject.

Signing of Lease or Transfer Paperwork

The parties enter into the final agreement as a lease deed or transfer if the previous lease or sales contract conditions have been satisfied. The parties may directly execute a lease or transfer deed without a lease or purchase contract.

Registering and Stamping

After execution, the lease or transfer document is submitted for registration to the appropriate Registrar of Assurances. State-specific taxes, such as stamp duty, are imposed by the government. In the case of a dispute, a document that is required to be registered cannot be used as evidence to demonstrate the transfer of real estate or any of its provisions if it is not registered.

Conclusion

Now you know the answer to Can foreigners buy property in India? According to Indian law, land and buildings are two discrete types of real property that can be registered separately. Even though some jurisdictions provide online registration, the majority rely on data kept in actual registration books. India is a diverse nation, and each state in India has its unique real estate laws. As a result, it is preferable to consult a real estate lawyer with the necessary experience.

FAQs

Can a resident still own property outside of India that he bought while he was a non-resident?

If the property was bought, held, or possessed by the person while residing outside of India or was inherited from a person resident outside of India, the person may hold, own, transfer, or invest in any property located outside of India in line with section 6(4) of the FEMA.

What payment methods are accepted in India for purchasing real estate?

All taxes and other expenses associated with purchasing real estate must be paid in India using banking channels.

Can a spouse not an NRI/OCI purchase property in India?

The conditions outlined in Regulations 6 21(R) of FEMA must be met for a person living outside of India who is:

  • Not a non-resident Indian or a foreign citizen of India
  • The spouse of an overseas citizen from India to purchase real estate (other than farmland/farm property/plantations).

Can Americans buy property in India?

Citizens of the United States are generally permitted to purchase real estate in India. Yes, you may only purchase residential or commercial property with this permit.

Which is better, buying a house in India or renting?

Buying and renting both have their pros and cons. However, renting relieves the burden of EMI payment and other legalities that come with buying a house.