Everything an NRI needs to know about power of attorney for property buying
August 29, 2019
A power of attorney is a person who takes on full liability for the home-buyer they represent and is held accountable for the actions and deeds of the principal person. In India, the power of attorney is used by many property buyers to assist them with transactions involved in buying a home. This could include a capital purchase of the land of home, leasing, selling the property or the mortgage. When buying your home, it is essential that you hire a reliable and trustworthy power of attorney who can help you with the purchase proceedings. The POA is often used by NRIs looking to buy property in India.
Power of attorney in real estate
In real estate, the power of attorney plays a key role in the transactions of the purchase or sale of a home. For many years, the authority of the POA was abused as they were used to avoid the payment of a capital-gains tax which led to the investment of black money. In response to this issue, the Supreme Court passed a law stating that POA should only be used for genuine transactions and not for the transfer of the title or right to another person or property. Alternatively, any POA that is assigned to help with the transactions of the property should be registered with a sub-registrar who is located in the jurisdiction where the buyer resides. If the home-buyer is an NRI, the POA chosen should be certified by the consulate of the country they live in.
Power of attorneys and NRI
The Power of Attorney plays a large role in real estate dealings for NRIs. According to the Registration Act, when a non-resident of India buys or sells a home, the transaction needs to be registered by both the buyer and seller. Both party’s signatures need to present on the documents and validated by the registrar in the city where the transaction is executed. If the buyer is not present to sign the documents, a close family member can be appointed as the POA. There are also used in the event that the homeowner is bedridden and unable to undertake the duties associated with the real estate transactions. In this case, the POA will be held accountable for all actions and deeds.
For an NRI, there are two ways to appoint the Power of Attorney when living abroad:
1. Apostalisation- Any legal document that is signed needs to be verified by the local authorities, this process is called apostalisation. This policy was put forth by the Hague Convention in 1961 and helps authenticate the document and ensure it complies with the local law. Therefore, the deed of the POA needs to be apostilled in the country where the property is bought or sold.
2. Legalise the documents- When the POA is assigned in front of the judge, the preceding documents need to be authenticated by the Indian embassy. However, the documents do not need to be stamped at the time of assignment but within 3 months from the date when the POA is executed.
The advantages of a Power of Attorney
The Power of attorney is used to avoid any external costs that an NRI may incur because they live abroad. This includes stamp duty and miscellaneous taxes. Hence, it is important to hire a reliable Power of attorney who can carry out the proceedings on your behalf.
The convenience of the owner
Although, the power of attorney handles the transactions of the property for the homeowner. The buyer of the property holds the authority to terminate the duties assigned to the POA as they see fit. This ensures that the owner of the property has the ultimate authority over the POA, who under no circumstance can claim ownership.
As an NRI living abroad, it is often hard to stay on top of the proceedings of your new home and get into the nitty-gritty details of the purchase or sale. Hence, assigning a POA is not only practical but also safe. In the event that a new rule imposed by the government or property developer, you may be required to sign some documents and your POA can sign them on your behalf. Alternatively, if you are the victim of fraud during the real estate dealings, you POA can be presented as evidence in court.
A power of attorney can help you ease the home-buying process as they can help manage your personal, legal and financial affairs if you are living abroad. The person will be in charge of overlooking the legal and financial proceedings of the property, hence, it is crucial that you assign the position to someone who is trustworthy and honest. The process of appointing a POA is simple and straightforward and as an NRI it is strongly recommended that you appoint one in your home country to serve as your representative for any real estate transactions. Head out to Casagrand and get one step closer to your dream home.