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Property Title - Has the land been properly acquired? Does the developer have the legal rights? What will it be used for?
In many instances, developers may begin construction while the complete acquisition of the land has not been finalised. This could mean that 20% or 30% of the land is yet to be fully purchased and if you own a unit in this portion of the land it could be legally problematic. It is also important for the title of the land deeds to state the correct and legal names of the developers.

Many cities designate certain land parcels as commercial, residential, as a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) or for purposes other than real estate development. Verifying that the land under development is properly designated is critical to avoid issues later on relating to FSI, violation of zoning laws or wrongful use of land.

Are all approvals in place?
Quite often, while securing approvals, developers have to portion off part of the land parcel to the government or municipal authorities as Open space reservation (OSR) which can be later developed as parks, recreation ground, for hospitals or other public amenities. However, if the developers later build parking space or additional units in this portion of the land it could lead to issues for the occupants and the society. It is important to check that some approvals are received before construction begins, like:

LOI
Map approval
MC Approvals

Financial concerns - What are the finance schemes and banks associated with the projects? What is the payment plan?

It is important to verify the financial schemes offered by the developers as well as the banks associated with them who will finance these. A healthy track record between the two is beneficial to buyers as well.

Also confirm whether the payment plan is a construction linked (CLP) one or possession linked one (PLP). With CLP you pay as construction of each floor is completed whereas with PLP you 20-25% while booking and the rest on possession.

Is it necessary to register a property? What is the purpose of registration?
By registering the transaction of an immovable property, it becomes permanent public record. Title or interest can be acquired only if the deed is registered. Moreover, in Maharashtra, a property can be registered as soon as it is booked whereas in other states registration is done only once the project is completed.
Is there a distinction between handover of key and handover of project?
Yes there is. Handover of project happens when the project is completed and all expected services like electricity, water, road, street lighting etc. are in place. However, one can’t do much with handover of key if rest of the facilities are not available. Hence it is important to note when and what kind of handover will take place so that planning within the unit can be done.