Jun 15, 2023Home Ally

Legal Considerations For NRIs In Indian Real Estate Transactions

by Godrej Properties Limited

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Legal Aspects Of NRI Real Estate Transactions In India

Purchasing real estate in India can be an attractive investment option for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). However, before embarking on such transactions, it is crucial for NRIs to be aware of the legal considerations involved. This article discusses the critical legal aspects that NRIs should consider when engaging in real estate transactions in India.

Legal Factors That NRIs Should Consider When Transacting In Real Estate In India

1. Eligibility And Documentation

NRIs can buy residential and commercial properties in India, subject to certain conditions. They must possess an Indian passport, an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card. 

2. Property Title Verification

Before finalising any real estate transaction, NRIs should conduct a thorough title verification process. It is essential to ensure that the property has a clear title, free from any encumbrances or legal disputes. Engaging the services of a competent lawyer or a title search company can help in verifying the property's ownership and legal status.

3. Power Of Attorney

Since NRIs might not always be physically present in India during property transactions, executing a Power of Attorney (POA) becomes crucial. Through a POA, NRIs can appoint a trusted individual to act on their behalf, sign legal documents, and complete the necessary formalities. 

4. Tax Obligations

NRIs should be aware of their tax obligations in India related to real estate transactions. They are liable to pay taxes on rental income earned from properties in India, as well as on capital gains resulting from the sale of properties. NRIs should consult with a qualified tax advisor to understand their tax liabilities. 

5. Foreign Exchange Regulations

NRIs must comply with the foreign exchange regulations set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These regulations govern the repatriation of funds invested in Indian real estates, such as sale proceeds or rental income.

6. Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 established the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) to regulate the real estate sector in India. NRIs should ensure that the project they invest in is registered with the respective state's RERA.

In Conclusion

Purchasing real estate in India can be a lucrative investment for NRIs, but it requires careful consideration of the legal aspects involved. Understanding eligibility criteria, conducting property title verification, executing a Power of Attorney, addressing tax obligations, complying with foreign exchange regulations, and considering RERA registration are crucial steps for NRIs engaging in Indian real estate transactions. Seeking professional legal advice can help NRIs navigate the complex legal landscape and make informed decisions, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant real estate investment journey.


Frequently asked questions

1. Can NRIs acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India?

Ans: NRIs cannot purchase agricultural land or plantation properties in India. 

2. Can NRIs avail of home loans for purchasing property in India?

Ans: NRIs can avail of home loans for purchasing property in India.

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