Owning a property, real estate, apartment, house, or flat is an aspiration most of us cherish.
Property ownership is a legal concept that defines the rights and responsibilities of owning, using, and disposing of property. However, not all property ownership is the same, and several types of property ownership exist. It is essential for individuals looking to buy or inherit property, as well as for real estate investors, to know the different types of property ownership deemed legal in India.
Each type of ownership has its unique characteristics, and understanding these differences is crucial for making informed decisions about your property. Let’s delve into each type of ownership in detail and explore the legal implications associated with each type.
Single ownership or sole ownership refers to a situation when one individual buys or inherits a property, and it is registered in the name of this individual. In such a case, this single owner has complete ownership rights over the property and can sell, mortgage, lease, gift, or will it according to their wishes. Even if other parties may have assisted in the procurement of funds or assisted in the buying process, the legal right of the asset rests with the individual on record. Let us understand this with an example. If a father helps his son by lending him funds to buy a property or by helping him locate and purchase the real estate, the son whose name is registered as the owner has complete legal control over the property, not the father. When a sole owner dies intestate, the relevant laws of inheritance determine who comes to own the property next.
Joint ownership is when several individuals jointly own a property or immovable asset. Joint ownership or co-ownership of a property can be complicated, and each individual may have limited rights over the property. Let us take a look at some of the common forms of joint ownership.
Property ownership by proxy or nomination is a process whereby a property owner gives another person the right to hold the property in case of the owner's death. The nominee or proxy, in this case, does not gain legal ownership but holds the title of the property so that it does not go unclaimed or become the subject of litigation. In most cooperative societies, the property owner needs to name a proxy who can act as a trustee of the property on the owner's death till such time it can be handed to the legal heirs. This is ownership by proxy. It is a temporary right to bear the property title but does not give the nominee the right to sell, mortgage, gift, or will the property.
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