Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pakistan Property & Real Estate Law

Following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Property and Real Estate in Pakistan. For property & real estate legal advise & consulting, please visit our Pakistan Property & Real Estate Laws page.

Q. What is Aks-Shajra?
A. Aks-Shajra means image of a specific piece of land/specific khasra number from the map/plan of an estate or village defining its boundaries.

Q. What is meant by Fard Malkiat?
A. Fard Malkiat also known as (Record of Rights/ Jama Bandi/Misal Haquiat/ Register Haqdaran-e-Zameen) maintained for determination/record of various types of rights in the immovable property.

Q. What is Mutation (Intiqal)?

A. Mutation is a document containing an order by a revenue officer; who must be at least an Assistant Collector of grade III, whereby an entry in the record of rights is to be altered, changed or mutated in revenue record.

Q. What is meant by Tattima Registry?

A. Tattima means “supplementary” and Tattima Registry means supplementary sale deed in specified area.

Q. What is meant by Khasra?

A. Khasra is a piece of land with specific measurements and a specific number.

Q. What is Khasra Garrdwari?

A. Register Kharsa Gardwari is a register maintained for record of possession/cultivation.

Q. What is meant by Survey?

A. A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

Q. Is mutation is a title document?

A. No, mutation is not a title document.

Q. What is the name of the document, which creates title in immovable property?

A.  Register Sale Deed (Registry /Baye-Nama) is a document, which creates a title in the immovable property.

Q.  What is meant by Conveyance Deed or Sale Deed?

A. Conveyance Deed or Sale Deed is a deed document by which the title of property is conveyed by the seller to the purchaser. Conveyance is the act of transferring ownership of the property from a seller to the buyer. Deed document will help you ascertain whether the property, which you are buying, is on land belonging to any development authority, society, builder in which the property is located, whichever the case may be.

Q. From where I can obtain my house documents or title deeds of my property?

A. You can obtain your house documents or title deed documents from office/department by which title of the house was conferred or transferred.

Q. What laws generally deal with real estate in Pakistan?

A. Among the laws, which deal with real estate in Pakistan, are The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, Land Revenue Act, 1967, Stamp Act, 1899 and Registration Act, 1908.

Q. What safety precautions should I take before buying property or real estate in Pakistan?

A. Before buying property in Pakistan a complete and thorough probe in respect of title of the seller to the real estate must be carried out. A general practice is to investigate title of the current seller and any previous owner. Original title document in favor of the vendor must be obtained along with other relevant documents including mutation in favor of the vendor, a fresh copy of fard, aks shajra and no-objection certificate or non-encumbrance certificate as the case may be.  If the vendor is selling the property in the capacity of an attorney of the owner then it must be ensured that the power of attorney is duly registered with the relevant sub-registrar. A holder of a forged and fabricated power of attorney is not at all able to transfer a valid title in an immovable property to a third party.

Q. In name of a Company, property is registered before purchasing it, what documents should I inspect?

A. Before purchasing property from a company you should verify from the Registrar of Companies at Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan that the property is not mortgaged or is not being used as a security against a loan, otherwise it will not be considered as a freehold property.  In addition, check memorandum of association that who is authorized to act on behalf of company for selling the property, if resolution is required then the same must be passed and verified. Further, inspect original title documents from the selling company.

Q. Can corporate bodies use residential properties as office space?

A. It is illegal to put residential properties to commercial use. However, service-based industries are allowed to operate from residential areas.

Q. Can foreigners buy Property in Pakistan?

A. Yes, foreigners can buy property in Pakistan but after completing all legal formalities.

Q. What inheritance laws apply in Pakistan?

A. Inheritance laws in Pakistan depend on religious affinities, Muslim Personal Laws for the Muslims and persons other than Muslims their personal laws.

Q. Is transfer of every immovable Property needs registration in Pakistan?

A. Transfer in the case of immovable property of the value of Rs 100/- and upwards only be made by a registered sale deed.

Q. An overseas Pakistani without visiting Pakistan can buy Property?

A. Yes, without coming to Pakistan an overseas Pakistani can buy property in Pakistan.

Q. What are the documents required to legally own a house?

A. Any deed verifying transfer in your favour i.e. sale deed, allotment letter and sale certificate.

Q. How do I own a house?

A. You can own house by purchasing from a private person, private builder, by allotment or purchase from public authority i.e. any development authority (LDA, CDA, FDA, MDA etc.) and by becoming member of any co-operative housing society.

Q.  What is Power of Attorney?

A. Power of Attorney is the power given to an agent by the principal to execute several acts and deeds for and on behalf of the principal. A power of attorney may also be given by a person to another to appear before any Court, Tribunal and Authority, buy sell, maintain real estate etc. When power is given in respect of a number of acts in a number of transactions, it is called General Power of Attorney and when power is given in respect of a particular act pertaining to one transaction; it is called Special Power of Attorney. General Power of Attorney must be registered.

Q.  Person holding Power of Attorney can transfer property in his name?

A. No. The person who is holding Power of Attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in your interest and try to do what you would do for yourself if you were able. Third parties will presume the person is acting on your behalf.

Q. Can I revoke my Power of Attorney?

A. Yes.

Q. When would a Power of Attorney gets cancelled?

A. Power of Attorney automatically gets cancelled on the death of Executants’ and when get cancelled by the Executants’.

Q. Is my Power of Attorney effective after I die?

A. No, Power of Attorney will ends upon your death.

Q. I am going to buy a flat in a building under construction, what are the papers should I check?

A. Check approved plan of the building along with the number of floors; ensure that the floor that you are buying is approved. Check if the land on which the builder is building is his or he has undertaken an agreement with a landlord. If so, check the title of the land ownership. Check the building byelaws as applicable in that area and ensure that the building is without any violation of front setback, side setbacks, height, etc. Check specifications given in the agreement to sell and that given in the brochure and see if he is providing the same actually on the ground or not. If the builder is a company incorporated with Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan, it may be checked that the company is allowed to do the business of sale and purchase of real estate.

Q. Can immovable property be sold while it is mortgaged?

A. No, immovable property cannot be sold.

Q. What are important documents one should check before buying any property?

A. Check approved layout plan, approved building plan, ownership documents, ask for all the deeds of title related to the property to be purchased, examine the deeds, ascertain the survey number, check previous encumbrances and loans, if any, on the property, request vendor(seller) to obtain, if applicable, consent permission, sanction, no objection certificate of various authorities, tax receipts and bills, measure the land etc.

Q. What is stamp duty and who is liable to pay the stamp duty, the buyer or seller?

A. Stamp duty is a fee/tax levied by the government on transfer of property and must be paid in full and on time. A stamp paid document considered proper and legal document. The liability of paying stamp duty is that of the buyer unless there is any commitment to the contrary.

Q. How to get approved building plan and why it is necessary.

Raising construction without having a building plan approved from the concerned agency is a violation of rules of the concerned Building Control Authority and can lead to demolition of construction. Therefore, for all practical purposes i.e. before raising construction approval for the same is mandatory.

Q. In Pakistan who maintains Land Record?

A. In Pakistan land records are maintained by district administration revenue department for deciding ownership and boundaries of land or property.

Q. I am a co-sharer in a property can I sell the said property?

A. Yes, you can sell the property but only to the extent of your share in the property and without specific boundaries unless consented expressly by the other co-sharer or co-sharers.

Q. Whether a sale deed drafted by a Wasiqa Nawees/Arzi Nawees is reliable?

A. No, sale deed must be drafted by a lawyer having knowledge of the relevant laws regarding transfer of property.

Q. What are essentials of Gift?

A. Essentials of gift are 1. Offer by the Donor (owner) 2. Acceptance by the Donee (to whom gift is being made) and 3. Delivery of possession.

Q. Can gift be revoked?

A. Yes, gift can be revoked except if made in favor of a person who falls in prohibited degree i.e. a person with whom marriage cannot be contacted.

Q. What are distinguishing features of gift from those of will?

A. Gift always can be made in the lifetime and it become effective at the very moment when it is complete, whereas will only can take effect after death of its maker. Other distinguishing feature is that an owner of property can make gift of his entire property in favor of a legal heir of him/her in his life time but he cannot make a will whereby the whole property is intended to be given to one legal heir. He/she can make will to the extent of 1/3rd of his/her holding in favor of any who is not legal heir and if made in favor of a legal heir then requires agreement/consent of other legal heirs.

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