All About Property Mutation in Pakistan
Once you have completed all the formalities of a real estate transaction, the next and final step is to register the said property under your name to make it official in government records. This is known as the mutation of a property. It refers to the entire process in which the title of ownership of a property is transferred to another person. Simply put, it is the title deed (also called a conveyance deed) needed to have the property under your name.
Graana has compiled all the basic details that you need to know regarding the property mutation process.
When do you need a mutation certificate?
- When you buy a property
- When you inherit a property
- When you receive a property as a gift
- When you purchase a property through a power of attorney
How do you apply for a mutation certificate?
Since obtaining the mutation certificate is not a legal obligation, many new property owners postpone the process. However, the mutation process should ideally be started as soon as possible once the property has changed hands – at least within 3-6 months of the land purchase. Without it, the buyer may risk facing issues in obtaining complete legal ownership of the property in question.
The process just comprises of a few, simple steps:
- Visit the land administrator’s office in the concerned area (where the property is located) and submit the required documents. These may also vary according to circumstances. For example, if this is mutation of the property after the owner’s death, applicants would have to submit a death certificate, succession certificate etc. You can cross-check on the government website or call on the helpline for further information, but you would still have to visit the municipal body to hand in the papers.
- Both the seller and buyer have to appear with two witnesses and the sub-registrar will hear their verbal agreement for trading the property.
- This will be recorded in the Inteqal (Mutation) Register, and you will be handed a receipt.
- Afterwards, you would have to submit a nominal process fees in the National Bank of Pakistan (this will be just a one-time charge).
- There will be a physical verification of the site by the relevant authorities.
- The municipal body may take up to a month to update the record, after which they would issue the mutation certificate.
Why is it important to get a mutation certificate?
Even though it is not a legally binding document, the mutation certificate is still necessary for several reasons:
- It serves as additional proof of ownership.
- You will be able to record the property under your name in the municipal local body.
- It can also be required when applying for utilities, such as electricity and water services.
- It may also serve as a tax record.
- You would need it if you want to sell or transfer your property to someone else in the future. If you are unable to produce a mutation certificate before potential buyers for verifying the chain of ownership, you may risk the sale of your asset.
- In case of land dispute, corruption or hostile takeovers, the mutation certificate can help challenge false claims in court.
- All immoveable assets (individual homes, apartments, land etc.) are subject to property tax payment, and mutation is just a way to ensure that. The certificate is required by the government to fix the property tax liability and other levies on the rightful owner.
- It can also help you correct any errors in the records in case there is an unauthorised transaction.
What is the difference between registration and mutation?
There is some ambiguity over the difference between property registration and mutation since the purpose of both seem similar. Property registration refers to the process in which you claim legal rights on a property by registering the sale under your name. The process of mutation, on the other hand, is the buyer’s responsibility and can only be initiated once the property registration has been executed.
|Property Registration||Property Mutation|
|Also called a baye-nama||Also called inteqal|
|Mandatory process after transfer of property||Not a legally required process after transfer of property|
|Legalises the actual sale of a property||Transfers ownership of the property|
|A sale deed||Does not require a sale to take place; it applies to inherited and gifted properties too|
While the key differences between the two are just a few, it is still important to know the significance of each to avoid any potential problems or confusion in the future if you choose to resell the property. This is why it is advised to acquire both in the beginning.
If you are looking for more information on the real estate processes in Pakistan, you can visit this link.