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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Experts on delays in high-value property transactions: “We understand the government’s priority is health & safety, but…”

NEW DELHI (CU)_In a move to help push property sales in New Delhi, the local government last month, announced an extension in the reduced circle rate of 20 per cent to mid-2022. However, buyers have been unable to enjoy this benefit as several high-valued property transactions continue to remain on hold.

As the South Asian nation faces another COVID wave driven by the Omicron variant, the state government has decided to shut down the revenue office, resulting in a backlog in property registrations, succession and power of attorney. Commenting the effects of these disruptions on the senior members of the public, Sunil Tyagi, managing partner of Zeus Law Associates, said: “The government should build a mechanism as many elderly people are not able to register their will. Since a registered will is more authentic and acceptable, the testator prefers registering his will.”

“Unregistered wills get more into litigation than registered wills. With property being the biggest asset, people want to devolve a clear title through a registered will in the event of the death of the owner,” he added.

This is not the first time the pandemic has disrupted the operations of revenue offices in Delhi, which were closed for almost two months in 2021 as well. Accordingly, experts are calling on the authorities to remedy the matter without further delay.

“We understand that the government’s priority is health and safety. However, sub-registrar offices should remain open as it is an essential service during the pandemic for affected families, especially the elderly and high-risk individuals,” Amit Goyal, chief executive of India Sotheby’s International Realty, said, adding that families with elderly and high-risk members are no longer able to register their documents. “We would appeal to the Delhi government to include registration of such documents in the permitted list of essential services,” he said.

In late-December, the Delhi government extended the reduced circle rate until 30 June 2022. The rate was previously applicable from March to 30 September, but was extended to 31 December, before it was further deferred until mid-2022. However, experts point out that those looking to avail the reduced circle rate benefit are also unable to do so owing to the closure of the revenue offices.

“Delhi has witnessed several high-value transactions since the reduction in circle rate was announced. But closure at regular intervals affects the momentum. We hope the current disruption is only temporary,” Pradeep Prajapati, head of luxury residential services at IQI India, said.

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