The loss, theft or misplacement of property documents is a cause of concern for property owners since no transaction can be completed without checking the original sale deed.
It is typically regarded as the sole proof of ownership of property. In case of loss, the owner must get the duplicate documents so that the chances of misuse are minimised. Here's how.
FIR: A first information report (FIR) should be filed with the police by the owner as soon as possible. It must state clearly that the property documents have been misplaced, lost or stolen.
Advertisement: An advertisement in an English daily newspaper and a vernacular newspaper must be published, declaring the loss of property documents. The owner must wait for 15 days to see if someone finds the documents and returns the same.
Undertaking: An undertaking must be prepared on a stamp paper about the loss of property documents, along with the details of the property, a copy of the advertisement and the police complaint number. It needs to be registered, attested and notarised.
Duplicate deed: To obtain the duplicate copy of the sale deed, the owner must go to the registrar's office, where the property was registered at the time of purchase. The requisite fee must be paid and all the relevant documents must be provided at the registrar's office.
Points to note
The owner must retain a copy of the complaint, as well as the newspaper advertisement, as proof of loss and action taken.
If the property was mortgaged and the documents were misplaced by the bank, it must notify the owner so that suitable action can be taken. However, the bank must bear the cost involved in getting the duplicate documents.