ABCs of property papers

What is a Khata? What is an occupancy certificate? Who issues it? When and why is it needed? What about the 'possession certificate'?

Most of us who are either buying or selling property find the procedures cumbersome and encounter a range of different certificates and documents required to proceed with a deal. Many of us are unfamiliar with what is required until we face the situation.

What is a Khata? What is an occupancy certificate? Who issues it? When and why is it needed? What about the ‘possession certificate’? Former Deputy Commissioner of BBMP (Revenue department) H B S Aradhya answered these questions for Supriya Khandekar of Citizen Matters.

What is a Khata?

There is no specific mention of the term Khata in the Act it is only the Assessment register. An assessment register has a compilation of all the details of any property in the city. The term Khata came up with use. It literally means an account. And this Khata is an account of a person who has property in the city.

There are two things in a Khata: Khata Certificate and Khata Extract.

A BBMP Khata certificate is required for two major purposes: For registration of a new property and for transfer of any property. It can be obtained from the Assistant Revenue officer (of the respective area) of the BBMP. There is a nominal fee of Rs.25 for the form.Under Section 114 of the Karnataka Municipality Council Act this certificate is necessary for any property owner to have.

Khata Certificate is obtained for any new registration after paying the tax. The certificate is issued saying that a particular property No ‘N" stands in the name of person X. This certificate is required to apply for water connection, electricity connection, trade license and building license. The Khata certificate is given only to the owner of the property or to his family members. No one else can take it on his behalf. It takes maximum of One week to get the certificate. One can also get it instantly in some citizen service centres (details:

(When a transaction takes place both the seller and the buyer have to inform the BBMP within three months of the transaction. In case of death of either party, within one year.)

Khata Extract is getting details from the assessment register. The extract is required to get trade license, or to buy a particular property. It is an extract from the assessment register about any particular property. It has the details of the property in a particular format with the name, size of the property, use of the property (commercial purpose, residential),annual value, when assessed last.

An extract is the only way to get these details of any property.

What is an Encumbrance Certificate?

This certificate is to be got from the sub registrar’s office. This office is directly under control of the Inspector of Registration of Properties, operated by the state government. The certificate shows that in a given period of time from when the property was bought/sold has there been any transaction or mortgaging. Buyers/sellers ask for this certificate for when a new transfer (sale) is taking place, so that the buyer knows what all transactions have happened.

According to the kind of transaction, the certificate is given in two different forms. Form 15, will have details of transactions during the period of registration in the name of the owner. A person will get a ‘nil encumbrance certificate when no transaction has taken place. this certificate would appear on Form 16.

The encumbrance certificate is to confirm that the property is still in the name of the person who is selling it. This certificate can be obtained in maximum 10 days time.

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

This is given by the engineering department of the BBMP. Once the building licence is got and the building is ready for the construction, at the plinth level itself the builder has to apply for the commencement certificate. After which the BBMP officers inspect the property to ensure that it does not have any deviation from the sanctioned plan.

The occupancy certificate is obtained at the end of the construction. Once the builder applies for the certificate an inspection is done again to confirm if the construction has happened according to the sanctioned plan.

This certificate is mandatory for any builder before he allows people to take possession of the property. This certificate was made compulsory by the BBMP to ensure proper construction in the city.

The Joint director of Town Planning is in-charge of this certificates and the engineering department takes charge of issuing, inspecting and acts as a regulatory body to ensure that each builder obtains it.

What is a Possession Certificate (or Hakkupatra as commonly known)

This certificate is issued by the BDA at the time of allotment of the site. Thus a possession certificate becomes the first thing one needs to get in any property deal. The BDA issues this to all the layouts approved by the BDA. BDA is the allotting authority. After the Possession Certificate is obtained a sale deed or a title deed is signed.

What is a Sale Deed?

A sale deed is a document where a property transfers from owner to purchaser. The sub-registrar obtains the sale deed from the parties involved the transaction and releases it to the new owner. It is a basic document required for the owner. This document is usually an Absolute Sale Deed.

Subregistrar numbers,

Bangalore Urban
Bangalore Rural

A sale deed issued by the BDA is usually a conditional deed, since it is issued over a BDA-allotted site. The BDA puts a condition for the owner to start construction on the site within two years and the property cannot be sold in 10 years. But a lot of time it is observed that even with the condition people keep their land vacant and are looking for opportunities to sell it. For these cases the BDA can take action but they are not so serious about the regulations.

In some cases the BDA issues an Absolute Sale deed. In that deed there is no condition mentioned and the owner is the absolute owner of the property. Where and when to provide an absolute deed totally depends on the procedure of the BDA.

What is an Agreement of Sale?

This is an agreement signed between seller and buyer. The agreement mentions that the buyer agrees to buy the property at particular considerations (usually the amount of the property, time period in which the sale transaction has to take place).

This agreement has to be signed before the sale deed. Once the sale deed is registered the buyer becomes the property owner.


  1. anil says:

    I think they should make brochure out your article and five them free in all Sub-register’s office…

  2. v shankar says:

    btw any news on the Bangalore Property Depository?

  3. Vinny says:

    Yes, I guess there has to be handbook or guide in terms of these property papers details and also it will be good if there is place to complain about issues with officers sitting in BBMP, if they do not work properly.

  4. Navin Reddy says:

    We purchased a 30×40 new house registered in April 2010 at Rammurthynagar under KR Puram Sub registrar office. When i approach the BBMP for Khata transfer to my name, he says until Akrama Sakram, they cannot transfer, instead i have to pay the property tax in the previous owners name. If still i need the khata transfer, i have to pay 2 % of Registration value and additional Rs 25000 so that he will issue B Khata, is that true? Kindly guide me, still the transfer has not happened



    When we should ask for Occupancy certificate & How much time it takes to get this certficate & whom should I approach.

  6. kunnamkalathmadathil suresh says:

    I have brought a flat from DS MAx who were the selling agents for a unknown developer.Altough the khata was supposed to be transferred after the reg(same was mentioned in the sale deed)now it has come to our notice that the relevant certificates and documents will not be issued due to deviations in the building constuction.Now it has become a game of hide and seek.What action can be taken in this case and is not the Govts responsibility to not check such constructions and stop reg if the seller doesnt have the relevant documents like OC etc.I since most of the public like me are not fully aware of all the rules who should be made accountable.

    Shiva Apts

  7. Anand Stanly says:

    I had a question regarding occupancy certificate.
    I am in talks with a person to purchase a resale flat in bangalore which is 4 yrs old.
    He provided the documents required & he mentioned the fact that he is not having the occupancy certificate from BBMP. Actually the Builder didnt provide him.
    Despite repeated questioning by the person to builder , the builder did not give a clear reason as to why he is not obtained OC from BBMP.
    what are the problems that I could face down the road if I dont have an OC and Im purchasing the apartment?

  8. Prakash Kashinath Malshet says:

    1).Can a property be transferred by way of GIFT DEED? 2).If so what is the procedure to get the property transferred to the name of DONEE from DONOR?
    3). Whether it is necessary to mention value of the property gifted in the GIFT DEED? If so under what provisions of Law?

  9. PRASAD says:


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