The IMPORTANCE AND LIMITATIONS OF ENCUMBRANCE CERTIFICATE
Encumbrance Certificate (EC) is a document issued by the Registration Department. It’s an important one in investigating the Flow of Title and in determining the status of the Title of the property
The procedure to get an EC for a particular property is simple. An application shall be made in the prescribed simple form at the concerned Sub-Registrar’s Office. This form can be had from the document writers outside the SROs. It can be downloaded from the Government Website, REGINET also
The Application shall mention the Village name where the property is situated, the Survey number of the property, the Schedule of the property, the period for which the EC is sought etc. Property Schedule includes the extent of the property and the details of the other properties on the four sides.
The application is to be accompanied with the prescribed fee. The fee depends upon the number of years for which you seek the search.
Following are the Fees for applying EC:
E.C. Application fee: Re. 1/-
Search Fee for the I year: Rs. 15/-
Search fee for every additional year: Rs. 5/-
Additional Fees for Computerized period, ie, from 1987: Rs. 100/-
EC for period prior to Computerization, ie,prior to the year 1987
The Computerization has been done in Chennai Zone from 1.1.1987. According to Govt sources the work is going on for extending the period upto 1975. Now, if you need EC for the period before 1987, the search has to be done Manually and the fee may be the same but the time taken will be more. If one wants to apply for urgent ECs the charges are double what has been mentioned above.
Details Required for Applying an EC
The details necessary for applying for an EC, like Survey number, Village name, SRO name, Schedule of Property etc., will be available in the copy of Sale Deed of the property for which one is seeking the EC. Or you can get these details from the old EC for the same property.
The Officials at SROs, shall search the records for the period for which EC is sought and issue the certificate.
EC Gives the Record of All Registered Transactions During the Search Period
The EC shall contain all the transaction that has taken place or rather registered in the SRO during the period of search, be it a Sale, Lease, Mortgage, Gift, Partition, Release, etc.
If no transactions took place during the search period, a ‘NIL’ EC will be issued.
Limitations of EC
Also, any litigation in a court of law, Oral Agreements/Arrangements, Unregistered documents, acquisition proceedings, etc., will not find a place in the EC.
Dues payable like Tax arrears are also won’t find a place in the EC.
Undertake Field Inquiry before Buying
This means, that though the EC will give you the correct picture of the Title of the Documents as available in the records of the Registrar’s Office, there still may issue that may eventually affect the transaction as mentioned above. Therefore the buyer must undertake field inquiry about the property before committing. Disputes/ misunderstandings among the Legal Heirs or with any other person for which litigation is going on in courts at different level will come to light during field inquiry/background check only.
EC at best, shows the legal dues if any, that may have to be paid like a registered mortgage and the number of transactions that has taken place during the period of search.