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A Comprehensive Guide to the Registry of Property in Pakistan

Jun 19,2023

The registry of property plays a major role in the real estate sector of any country. Various laws and regulations govern property ownership and registration in Pakistan. The primary legislation for property registration is the Registration Act 1908.

It ensures transparency, safeguards property rights, and promotes a secure environment for property transactions.

This article aims to provide a difference between transfer and registry of property, a guide to property registration in Pakistan, including land registry, plot registry checks, and online house registry checks. 

Difference Between Transfer and Registry of Land 

In Pakistan, transferring land and registering land are two distinct processes related to the ownership and legal documentation of the property. Here's a brief explanation of the difference between the two:

Transfer of Land

The transfer of land refers to transferring ownership or rights of a property from one person or entity to another. It involves the actual change in ownership and possession of the land. This transfer typically occurs through a sale, gift, inheritance, or any other legally recognized transfer method.

During a land transfer, the parties involved (seller and buyer) negotiate the terms and conditions of the transfer, including the sale price, payment method, and other relevant details.

Once both parties reach an agreement, a transfer deed or sale deed is executed, documenting the transfer of ownership rights. The transfer deed serves as evidence of the transaction and is an essential document for legal purposes.

Registration of Land

Registering land refers to recording the details of the property transfer in the government's land records or land registry. It is a crucial step to know everything about the Property Transfer Act in Pakistan because it establishes legal proof of ownership and protects the new owner's rights.

After the transfer deed is executed, the buyer must register the land with the relevant land registration authority, such as the local registrar's or sub-registrar's office.

The registration process involves submitting the necessary documents, including the transfer deed and the prescribed fees and taxes. The registrar verifies the documents, conducts the necessary checks, and updates the land records with the new ownership details.

Registering the land provides legal recognition to the transfer and ensures that the new owner's rights are protected. It also facilitates future property transactions, such as selling, mortgaging, or subdividing the land.

Now let us see the details of registering land. 

Land Registry in Pakistan

The land registry in Pakistan is responsible for maintaining records related to land ownership and transactions. It records the owner's name, survey number, location, and any encumbrances or legal disputes associated with the land.

Usually, a dispute arises when people are not aware of the inheritance law in Pakistan.

The land registry provides a comprehensive overview of land records across the country. This saves your property from land grabbing by qabza mafias.

The land registry is typically maintained at the district level, with each district having sub-registrar offices. Property owners or buyers must visit the relevant sub-registrar office to register their land or conduct searches for existing records.

Title Investigation

Title investigation is a crucial step in the land registry process in Pakistan. It involves:

  • The title investigation confirms that the seller has legal ownership of the property and has the right to sell it.
  • Checking encumbrances helps identify existing mortgages, liens, or other financial obligations attached to the property.
  • Title investigation uncovers any legal disputes or pending litigation related to the land, ensuring the buyer knows of potential risks.

Engaging Professionals

Conducting a thorough title investigation often requires the expertise of lawyers or property experts specializing in land matters. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to review property records, research ownership history, and identify legal issues or discrepancies.

Sale Agreement and Stamp Duty

Once the title investigation is complete and the buyer is satisfied with the property's status, the next step is to draft and finalize a sale agreement. This agreement is a legally binding document outlining the property transaction's terms and conditions.

Sale Agreement

The sale agreement includes details such as the parties involved, the property description, the purchase price, payment terms, and any additional clauses or conditions agreed upon by both parties. It is essential to draft a clear and comprehensive agreement to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax imposed on certain legal documents, including sale agreements, to make them legally valid. In Pakistan, stamp duty rates vary across provinces and are determined based on the property's value.

The buyer is typically responsible for paying the stamp duty, although it can be negotiated between the parties involved. The stamp duty is calculated as a percentage of the property's value and is paid to the government.

Process of Registering Property

Once the sale agreement is in place, the registration process begins. This involves submitting the necessary documents to the local sub-registrar office and completing the formalities to transfer ownership. Here's a breakdown of the registration process:

Application Submission:

The buyer and the seller must submit an application for property registration to the local sub-registrar office. The application includes the sale agreement, the original title deed, and other relevant documents.

The application aims to initiate the registration process and provide the necessary information to update the property records.

Document Verification and Execution:

Upon receiving the application, the sub-registrar verifies the documents and conducts a thorough examination. The aim is to ensure that all the required documents are in order and there are no legal issues or discrepancies.

Once the verification is complete, the buyer and the seller are called to the sub-registrar's office to sign the transfer documents. Witnesses are also required to be present during this process.

Transfer of Ownership:

After the transfer documents are signed, the sub-registrar updates the official property register with the new ownership details. This step completes the transfer of ownership, and the buyer becomes the legal owner of the property.

The sub-registrar issues a new ownership document, such as a registry or mutation document, in the buyer's name as evidence of the property's registration.

It is worth noting that the specific procedures and requirements may vary slightly depending on the province or territory in Pakistan.

It is advisable to consult a local property lawyer or visit the relevant sub-registrar office to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding the land registry process in your specific area.

Registry Inteqal Check

Registry Inteqal or Mutation refers to transferring property ownership records from one person to another. It is done to show the change in ownership due to a sale, inheritance, gift, or any other legal transaction.

A registry inteqal check is to verify that the property's records have been updated correctly after the transfer.

In real estate transactions, particularly in the context of property ownership, two common terms that often arise are "registry" and "inteqal." While both concepts relate to the transfer of property rights, their application and legal implications differ.

People usually get confused about both terms. So here's a short table highlighting the key differences between registry and inteqal:

Refers to official registration of property
Refers to transfer of property ownership records
Establishes legal proof of ownership
Updates property records to reflect change in ownership
Confirms legitimacy of property ownership
Verifies transfer of ownership from one party to another
Involves initial registration of a property
Involves updating property records after ownership transfer
Done at time of property purchase or acquisition
Done after the sale, inheritance, or other legal transactions
Includes submission of documents for registration
Requires submission of papers for ownership transfer
Provides a registry document as proof of ownership
Provides an updated ownership document reflecting change

Online Checks for Plot and House Registry

To facilitate accessibility and convenience, the Government of Pakistan has introduced online systems for conducting registry checks. Here are the steps to perform online checks for plot and house registries:

Visit the Relevant Website: Different provinces in Pakistan have their own land record management systems. Visit the official website of the concerned authority, such as the Punjab Land Records Authority (PLRA) or the Sindh Land Record Authority (SLRA).

Enter Property Details: Provide the required information, such as the property's location, plot or house number, or the owner's name.

Search and Verification: The online system will search the database for the specified property details. It will display relevant records, including ownership information, encumbrances, and ongoing legal disputes.

Print or Save the Results: If the search yields the desired results, you can print the record or save it as an electronic copy for future reference.

Online checks provide a convenient method for accessing registry information. They may not always be completely up-to-date or comprehensive. For critical transactions, it is advisable to visit the relevant sub-registrar office for a thorough search and verification.

Every citizen needs to pay property tax. For instance, if your property is in Punjab, follow told method to pay your tax.

The Importance of Land Registry in Real Estate Transactions

The property registry holds immense significance for property owners and prospective buyers in Pakistan. Here are some key reasons it is essential:

Legal Protection

Registering property with the relevant authorities provides legal protection to the rightful owner. It establishes a public record of ownership, preventing fraudulent claims and disputes.

Transaction Security

The registry ensures the security of property transactions by validating the transfer of ownership through proper documentation and verification processes.

Mortgage and Financing

Financial institutions often require property registration as loan collateral. A registered property increases the chances of obtaining financing and reduces risks for lenders.

Market Stability

An efficient registry system contributes to the real estate market's stability by enabling reliable property valuation and reducing the possibility of fraudulent practices.

Final Words

The property registry in Pakistan is vital to the real estate sector, ensuring transparency, legal protection, and secure property transactions.

Property owners and buyers must understand the importance of registering their properties and the process involved.

With the introduction of online systems, conducting checks for plot and house registries has become more accessible. However, verifying the results obtained online through a visit to the sub-registrar office is crucial for complete accuracy.

By adhering to the registration procedures and utilizing online resources, individuals can confidently navigate the property registry in Pakistan, promoting a transparent and thriving real estate market.

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