Registry of Property in Pakistan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Legal Procedures

  • Last Updated on: 22 February , 2024

Registry of Property in Pakistan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Legal Procedures

Property registration is a crucial aspect of the real estate sector in every nation, and Pakistan is no exception. The Registration Act of 1908 serves as the cornerstone of property registration in Pakistan.

This legislation is instrumental in maintaining transparency, protecting property rights, and creating a secure environment for property transactions. Navigating the property registration process in Pakistan can be a difficult task that can take several months and involve multiple interactions with relevant authorities. 

This article aims to clarify the distinctions between property transfer and registration, providing a detailed guide to the property registration process in Pakistan.

Official and Legal Requirements

The historic Revenue Board, which was founded in 1855 and is in charge of overseeing property registration in Pakistan, has provided a thorough list of the paperwork that is required for registration.

  • The authentic original title deed, duly executed by the seller
  • A letter of sale, which records the sale transaction details
  • A Certificate of Objection (NOC) to confirm legal compliance
  • A power of attorney document, when applicable, grants legal authority

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:

Transfer of land in Pakistan involves the transfer of ownership or property rights from one entity to another through means such as sale, gift, inheritance, etc. This process involves the creation of a transfer deed (contract) between the seller and the buyer, as specified in the offer. This legal document serves as the primary proof for lawful purposes.

Land Registration:

Land registration can be regarded as an official way to record a registry. Understanding the Property Transfer Act in Pakistan is vital, as it establishes legal ownership proof and safeguards the rights of the new owner. After executing the transfer, the buyer has to register the land with the relevant authority. This involves submitting forms and payments to the local registrar's or sub-registrar’s office. The clerk reviews, maintains, and updates land records. This arrangement provides legal recognition, protects ownership rights, and facilitates future property transactions such as mortgages. 

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.
  • A 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. The registration process involves submitting required documents, fees, and taxes. The registrar verifies documents, conducts checks, and updates land records with new ownership details.

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 standard 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 the 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 only sometimes 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

  • Property registration maintains public records of ownership, ensuring legal protection for property owners and preventing fraudulent claims and disputes.
  • It facilitates the secure transfer of property assets through proper documentation and verification, ensuring a transparent and lawful process.
  • Property registration is a requirement for mortgage and financing applications, increasing the chances of obtaining a loan and reducing the risks for lenders.
  • Effective property registration aids in reliable property assessments, contributing to market stability by reducing the likelihood of real estate fraud and ensuring sound underwriting practices.

Obstacles and Frequently Encountered Problems

Property and Ownership Disputes:

Navigating property disputes and probate claims can be difficult, often resulting from unclear property records or conflicting title claims.

Determining legitimate ownership can be a contentious legal issue, leading to registration delays and potential legal battles.

Complex Legal Requirements and Documentation:

Property registration in Pakistan is incredibly complicated and requires many legal documents.

Property owners face many challenges in understanding and preparing the required legal documents, which can lead to errors and application refusals.

Delays in the Registration Process:

Delays can be reflected in various stages of the registration process, including document verification, degree inquiry, and procedures at the Deputy Registry Office.

Such delays can be infuriating to the property owner and may affect their ability to use or sell the property.

Fraudulent Activities and Forgery:

Property fraud, including document forgery and impersonation, is a major concern.

Property owners can inadvertently fall prey to fraudulent transactions, resulting in the loss of valuable real estate assets.

Irregularities in Land Records:

Incorrect or outdated land records can cause discrepancies in property matters.

Resolving these inconsistencies often takes considerable time and effort to successfully register.

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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