The land is one of the most valuable assets which most people own and thus, in case of change of official name of the owner (of the property), utmost care should be taken to get the name updated in the land registration documents. Although it’s not an immediate requirement, a change in the name in the land registry helps the owner of the property avoid land disputes and legal hassle which might emerge if he/she plans on using the land documents as collateral at any point in his/her life.
Let’ start with a quick summary of land records (property documents) followed by the process to change names in the land registry.
What is a Land Registry/Property Registration Paper?
Land or Property Registration is a process to document changes in ownership and transactions involving immovable property. The process guarantees legal ownership title of the property to the new owner of the piece of land/immovable property.
Land or Property Registration is usually recorded in the form of a land registration document (land registry) in the local office of the land registrar. This legal document contains the details of the owner, the proof of registration, and various other legal factors which are associated with land.
How to Change Name in Land Records (Property Papers)
In the case of change of the official name of the owner of the property, this name change should also be reflected in the Land Registration Documents. However, the process can only be initiated after completing the legal process of the name change.
Process of Legal Name Change in Land Registry
- Affidavit Submission: Get an affidavit prepared for the name change from a notary, mentioning the current name, the new name, current address and reason for the name change (could be marriage, astrology, etc). The affidavit needs to be signed by two persons of gazette officer rank (along with stamp).
- Publication of Advertisement: Advertise the change of name in a local leading daily newspaper (eg. Navbharat Times, Times of India, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar or others in case the person is from a Hindi speaking state; or in other vernacular language dailies of his/her region, like Eenadu, Malayala Manorama or Lokmat). The advertisement should contain the old name, new name, date of birth, father’s name or husband’s name, along with the home address.
- Gazette Notification: Get a notification published in the Gazette of India regarding the name change by sending a copy of the advertisement and other required documents to the Department of Publication (under the Ministry of Urban Development) in India.
After the official and legal change in name, the owner of the property needs to visit the land registry office and furnish self-attested proofs regarding his/her new name to the office, along with a nominal fee. After the verification of all the proofs, the license department of the land registry office initiates an enquiry into the proposal of name change on the ground. This step is undertaken to ensure that no fraudulent activity is being pursued in the name of this change in name.
After the successful verification of the legal name change, the name is also updated in the Land Registry records. The process gets completed with the delivery of documents to the owner’s address intimating the completion of the name change on land registry.
How to Correct the Spelling Mistake in Land Registry
In case the change of name is required because of a typographical error, the party (owner) may simply approach the registrar’s office with a proof of the correct spelling of the name and get it corrected.
If not accepted, a registered deed of rectification can be executed to rectify the errors in name in any deed, including a sale deed (earlier seller can execute a rectification deed in new owner’s favour). Additionally, the party can also file a case before the revenue officer along with an affidavit for a name change in property records.
An alternative to the process would be to take a certificate from the ‘village officer’ or Tehsildar stating that both the name (or multiple names) are one and the same. This certificate can be used appropriately for various needs.
Other Process to change the name in Property Document
As change in land registry is a simple but tedious process, the name change in property documents can also be achieved by rectification in the sale deed of the property. However, this rectification of a previous sales deed can’t be made unilaterally and requires the willingness of the previous owner (last seller) to help the new owner make this deed.
As a matter of fact, even in a case where the name has not been changed in the land registry, any Sale Deed for the further sale of the property need to mention the owner’s ‘new’ name along with the copy of the gazette notification declaring the name change.