Transfer of property means an act by which a living person conveys property, in present or in future, to one or more than one living persons, or to himself. The phrase “to transfer property” means to perform such act. According to the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, there are mainly six types of transfers. They are-
• Sale (Section 54): “Sale” is a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised. Thus, a sale involves transfer of ownership and some monetary consideration for the same. It is to note that this section only deals with the sale of immovable property. Section 54 also lays down how a sale shall be made. In the case of tangible immoveable property of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, or in the case of a reversion or other intangible thing, it can be made only by a registered instrument. If the tangible immoveable property is less than a value of one hundred rupees, such transfer may be made either by a registered instrument or by delivery of the property.
Registration of sale deed- Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 has made it mandatory to get the registration done for the documents related to sale, purchase, transfer or ease of property. Law doesn’t recognize the unregistered properties and no legal remedies are available for unregistered properties in case of any default.
• Mortgage (Section 58): A mortgage is the transfer of an interest in specific immoveable property for the purpose of securing the payment of money advanced or to be advanced by way of loan, an existing or future debt, or the performance of an engagement which may give rise to a pecuniary liability.
There are six different types of mortgage defined in the Transfer of Property Act. They are-
a) Simple Mortgage: Where, without delivering possession of the mortgaged property, the mortgagor binds himself personally to pay the mortgage-money, and agrees, expressly or impliedly, that, in the event of his failing to pay according to his contract, the mortgagee shall have a right to cause the mortgaged property to be sold and the proceeds of sale to be applied, so far as may be necessary, in payment of the mortgage-money, the transaction is called a simple mortgage. This type of mortgage can be seen when people apply for loans in a bank against some mortgage.
b) Mortgage by Conditional Sale: In a mortgage by conditional sale the mortgagor sells the mortgaged property to the mortgagee on a condition that if the mortgagor fails to pay the mortgage money on a certain date then the sale shall become absolute. But, if the payment is made by the terms agreed, then the sale shall become void. This is a type of mortgage where there is an ostensible sale which gets converted into an absolute sale if the ostensible seller is unable to repay the loan.
c) Usufructuary mortgage: the mortgagor delivers possession of the mortgaged property whether expressly or impliedly to the mortgagee, and authorises him to retain such possession until payment of the mortgage-money, and also authorizes him to receive the rents and profits accruing from the property in lieu of interest, or in payment of the mortgage-money, or partly in lieu of interest or partly on the payment of the mortgage-money, the transaction is called an usufructuary mortgage.
d) English mortgage: Where the mortgagor binds himself to repay the mortgage-money on a certain date, and transfers the mortgaged property absolutely to the mortgagee, but subject to a proviso that he will re-transfer it to the mortgagor upon payment of the mortgage-money as agreed, the transaction is called an English mortgage.
e) Mortgage by deposit of title-deeds: where a person who live in Calcutta, Madras, Bombay or in any other town as specified by the government, delivers to a creditor or his agent documents of title to immoveable property, with intent to create a security thereon, the transaction is called a mortgage by deposit of title-deeds.
f) Anomalous mortgage: A mortgage which is not a simple mortgage, a mortgage by conditional sale, an usufructuary mortgage, an English mortgage or a mortgage by deposit of title-deeds within the meaning of section 54 of the act is called an anomalous mortgage.
Registration of mortgage- registration of agreement of mortgage is optional. It is not mandatory to register the agreement of mortgage.
• Lease (Section 105): A lease of immoveable property is a transfer of a right to enjoy such property, made for a certain time, express or implied, or in perpetuity, in consideration of a price paid or promised, or of money, a share of crops, service or any other thing of value, to be rendered periodically or on specified occasions to the transferor by the transferee, who accepts the transfer on such terms. Lease is not the transfer of ownership, but is a transfer of possession for a specified period of time. Lease can only be of an immovable property and not movable. For example- X allows Z to use his apartment for living for a time period of 1 year and 5 months against a monetary consideration of 20,000 per month payable by Z to X. This agreement is a lease.
How is a lease made- A lease of immoveable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent, can be made only by a registered instrument.
Registration of a lease- it is mandatory to register leases of immovable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent. It is not mandatory to register a lease deed which is less than one year.
• Exchange (Section 118): When two persons mutually transfer the ownership of one thing for the ownership of another neither thing or both things being money only, the transaction is called an “exchange”. A transfer of property in completion of an exchange can be made only in manner provided for the transfer of such property by sale. Thus, an exchange is the same as sale but it differs in consideration. It is to note that exchange is not limited just to immovable property. This is a classic example of barter system. For example- X transfers his apartment worth Rs. 1,00,000 to Z. Z in exchange of that property, transfers his land worth Rs. 95,000 plus 5,000 cash, this mutual exchange of ownership is called exchange.
Registration of deed of exchange: according to section 23 of The Registration Act, 1908, all documents except a ‘Will’ have to be presented for registration within 4 months from the date of execution. Hence, it is mandatory to register a deed of exchange if the value of the immovable property exceeds the value of Rs. 100. For movable property, the registration is optional.
• Gift (Section 122): “Gift” is the transfer of certain existing moveable or immoveable property made voluntarily and without consideration, by one person, called the donor, to another, called the donee, and accepted by or on behalf of the done.
Registration of gift of immovable property- As mentioned above, gift can be of immovable as well as movable property. However, in the case of immovable property it is mandatory to register the instrument of the gift deed. Two witnesses have to be present during registration at the sub-registrar’s office to attest the deed. Once the registration process is complete, transfer of title can be made. Stamp duty of recommended value has to be paid for registration of Gift Deed. The Stamp duty charges differ from state to state and is also based on gender. Few states offer a concession in stamp duty if the property is gifted to family member.
Registration of gift of movable property- Registration of gift deed for movable property is optional. Thus, a simple letter drafted by the donor describing the gift deed and an acceptance letter by the done would be sufficient to make the transfer of movable property valid. The Gift of movable property can be made by a registered deed or by mere delivery of the property.
Time limit for registration of a gift deed- a gift deed has to be presented for registration within 4 months from the date of execution. If a gift deed is executed by several persons at different times then that document has to be presented for registration and re-registration within 4 months from the date of each execution.
Gift to minors- a minor can accept a gift; however, the legal guardian would be in control of the gift until the minor attains the age of 18. It is to note that a minor cannot be a donor i.e a minor cannot gift a property to anyone.