Today a majority of people are well educated on what areas to look for when purchasing a land. But unfortunately when it comes to selling one's land most people are helpless due the lack of knowledge and most often fall prey to individuals who deal in unlawful activities. The Sunday Times Supplements Desk spoke to Mr. B. Premalal, Chairman/Managing Director of Prime Lands (Pvt.) Ltd., to find what precautionary measures should be taken before venturing out to sell one's land. Ms. Sandamini Perera, Director CEO of Prime Lands was also present for the interview.
Ms. Sandamini Perera, Director CEO of Prime Lands
"People lose confidence in the land and property development industry due to the unethical and fraudulent activities of certain individuals and organizations. Selling one's land is a complicated process especially if your land area is large.
We have met a number of people who have got into trouble due to this. We have helped some of them to get over their unfortunate plight. However we have found in the recent past that these incidents are increasing and therefore we have decided to enlighten the public about this, so that they will not fall in to these traps", says Mr. Premalal.
Always go for prompt upfront payments
According to Mr. Premalal it is always advisable to go for prompt upfront payments. Most often this may not be the highest price offered, however do not be misled by individuals or parties offering unimaginably high prices as most often these people do not have the necessary cash in hand to make these types of payments. In most cases those who offer high prices for the purchase of a land promise to pay in installments at a later date, although this may be very tempting as after the agreed period one gets a good price the moment one gets into an agreement with parties as such as this according to the Sri Lankan law one is bound by law to these parties for as long as 3 to 4 years.
Therefore even though the individual or party purchasing the land does not fulfil the terms and conditions of the agreement it does not automatically lapse and therefore one is bound to the other party concerned as they too have a certain legal hold. This restricts the owner of the land to reselling his land until the matter is resolved through proper legal means. This matter is more aggravated if the owner of the land has handed it over to a property development company who immediately takes the necessary steps to develop the land. In most cases such organizations have already taken advances from other parties, which further complicate the matter as more parties now have the opportunity to claim their stake for the land in question. Therefore it is always advisable to go for cash upfront payments when selling your land. If not one has to look for the credibility of the party who is offers to purchase the land, especially one must find out if this person has the financial capability to purchase the land.
Mr. B. Premalal, Chairman/Managing Director of Prime Lands (Pvt.) Ltd.
Never submit your land deeds to anyone
"It is a well-known fact that 95% of those who inquire about lands are brokers. Today the genuine brokers working in the industry provide a very valuable service.
Despite this however it is always advisable to never at any point submit your deed to any party as even a third party can at one point endorse a caveat on your land, therefore ultimately the burden of removing the caveat falls on the hands of the owner of the land, which can be a lengthy legal process or you have to pay these unscrupulous elements to remove their caveat even if you are 100% innocent. These organized people who are involved in fraudulent practices must be kept at a distance.
Therefore please be careful. Further some people by using copies of your deed prepare fraudulent deeds and sell your land by posing as genuine owners without your knowledge.
If you are selling under a sales agreement
If you decide to sell your land under a sale agreement, please look into the following aspects:
- Who is the buyer?
- Is he or the organization reliable and trustworthy?
- Insist on their credibility by making inquiries from others, as to how long they have been in the industry?
- What are their financial capabilities?
- What are their terms of agreement?
- Is he going to settle your balance by selling blocks of your land and what if he is unable to sell your land?
Also if you are living overseas and have made plans to sell your land, be careful of those who produce fraudulent deeds. Forwarding a copy of your land's plan is however alright but you must never submit your deeds to any intermediary party", warns Mr. Premalal.
If you are not living close to your land
Please see that the owner of the adjoining land is provided with all your contact details, to keep you informed of any development such as encroachment etc, to enable prompt corrective measures by you.
Ensure that the buyer is genuine
Always ensure that the buyer is genuine and make sure that you discuss with him or her in-depth all the terms and conditions before making any attempt to hand over your deeds. Make sure that you have the proper contact numbers of the buyer, especially the landlines, as mobile numbers are not a reliable method of tracing your buyer's whereabouts. Also ensure that you are well aware of where the buyer is residing. In addition to this one must be well aware of any other parties that are involved with regard to the purchase.