The transfer of Property Act 1882 deals with various kinds of transfer of immovable property, which include sale, mortgage, lease, exchange etc. In sale of an immovable property there are generally two parties to the said transaction i.e. the Seller/Vendor and the Buyer/Purchaser. Section 55 of the Act refers to the rights and obligations of the seller and purchaser of an immovable property.
Obligations of the seller are:
1. To disclose any material defect in the property of seller and title to the buyer.
2. To produce the documents of title for the verifications of the buyer on his request.
3. To answer all relevant questions of the buyer.
4. To execute proper conveyance deed on full payment of the consideration.
5. To take care of the property and the documents in the period between agreement to sell and handing over the possession of the property after execution and registration of Deed of sale.
6. To give possession of the property.
7. To pay all taxes, charges, rents upto date and discharge any encumbrance on property prior to the conveyance of the property.
The seller has some rights; they are:
1. To receive the rents and profits of the property till its ownership absolutely passes on to the purchaser.
2. Where the ownership has passed on to the purchaser before payment of full sale consideration, the seller will have a charge on the property for the amount of purchase money and interest on such amounts.
Obligations of the buyer are:
1. To inform the seller any fact which may increase the value.
2. To pay the consideration amount to the seller as agreed.
3. Where the ownership has passed on to the purchaser, to bear the loss on account of destruction, increase or decrease in the value of the property not caused by seller.
4. To pay all taxes, charges, rents etc. where the ownership has passed.
5. The purchaser may retain the amount of any un-cleared encumbrance, out of consideration amount payable.
The purchaser is entitled to the following rights:
1. Where the ownership has passed on to the purchaser any benefit of any improvement increase in the value of the property, rents, profits.
2. A charge on the property as against seller and all persons claiming under him for the amounts paid by the purchaser with interest.
The above referred rights and obligations of both the seller and purchaser are binding on both. But the section 55 of Transfer of Property Act provides an exemption. If the parties to the deal have any contract contrary to the rights and obligations as envisaged in the Act, the contracted obligations and rights prevail to that extent.
The obligations and rights have relevance only where there is a valid binding contract of sale between the parties.
Incase, the purchaser of property declines to accept the possession of the property, he has charge on the property with regard to earnest money paid and any costs awarded to him of a suit.
The rights of the purchaser is subject to certain limitations. These rights are applicable as long as the matter is in the stage of agreement and when the deal is finalized, conveyance deed is executed; the deal will come to an end.
But the case is different where the conveyance is brought on account of fraud practiced by the vendor.
It is also necessary that the purchaser shall avail himself of knowledge or means of knowledge open to him or his agents to verify the credentials of the vendor, his interest, title to the property. He has to exercise due care and diligence by exercising reasonable care and then only the purchaser can claim the protections of law for any mischief played on him.