With the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) changing ownership norms and allowing owners to convert their property from leasehold to freehold, it will now be easier for you to sell the DDA flat you own. This will be true for commercial complexes, too.
Earlier, before selling your flat you needed the approval of all the owners in the building in which your flat was situated. Reason: all property owners in a complex built on a single piece of land are considered to jointly hold the properties under the leasehold agreement.
With DDA allowing owners to convert their leasehold properties to freehold properties, you will not be required to seek all owners’ approval. Since a freehold agreement will make you the absolute owner of the property.
How you can convert
To convert your property from leasehold to freehold, you need to visit the office of any of the government agencies under which your property falls. These are the Delhi government’s land and development office, DDA and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corp. Ltd. Submit your power of attorney, a copy of your property registration papers and sale deed along with a no-objection certificate from the bank, if the property is bought through a loan.
You will also have to pay a charge in the range of Rs4,575-27,720 per sq. m. The charge on conversion of a plot will be less than that of a built-up property. However, conversion will not be allowed if there is a legal dispute over the property title.
Freehold versus leasehold
Development authorities in most states provide land development rights to developers and sell the residential units for a lease of 99 years. So anyone who buys a flat in a residential or commercial project will actually own it only for 99 years and the authority technically remains the first owner. However, even under leasehold, you need to get the property registered in your name. The lease of such properties is usually renewed after the term is over and for all practical purposes, you are the owner. On the other hand, you are the absolute owner of a freehold property.
Impact on pricing
Freehold properties usually fetch higher prices during resale due to clear ownership title. So while its good for the owners, if you are looking to buy a DDA flat, you may have to pay a higher price now.