What is the format of a non-encumbrance certificate?
It’s a bummer when you buy a plot of land or a house, only later to realize that the property comes with a liability of unpaid monies. The instant solution for this problem is the Encumbrance Certificate (EC). The EC ensures that the property in question is free from unrequited dues. It can be availed from the local registration authority’s office.
There are two types of ECs that are generated following the authority’s inspection and registration, namely, Form 15 and Form 16. When a property has records of transactions and encumbrances, Form 15 is generated. It displays the nature of the property’s dealings, such as gift, lease, mortgage, partition, etc. The EC also gives a to-the-point description of the property and its measurements.
When there are no transactions recorded in the registration book for the period the EC is being issued for, Form 16 is generated. This is what we call a ‘Non-encumbrance Certificate’ or a ‘Nil Encumbrance Certificate’ (NEC).
Understanding the NEC and its format is really easy as it is usually printed as a small letter-like certificate. It mentions the schedule of the land and that it has been mutated with the official records. The certificate mainly presents the fact that the owner is in the absolute possession of the land and there are no associated dues. Here is a sample of an NEC from Assam.
The main body of non-encumbrance certificate reads:
“This is to certify that the under-scheduled land situated at (insert location of land) us duly mutated with our records in favour of Mr/Mrs/Ms (insert name of owner). It is also certified that as per records the land is found to be free from all encumbrances and the owner is in absolute possession of the land. Above all, the Ground Rent payable against this property has been paid by the owner up to date.”
A table follows the introduction, the ‘Schedule of Land’. Here, Mouza means the administrative district where the property is situated. In this case, the district is Rupshi, a sub-division in the Barpeta district of Assam.
Khatian denotes ‘record-of-rights’, and it has been divided into separate registration numbers. This has been done according to various documents prepared by the state/local government through tenancy acts throughout the years. CS is short for ‘Central Settlement’, SA is for ‘State Acquisition’, and RS is ‘Revisional Settlement’. Dag/Plot No has been arranged in the same way to convey the address of the property. The last column shows the area of the property.
Finally, there’s a handwritten signature of the issuing authority that legalizes the absolute possession of the property in your name.
Please note that not filling Form 22 properly may generate Form 16 wrongly. It may look like you do not have encumbrances but the reality would way different. Ensure maximum attentiveness when you’re filling Form 22 to avoid mistakes.
In case you lose your Encumbrance Certificate (EC), you can get a copy from the authority immediately if you have the registration numbers.