NRIs buying property in India is quite common these days. Day by day more shopping malls, hospitals, schools, and transport system are growing and developing in India. As connectivity improves, so does the style of living. NRIs can settle down in India peacefully after retirement.
To buy a property in India, there are certain things that everyone needs to know. Read on for the required info!
Can NRIs buy a property in India?
Yes, NRIs have every right to purchase a property, or more than one property in India. However, the properties have to be only residential or commercial ones. Agricultural lands, farms, and plantations are not available for purchase, as per the regulations by the RBI. This makes it difficult to buy a property in Mumbai for the common man, but easy for the investors. If an NRI has got more than one property, then one of the houses will be treated as self-occupied and others will be treated as let out on rent which is taxable.
What are the most appropriate places in India for NRIs to buy any property?
The most suitable place for NRIs to buy the property would be in a city, especially in the metropolitans. Any house in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata can give a huge earning as rent since there are so many people opting for accommodation nearby. Also, most of the huge brands of commercial properties are situated in big cities.
Being an NRI, can you buy a property in India without being physically present?
NRIs don’t have to be physically present for the purchasing of the property. They have to keep one trusted person embellished with the power of attorney who can take care of all the procedures and payments for the actual client. None should rely totally on any broker. It is better if the trusted person belongs to the NRI’s family.
The different documents required for buying a property in India are:
- PAN (permanent account number) card
- OCI (overseas citizenship of India)/ PIO (persons of Indian origin) card
- Passport details
- Passport size photographs
- Address proof
- Registered power of attorney (if the person is not physically present at the registrar office).
In what ways can you pay for the property?
NRIs can make payments for their property transactions by
- funds sent to India by normal banking, i.e. fund transfer to a bank account.
- funds held in NRE(Non-Residential External)/ FCNR(Fixed Deposit Foreign Currency)/ NRO (Non-Residential Ordinary) account which is maintained in India.
- Payments can’t be done by a traveler’s cheque or foreign currency.
- Payments cannot be done outside India.
If NRI doesn’t have the money ready during the time of purchase, they can opt for a home loan. Different banks and housing finance institutions have registration for providing these services. Though the loan fund cannot be transferred directly to the bank account of the NRI, it can be disbursed to the seller or developer’s account. All transactions will be done in rupees, that is Indian currency. The loan can be paid back by fund transfer through NRO, NRE, and FCNR. Fund for loan repayment can come from renting the property, easy!
You can know more about payment procedures in here
Take Care of Your Taxes
NRIs and residential Indians have different taxes to pay. NRIs will have to deduct 1% income tax when the total value of the property reaches 50 lakhs. If the property is being transferred from one NRI to another, this amount will be even higher. If the property is not for commercial use, the interest of the home loan will be deducted from the NRI’s total taxable income. NRIs also get some benefits of the tax deduction on the repayment of the loan.
A property which is possessed by an NRI for 24 months or less is treated as short term capital asset and the profit from it is taxable. After the tenure of 24 months, it becomes a long-term capital asset.
For more details, read about tax implications for NRIs on purchasing property in India.
Here are some pointers that can help you in the procedure:
- Get involved in research and planning. If you get a broker, be very careful about how to deal with him.
- Do not hand over any personal original documents to anyone, especially your ID cards, passport, etc.
- Pay only a short amount of the cost upfront at the time of booking, not a large sum. Pay the balance on possession.
- Opt for finished apartments to avoid any delay in the possession of the property.
- NRIs can take a loan for buying a property, which is a much safer procedure and secured. Also, the bank takes most of the responsibilities regarding processing, evaluation, etc.
- Evaluate the property properly on the basis of location, facilities available, legal validities and the public image of the real estate brand concerned.
You can find more legal information regarding the purchase of property here.
- How many properties can an NRI buy at a time?
There is not much limitation to purchase immovable properties in India, as long as it is not an agricultural land, farm or plantation property. The NRI can only buy residential or commercial properties.
- Is joint possession possible between NRIs and residential Indians?
No, joint possession of a property is only possible between NRI and NRI. Residential Indians can’t take part in joint possession with an NRI irrespective of his contribution in the purchase.
- Is it possible to buy a property without an Aadhaar card?
NRI also have Aadhaar card that can be applied to online, through the self-service portal of the UIDAI. To make PAN cards, passport, etc. Aadhaar is needed. So Aadhaar card is necessary.
- Is it possible to buy a property without a PAN card?
If the NRI has got a taxable income in India, PAN card is necessary. The registrar can refuse the purchase if PAN is not produced at the time of purchase. An alternative to PAN card can be Form 60 along with address proof, passport, driving license, etc.
Some may wonder if NRI investment in Indian real estate is really worth it- the answer is definitely yes. India is a developing country and there are huge scopes in the real estate sector. Also, because of the lower value of the currency, it is easier to pay. GST for the housing segment is also very affordable for NRIs. The huge demand for accommodation also leads to huge income for the NRIs.