The transfer of ownership of property from one party to another through an instrument of transfer is called conveyance of property in real estate transactions. After the promulgation of 18th Amendment in 2010, conveyance became a provincial subject, which essentially means that it is regulated by the provinces instead of the federal government through the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. In Islamabad, the procedure of conveyance is devised by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). Usually, a standard transfer of property takes between 2 to 4 weeks, from the process of submission of ‘Application Form’ to land registration.
This article by the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies will explain the process of conveyance in Islamabad through the standard operating procedures of CDA and the laws of Pakistan.
Process of Conveyance in Islamabad
To initiate the process of transferring property, the buyer and seller (collectively referred to as Parties) must fill the Transfer Application Form, duly signed by the first-class magistrate and attested by the first-class officer. Then the party desirous of transfer must submit the transfer fee as prescribed by CDA through pay order. Other attachments to be submitted to CDA include the original allotment letter, CNICs of the parties and the attesting officer, attested photographs of the parties, an indemnity bond to the Oath Commissioner or Notary to be printed on judicial stamp paper worth Rs.30/- signed by First-Class Magistrate, original power of attorney (registered) along with CDA’s acceptance letter, original agreement with CDA, and permission of mortgage letter if executed. After receiving the application along with the documents, the CDA Building Control Directorate will determine the size of the property in order to issue the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to be sent to the one-window Directorate within five working days. These NOCs are then sent to the Revenue Directorate for collection of property, water, and allied taxes. Within three working days, the Revenue Department shall send the NOCs back to the one-window Directorate, which will then send the documents to the CDA Estate Management Directorate to issue the ‘No Demand Certificate’ (NDC) for residential projects within five working days. If there is a legal issue, the matter will be forwarded to the Law Directorate, otherwise the transfer letter will be issued by the Estate Management Directorate after completion of all the processes, submission and verification of documents.
In the case of a female allottee, along with the aforementioned documents, documented evidence of blood relatives (including mother, father, brother, son, daughter etc.,) is also required for identification.
For Government servant(s), apart from the above-mentioned documents, NOC from the relevant government department is also required for the conveyance of property.
For Overseas Pakistanis, a special Power of Attorney shall be submitted along with a passport and CNIC attested by the High Commission to complete the checklist of documents required for the conveyance of property in Islamabad.
Under the new SOPs for the conveyance of property, CDA has introduced speedy procedures and timelines to facilitate parties in a contract. They have introduced the option of urgent transfer, within three working days, subject to the payment of the prescribed fee. The process of conveyance is quite efficient in Islamabad, where it collectively takes two-four weeks to process the entire transfer from the initial stages of submission of application to the issuance of NDC. However, the process may become exhausting for overseas Pakistanis which either requires the physical presence of the allottee (overseas Pakistani), or the requirement of a Special Power of Attorney which consumes time, depending on the procedures of the country of residence. Similarly, the requirement of verification of female allottee by a blood relative is discriminatory in nature and defies the principles of equality enumerated in the constitution of Pakistan. In essence, the process of conveyance devised by CDA is well-organized and efficient apart from a few ambiguities.
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