Everything You Need to Know About Property Rights in Pakistan

In Pakistan, the property is an excellent opportunity for investment. Every year, people invest billions of rupees in property and real estate. In the year 2020 alone, people invested approximately 421 billion rupees in urban real estate, 321 billion rupees in agricultural land, and 305 billion rupees in residential property. Considering people’s investment and involvement, it is necessary to understand the laws regarding these properties and the rights given to the people who own the property. Anzo Marketing is a reliable sales partner who guides you about your property rights in Pakistan.  

Definition of Property

Generally, the property is anyone’s belongings. The things that someone possesses are known as their property. Property can be material and non-material. Material property is tangible property that is present in its physical form and can be touched. The property that is intangible and is not present in a physical form, such as intellectual property, is known as non-material property.  

Also read: Real Estate: A Hedge Against Inflation   

Immovable Property

Any entity that is attached to the land, such as fisheries, ferries, lights, buildings, and hereditary allowance, is known as immovable property.

Movable Property

Movable property is defined in contrast to immovable property. Any property that is not immovable is considered movable property. This includes growing grass, crops, and standing timber. The fruits in trees and the machinery installed on the land are also called movable property. 

Right to Owning Property

The constitution of Pakistan assigns different rights to the people regarding the property. There are different laws that are specific for the definition and protection of property rights in Pakistan. There are four different articles in the Pakistani Constitution that look into the matters of rights of private property. These articles are as follows:

  • Article 23
  • Article 24
  • Article 172
  • Article 173 

Land Records

The “Revenue Collection” system is mainly responsible for maintaining the land records and enforcing property rights in Pakistan. This has been happening since the colonial era. There are different agencies that are responsible for revenue collection at the provincial level.

In the provinces, these departments are in charge of any land-related matter. This authority is transferred to other lower levels such as the sub-district level and then transferred to village and tehsil levels. 

Since the mid-18th century, this system of administering and keeping the land record has been used. The most known law is the Law Revenue Act of 1967, from which this system was attained. In Pakistan, this law has been used with a few amendments. 

A proper system is needed to maintain and keep track of the records. The laws could only be enforced if the land records are kept intact. This record helps in revenue collection and the registration and tracking of land ownership. 

Aspects of Land Record System in Pakistan

An effective Land Record System has some key aspects.

It needs to measure, identify, and represent the landholding.

It should differentiate between cultivable and non-cultivable land. 

In every village, the common lands such as community buildings, graveyards, and pasture areas should be correctly defined. The record should always be the latest and updated. The Record of Rights is updated through a proper method known as Settlement Operation every 25 years. Another process called “jamabandi” is held every four years to renew and compile the alterations known as “inteqalat.” 

It is one of the significant sources of tax collection, and the records are given to the District Collector. This is a beneficial process but takes a lot of time, like three to four years, to be completed only in one area. 

Main Laws Regulating Property in Pakistan

Following is the extract of some major laws used for the regulation of property in Pakistan. 

Land Revenue Act of 1967

Sets of rules and regulations are different for the records and amendments in the rights of each province according to the Land Revenue Act of 1967. With slight changes, this act is being followed by all the provinces. 

1908 Registration Act

This is a common law known as the Registration Act of 1908, where the documents are being registered. The changes and amendments made afterward are also to be registered in the documents according to this act. 

Local and Special Laws

All housing societies, be it private or public, are required to follow some local and special laws according to their situation and location. The above-mentioned laws are sometimes relevant to a particular setting and sometimes not. The laws also differ according to the type of property, i.e., movable and immovable, and the setting of the property, like urban and rural settings. 

Transfer of Property

In transferring property, the Transfer of Property Act 1882 plays a vital role. Other laws such as the Land Revenue Act of 1967 and Registration Act of 1908 are also significant in this process.

Transfer of Property in Urban Areas

In urban settings, all the above-mentioned laws are applicable for the transfer of any property.

All the records of the transactions made for the immovable property are saved. This record is needed for formal procedures such as tax paying. The sub-registrar is responsible for holding and modifying this record accordingly. Sale/purchase is one of the most used ways of transferring immovable property. The following steps are involved:

  • If there is no one in ownership of the property, a proof of possession, “fard,” should be obtained from Revenue Department.
  • A stamp paper is used to sell the contract written with the help of professionals. 
  • Any cost that is applicable, such as stamp duty, etc., is paid.
  • The sub-registrar registers the contract at the location of the property.
  • In the sub-registrar’s office, the process of amendment is completed.

Transfer of Property in Private Housing Society

Private housing societies such as Park View City Lahore do not follow the above-mentioned legal procedures. As the housing societies are themselves, owners of the whole land, they provide allotment letters to the people who buy the land. This letter serves as the possession and confirms the ownership. The same letters are used for transferring the property. The whole procedure is done on the stamp papers, but there is no need to involve the revenue department as everything is done at the office of the concerned housing society. 

Transfer of Property in Rural Areas

The Land Revenue Legislation of 1967 and the Transfer of Property Act of 1882 are useful in the regulation of any immovable property in rural settings. 

In order to transfer the property, the patwari should be contacted. If the process has taken place, but the owner has demised, it should be brought into the knowledge of the patwari in three months. 

The patwari is supposed to give copies and record the transfer rights. The patwari should also inform the required Union Council so that the public is aware. In the tehsildar’s office, the alterations are done accordingly.

In the tehsildar’s office, it is the responsibility of a revenue officer to check, verify and reject or accept the transfer of the property. The inheritance transfer is only done through a contract approved by the court and cannot be rejected by the tehsildar. 

Procedures at the Tehsildar’s Office

The tehsildar has to keep a record of all the proceedings at the time of transfer, such as getting the person’s sign and identifying the person from two people of the Union Council. The register is updated. This process is not done in rural settings. 

Reforms in Land Record and Management

Recently, modern technology has been introduced to property-related matters. It is planned to digitalize the data in all the provinces and the federal territories. 

An impressive step has been taken in Punjab, known as the Punjab Land Record Authority Act 2017. “Arazi Record Centers” are set up in each tehsil to hold the record of all land ownerships. Some of these centers are working effectively, and the traditional method of record keeping is also working along with this modern technique.  

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Get Properties Through Reliable Investment Partner

So that’s it from today’s post on Property rights in Pakistan; if you want to buy any property and do not involve in any scam or fraud, Anzo Marketing is your reliable investment partner. For any information, visit our office in Blue Area or call on our UAN: 92 331 1111 080.