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Read this before you buy a property in India

Contrary to popular belief, NRIs are not allowed to buy all types of properties as resident Indians can. There are Reserve Bank of India guidelines and Foreign Exchange regulations that restrict NRIs from buying certain types of properties.

If you are an NRI, you cannot purchase any agricultural land, farm house or plantation property. You can have ownership of such property only if they’ve been inherited (received as an heir at the death of the previous holder).

However you can own both residential as well as commercial properties in India and there is no restriction on the number of properties you can buy.

The Reserve Bank of India website has detailed explantations on each type of property transaction. In order to simplify and make it easier to understand, here is a table we have compiled for NRIs:

Type of Property Purchase Receive as gift Inherit Sell Gift to others
Residential Property Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commercial Property Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Agricultural Land No No Yes Yes Yes
Plantation Property No No Yes Yes Yes
Farm House No No Yes Yes Yes

Check the property deed

Eventhough your proposed property may look like a housing plot, check the property deeds carefully to see if it has been identified in the past as an agricultural land, farm house or plantation property.

Checking the past property documents (at least for last 20-25 years) with the help of an expert is good to avoid future issues.

Even when you book or buy an apartment (flat) it is a must to check the past property documents.

Payments

Payment can be made by NRI out of:

No payment can be made either by traveller’s cheque or by foreign currency notes or by other mode except those specifically mentioned above.