If you’re looking to buy flat in Kolkata, you should generally check all the documents related to the property. This includes the sale deed, the title deed, the property agreement, etc. While these documents are known and common for property transactions in the city, there is one more document that not many people know about or pay attention to. This document is called the Katha certificate.
Buy Flat in Kolkata: Why Katha certificate is important
Katha certificate is a legal document issued by the municipal authority for properties under its purview including flats in Kolkata. It identifies the person liable for paying tax on a property but does not declare ownership. It includes all the details that are required for filing property tax – owner’s credentials, location, carpet area, demarcations of property, the built-up area of the property, tax assessment, and property tax ID. Katha is essential for calculating tax payable on a property.
The Katha certificate is also important for getting any document related to the construction or sale of a property sanctioned by the authorities. This certificate helps you to get a trade license, a building license, a building plan approval, and even loans from financial institutions. It can also be useful when applying for water and electricity connections or when selling a property. Thus, it is important to obtain at the time of purchasing any property in Kolkata for sale.
If you’re looking to buy flat in Kolkata, you need to know about the Katha certificate.
Flat in Kolkata: A-Katha, B-Katha, and E Katha
The Katha certificate is of two types – ‘A’ Katha and ‘B’ Katha.
The ‘A’ Katha certificate is issued to legal properties that abide by all building bye-laws, taxation norms, and government regulations. Whereas the ‘B’ Katha certificate is issued to illegal properties that are in violation of building bye-laws, government regulations and have pending property tax dues that haven’t been cleared.
Obviously, the ‘A’ Katha certificate makes the process of applying for a home loan, building plans, and Occupation Certificate easier, while the ‘B’ Katha certificate does the opposite. The ‘B’ Katha certificate is issued temporarily and needs to be converted into an A-Katha by paying betterment charges or conversion fee to the concerned authorities.
These days there can also be a third type of Katha certificate issued for flats in Kolkata. This is an E-Katha and refers to an electronic Katha certificate that is issued online. Using this, the property owner can clear their property tax dues online.
How to apply for a Katha certificate?
In order to follow the norms and regulations, it is important for a property owner to apply for a Katha certificate. The municipal corporation issues the Katha certificate for all houses in Kolkata lying within its jurisdiction.
- Notary Attestation
Get a copy of your sale deed attested by a notary.
- Encumbrance Certificate
Obtain an Encumbrance Certificate from the office of the Sub-Registrar.
- Katha registration form
Fill your details in a Katha registration form which you can get from any municipal corporation office or download from their website. The same application form is applicable for Katha registration, transfer and modification.
- Enclose the following documents along with the form:
– Attested a copy of the title deed.
– Allotment documents.
– Copies of previously paid tax receipts.
– Possession certificate.
– Sketch of property showing site location and boundaries.
– Proof of betterment charges.
– Property location map, measures of property, building approval plan.
– Any other document required by the authorities.
- Document Submission
Submit the filled form and relevant documents to the nearest municipal office or online. Check the status of your application after 15 days.
- Site Visit
Once your application has been processed, a revenue officer will visit and assess the property. You will receive a formal statement with all the details of the property and will have to pay the Katha registration fee, which is 2% of the property value.
You will receive a notification to pay the pending property tax. After you pay the pending property tax, a Katha certificate will be issued in your name.
Why convert a B-Katha to A-Katha when buying a flat in Kolkata
People who have a B-Katha property are ineligible to apply for government licenses and bank loans. Although re-selling or transferring ownership of a B-Katha property is not illegal, buyers should avoid buying a B-Katha property.
Here are some advantages of having an A-Katha Property:
- Your property is marked legal by municipal authorities.
- You can apply for water and electricity connections easily.
- You can seek trade licenses.
- Applying for loans at nationalized and private banks becomes easier.
- It makes the process of filing and paying property tax easy.
How to convert a B-Katha to an A-Katha?
A B-Katha must necessarily be converted to an A-Katha to be recognized by the local municipal authority. It will also help you to establish legal ownership of the property and get bank loans and benefits.
- Collect the relevant documents required for Katha registration along with the common application form.
- Pay the betterment charges, which are a fee levied specifically for converting a B-Katha to an A-Katha.
- Submit the filled form, tax receipts and relevant documents to the Assistant Revenue Officer to get your property assessed.
- After assessment, pay any pending property tax due.
- An A-Katha certificate will be issued in your name.
What is the difference between Katha certificate and Title Deed?
A title deed is a written contract between the buyer and the seller during the transfer of property. It is a proof of ownership of property.
Katha certificate is an assessment of the property by local authorities to facilitate the payment of taxes and maintaining records in the municipal and revenue registries.
History of A-Katha and B-Katha
The city’s municipal corporation has to levy taxes on all properties – legal and illegal. But the illegal properties do not have the relevant property documents. Thus, a separate account was created for this purpose and was termed B-Katha. The term Katha means “account” in many Indian languages.
Since the accounting of tax received from land and the tax received from the constructed property is done separately, sometimes the Kathas for them can differ. For example, if the land has all the relevant documents, it will be eligible for A-Katha. But if the construction of the building differs from the original floor plan, it will not be eligible for a Completion Certificate and will be categorized as B-Katha.
Many builders engage in illegal practices where they deviate from the original building plan, for example, by constructing more floors than the approved number. Hence, these properties are not issued Completion Certificates or Occupancy Certificates and therefore are B-Katha properties.
When buying a flat in Kolkata, the seller should always be aware of the type of Katha certificate the property has been issued. Always make sure that when you buy flat in Kolkata, you are buying an A-Katha property since transfer of ownership of a B-Katha property is not easy and you might have to pay the additional cost to convert such a property into an A-Katha property.
A Katha certificate is not a commonly known legal document that is issued by the municipal bodies for flats in Kolkata. But knowledgeable buyers should have a basic understanding of the Katha certificate when buying flats in Kolkata. You can read more about property at kolkata: Investment vs end use, sale property in kolkata: Apartment vs villa vs plot, and New or resale property in kolkata for sale, before making a buying decision.