Lost your Property Documents? How to apply for Certified Copy of lost Sale Deed?

Lost your Property Documents_ How to apply for Certified Copy of lost Sale Deed

All of us deal with different types of documents on a regular basis. These documents can be your PAN card, Aadhar Card, Passport, Academic Certificates, Investment Documents (share certificates, Bonds etc), ‘Property Documents’ like Sale Deed, Mutation/Khatha Certificate etc.,

Losing or mis-placing any of these documents can have both monetary as well as non-monetary affect. Mis-placing the documents is not very uncommon.

But, what if you mis-place an important document like Sale Deed of your property and never found it? We all know how important Sale Deed is.. A sale deed has almost all the details required to carry out the purchase or sale of a property. Most importantly the sale deed would require the Owner to certify that the property under sale is free from any encumbrance and without any lien.

Without it, it is a daunting task to sell/buy a property and it is also very difficult to take a home loan on such property.

There are few instances where even Banks or lending institutions have misplaced the original documents of the property.

In this post, let’s discuss – How to get a certified copy of lost Property Documents like Sale Deed? What is the procedure to get duplicate Sale Deed? Can a property be registered if the seller does not have an original Sale Deed? Can anyone apply for a copy of Sale Deed of a property?

How to get a certified copy of lost Sale Deed? How to get Duplicate Sale Deed?

Losing sensitive and valuable documents like a Registered Sale Deed can happen to anyone. So, what is the procedure to obtain a copy of lost Sale Deed? Below is the checklist of what you (owner of the property) have to do in case if you have misplaced the original property documents;

  • File a police Complaint immediately:
    • The first thing you need to do is to file FIR (First Information Report) in the nearest police station where you have lost your property documents.
    • Kindly note that only owner of the property has to file FIR, stating that the property papers have been mis-placed or lost or stolen. Do give your Mobile number when registering the FIR so that you can track its status later online.
    • You are advised to save a copy of the FIR for future use. The prospective buyer(s) of your property or bankers may ask for it in the future.
    • Kindly note that the Supreme Court has recently ordered all Sates & Union Territories’ police departments to upload First Information Reports (FIRs) on police or government websites, within 24 hours of their registration in police stations. So, once you file FIR in any police station, you can view the FIR details and its Status online. For example; Below is the screen-print of Tamilnadu Police Dept portal home page. police-fir-view-track-status-online-pic
  • Apply for a Certified Copy of Sale Deed :
    • You have to visit the Sub-Registrar office (SRO) where the property is registered and make an application to get a certified copy of Sale Deed.
    • The Registration office has the scanned copy of your Sale Deed with them. But, they will generally not give a certified copy immediately.
    • They will ask you to publish an advertisement in National and regional (local) newspaper about the loss of property documents (Sale deed).
  • Place an Advertisement :
    • You have to publish a ‘Lost & Found’ advertisement in both national and local newspaper, clearly mentioning the details of the lost Document and your contact details.
    • It is a statutory requirement to publish an Ad. In certain cases, you may have to produce an affidavit or FIR to the newspaper agency before placing your Lost & Found advertisement.
    • Below is a sample classified Ad;newspaper-advertisement-format-sample-public-notice-classified-ad-lost-property-documents-sale-deed-pic
    • Remember to keep a copy of the complaint as well as the press clippings with you as proof of loss.
    • After publishing the Ad, you may have to wait for 2 to 4 weeks to see if anyone finds your property documents and returns them within the stipulated time that you have mentioned in the AD.
  • Prepare an Affidavit and get it Notarized: Even after waiting for say 10 to 15 days, if you do not find the lost documents, you can get an Affidavit prepared on Stamp paper. You have to clearly state the details of the lost sale deed & other documents, and sign the under-taking. You can attach the police FIR document and the copies of newspaper Ads to this Affidavit. The undertaking needs to be attested and registered with a Public Notary.
  • Get the Duplicate Sale Deed from SRO: You have to pay the prescribed fee meant for this purpose at SRO. Enclose the police FIR document, copies of Ads & Affidavit along with the application for copy of Sale deed. The staff at SRO will verify these documents and issue you a legally certified copy of Sale Deed. Thereafter, certified copies of the Title deed are used as substitute for the original.

Property Documents lost / misplaced – FAQs

Below are some of the FAQs related to this topic;

  • I have taken home loan and my Bank has mis-placed the original Sale Deed, what is the procedure to get duplicate Sale deed?
    • Submit a written complaint to the bank and keep a copy of their reply with you.
    • Register an FIR with the police against the Bank.
    • Publish news-paper Ad.
    • Get the Affidavit done by the Bank about the lost property documents.
    • Do apply for encumbrance certificate to check if everything is fine with respect to ownership and mortgage details.
    • Get the duplicate certified copy of Sale deed through your Banker/lending institution.
    • You can ask the bank to bear all the associated costs.
  • Can I buy a property without original sale deed? – If the deal is good and you do not want to miss buying such property, you can ask for the Certified copy of Sale deed, Police FIR document, copies of news paper Advertisements etc. from the Seller/owner of the property. Do take the latest EC to check for any discrepancies. Kindly take legal opinion and help from a civil lawyer before taking final decision. (Read : ‘All you need to know about EC‘)
  • Can I get a Home loan if original Sale deed is missing? – Certified copy of sale deed can’t replace the original deed when it comes to raising loan over such property. Banks may ask for the Police FIR, certified copy of sale deed, affidavit etc., before issuing home loan.
  • My Property is in Society or maintained by Association, do I need to inform them about the loss of property documents? – Yes,you have to inform them and also get NOC (No Objection Certificate) from them.
  • Can anyone (non-owner) apply for a copy of sale deed?
    • There are conflicting views on this. I believe that as the documents registered at SRO comes under Public domain (except WILLS), so anyone can make an application for copy of Sale deed details at the concerned SRO. However, you may not get a certified copy.
    • You have to give details like owner’s name, document number, property schedule info etc., to get copy of sale deed.
    • Some states do provide Sale Deed details online (not copy of sale deed but only details of the Registration. Until last year, the AP registration dept used to provide copy of Sale Deeds online). For example – below is the screen-print of AP registration dept website, where-in you can get the Sale Deed or Registration details online. (Kindly click on the image to visit AP Registration dept portal)certified-copy-of-registered-sale-deed-duplicate-sale-deed-online-ap-registration-dept-pic
    • Some sub-registrars may issue copy of Sale deeds to the owners of the respective properties only, in such a case you may have to file an RTI application and get the required details.

A sale deed is one of the most valuable legal documents in the purchase or sale of a property. You might have genuinely lost or misplaced the property documents. But, don’t take this lightly, kindly file FIR immediately. Apply for the Certified copy of Sale Deed at the earliest. Be prepared to spend your time as well as good amount of money to get this done!

I hope you find this post useful. Do share your comments. Cheers!

Latest News (Sep 2023) :

  • As per RBI’s new guidelines, with effective from 1st December 2023, the lending institutions (Banks/NBFCs) must release all the original property documents and remove charges registered with any registry within 30 days of making the full repayment or settlement of the loan account.
  • If the return of the original property documents is delayed beyond 30 days of the full repayment or settlement of a loan, the lender must inform the borrower about the reasons for the delay. Where the delay is attributable to the lender, it shall compensate the borrower at the rate of Rs 5,000 for each day of delay.
  • In case the original property documents are lost or damaged, either in part or in full, the lenders will help borrowers in obtaining duplicate copies and bear the associated costs, in addition to compensation of Rs 5,000 for each day of delay.
  • However, in such cases, additional time of 30 days will be given to complete this procedure and the delayed period penalty will be calculated thereafter – after 60 days.

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(Post published on : 25-November-2016) (Featured Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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  • udhaya kumar B says:

    Hi Sir,
    Out agriculture land document is misplaced. Now I got to know that, we have a facility to apply Certified copy of registered land document online from tnreginet. Can that be used in place of original for transfer,sale deed of the land?
    Also few years ago, this document had been used for bank loan and loan has been paid completely and banker returned the original document (Misplaced after this). But still the Clearance not given from bank and still its there in EC (encumbrance certificate). Now bank asking to provide original to give the Clearance certificate. We have bank statement that we cleared the loan and bank returned original document. Is it legal for them(bank) to ask original document again to close the final formality? Please advise.
    Also this certified copy can be used for this to get the loan clearance formality between bank and sub-resistor office?

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Udhaya,
      As you have already cleared the loan, your banker should ideally close the loan and complete all the formalities.
      In case, they insist on submitting the original deed again, you may approach the respective bank ombudsman.

      Did you file FIR with the police regarding the misplaced title deed?

      • udhaya kumar B says:

        Hi Sreekanth,
        Thanks for the response. I will reach out to ombudsman if needed.
        We haven’t filled the FIR. It seems a big process. But this certified copy which we can get it now through online, can be used for transfer? This is our own Inheritance property and now it is on my father’s name. He passed away. Patta already transferred to our name (Me and my brother). Any other option we have to transfer to our names without going this long process?

        • Sreekanth Reddy says:

          Dear Udhaya,
          Certified True Copies should be enough.
          But, advisable to file an FIR at the concerned police station.

  • Sujatha says:

    This blog has such useful information. Thank you for taking time to educate us all.
    We recently found out that we are missing the original sale deed for one of our properties in HYD. Now, I understand what needs to be done.
    Sreekanth – would you have any references for an organization/person that can help me with that? Thanks in advance!

  • Mehraj says:

    I have lost all the documents of the land purchased by my mother almost 30 years ago now I don’t have any documents to prove that this land belongs to me and i also visit the registration office for that but the land is not transferred to my mother name it is registered in the sales name now what to do. Please help me.

  • Vishnu Vardhan says:

    Dear Sri Sreekanth Reddy garu, the link document for my open plot is missing, unable to trace it in my home. A month ago my alimarh’s bottom portion was completely rusted and infected with worms, all the papers were completely damaged to an unrecognized state. The link document is presumed to be lost. Please advise me what to do. The buyer is asking for the link document

  • Sudhakar says:

    I have only original deed of documents of plot between me and seller but I lost link documents for the past few years..am I eligible for home loan in SBI? Please clarify it.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Sudhakar,
      You can check with your banker if they accept ‘certified copies of link deeds’ or not..
      If they are ok with true copies then you can get them from the concerned Sub Registrar office and apply for home loan..

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