How to Handle Fraud by Property Dealers?


Purchasing real estate is a significant financial commitment, with many individuals investing their entire life savings into it. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when investing in real estate, as there are many cases of fraud involving fake listings and documents. Homebuyers who fall victim to such schemes by property dealers experience financial losses and emotional strain. Furthermore, individuals who obtain a home loan from financial institutions are required to make Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs), causing emotional distress and tension. What measures can be taken to avoid these scams and what steps should be taken if someone falls victim to them by real estate agents? This manual provides you with a thorough understanding.

What kind of frauds a property dealer can do?
  • Misleading Information
  • Fake listings where property dealers conceal defects or advertise non-existent properties.
  • Issues with property documents, such as titles, and hiding information about property encumbrances.
  • Monetary frauds related to property by promoting bogus schemes.
  • Forging signatures to falsely transfer property ownership.
  • Using fake identities to sell property without the owner's consent.


What to do if you are victim of frauds by property dealer?
  • File a Police Complaint: Under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), you can file a complaint at the nearest police station. Be sure to provide all details of the fraud, including the dealer's name and transaction specifics.
  • File a Civil Case: You can also file a civil case against the property dealer. Additionally, a homebuyer can file a complaint in consumer court for discrepancies. If the property dealer is found guilty, the court may order corrective measures and compensation for the homebuyer. Depending on the evidence, the court may also revoke the sale agreement, requiring the seller to return the buyer’s token amount and the buyer to return the property to the seller.


How to prevent a property fraud from happening?

Choose Reputable Property Dealers: Avoid unknown property dealers. Opt for a reputable firm with a solid track record. In fact, MahaRERA, the real estate regulatory authority of Maharashtra, mandates that developers engage only with certified MahaRERA agents.

Conduct Due Diligence: Don't rely solely on the property dealer. Have a lawyer independently verify the property documents for ownership records and clear titles.

Be Wary of "Too Good to Be True" Deals: If an offer seems exceptionally good, it could be a red flag. Low prices, urgency to close the deal, or pressure from the dealer may indicate potential issues. Remember, property transactions are time-consuming, and it's essential to remain calm and thorough to avoid mistakes.

Make Secure Payments: Always be transparent with your payments. Use secure methods like cheques or bank transfers and avoid cash transactions, as they can lead to unaccounted funds and potential tax issues.

Aquire POV

Exercise extreme caution and ensure thorough due diligence with the assistance of certified professionals, such as lawyers, before proceeding with financial transactions. Avoid being tempted by offers from unreliable agents. Numerous cases have been registered, including a recent one where the Bombay High Court ordered the demolition of an illegal building in Ghansoli, Navi Mumbai. Therefore, avoid investing in unapproved projects.

If you have any doubts about a deal, stop immediately, verify the details, and take corrective measures by lodging a complaint and seeking assistance from legal experts.

Also Read: Stamp duty in UP and property registration charges for 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Ans 1. File a complaint: The property buyer can file a report under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the nearest police station in their jurisdiction. The complaint must contain all the details of the fraud, property particulars, payment details, and a copy of the sale agreement, if any.

Ans 2. You can file a complaint in any Indian state to the State Tribunal, any RERA authority or Adjudicating Officer. Each state has their utility( offline/online) regarding complaints submission.

Ans 3. RERA ensures efficient dispute resolution, much to the satisfaction of homebuyers. As per RERA guidelines, complaints filed with the RERA authority should be disposed of within 60 days from filing.

Ans 4. Conflict of InterestThe Real Estate License Law prohibits brokers in a transaction from acting for more than one party without the knowledge of all parties for whom the broker acts. The most common complaints deal with dual agency, seller subagency, and special relationships between the parties.

Ans 5. Lodge your complaint with SEBI | National Government Services Portal.