The Encumbrance Certificate: Everything You Need to Know

If you are planning to buy a house property or thinking to avail home loan or loan against property, then Encumbrance Certificate is an essential document for you. It is one of those documents which you do not want to miss on any cost. In fact, encumbrance certificates and possession certificate are must check documents before making your decision to buy a property. Any discrepancy on these two documents can easily drag you into a future legal tussle.

Encumbrance Certificate

The word encumbrance basically refers to any charge created on an asset, and it is mostly used in context with real estate. 

An Encumbrance Certificate or EC is an assurance certificate clearly stating that the concerned property is free from any legal monetary liability. It is evidence of single ownership. There are no second thoughts about the fact that you must ensure the property you are going to buy is free from any legal or monetary liabilities. In fact, the same is true for the bank too, which will be interested in obtaining this assurance when you are applying for the loan against property

The certificate basically contains details of all transactions on the property till date. You must obtain the EC to ensure you get the undisputed legal title of the property and also be eligible to avail loan against it. 

How Can you Obtain EC?

An EC for a property is provided by the sub registrar’s office in which the registration of property was done before. In order to ascertain all the transactions that have taken place within the requested period for the concerned property; 

  1. You need to submit an application in the registration office for EC along with submitting the attested copies of address proof, property details, the title deed of the property and the applicable fee to get the certificate.

  2. After the receipt of your application, the officer will conduct an inspection of Indexes to ascertain the details of transactions conducted during the requested time period.

  3. In case transactions took place in the requested period then an Encumbrance Certificate with details of the relevant transactions will be issued. However, if no transaction took place within the requested period, then a NIL Encumbrance Certificate will be issued.

  4. You can expect the certificate to be issued in 15-30 days from the date of application.

  5. Each state has a separate form for application and certificate which is specified in the annexures to the rules of Registration Act of each state. In usual practice, for application Form, No. 22 is used while the EC is issued in Form No. 15, and NEC in Form No. 16 of the concerned state. However, you must check the annexure for confirmation before applying.

Why is EC important?

When you apply for a home loan the bank requires EC as a necessary document. Also, when you are buying a property, you must request it to have complete transparency. The EC will tell you whether the current owner or the seller has any ongoing loan against the property or not. Also, you can check the previous transactions done on the property.  

EC brings the necessary peace of mind and assurance that the property you are going to invest in is free from any obligations, and it will be entirely yours upon the completion of the sale transaction. 


One of the important documents, as important as Possession Certificate and Title deed is Encumbrance Certificate when you are looking to buy a property or avail a home loan or loan against property. It is the document which you must check before purchasing any property. It contains information so valuable that if you miss it, then it can even attract future legal suits for you. 

An Encumbrance Certificate is an assurance certificate which specifies whether there is any legal or monetary obligation currently active on the property or not. That’s why it is imperative to check EC and make sure you are buying a property which is free from legal and monetary obligations. Also, Encumbrance Certificate is a necessary document when you are applying for a home loan or loan against property. The certificate contains complete details of all the transactions done on the property within the requested time period.

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