NRI or Non-Resident Indians are citizens of India who have been living outside the country and have stayed in India for at least 182 days in a financial year. Regardless of whether you have been out for a couple of years or the majority of your life, as an NRI, you can own property in India if you wish to. Given the booming real estate industry of the country recently, it may also be a good idea to buy property in India right now and create an asset that can offer you financial security and protection for life.
If you are an NRI wondering how to buy property in the country, here are some things you need to bookmark:
Any NRI can purchase land in India. This can be for residential or commercial purposes. There is no restriction or limitation on the number of properties an NRI can buy in the country. Also, NRIs do not need any special permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In fact, RBI has issued general permission to all NRIs.
However, NRIs do not have permission to purchase farmhouses, agricultural land, or plantation land. So, as long as you are not purchasing these types of properties, you have no additional procedure to follow. But if you are investing in such types of properties, you would need to take prior approval from the RBI.
A Non-Resident Indian is eligible to buy residential or commercial property in India, as per the laws under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Further, they can also finance the home loan for the property in Indian rupees. As far as joint ownership is concerned, an NRI can either be the sole owner of the property or have joint ownership with an Indian citizen, provided the latter meets the eligibility criteria to own the property.
However, one major restriction is that NRIs cannot purchase an agricultural land, plantation property, or farm house.
Power of attorney
The power of attorney (POA) plays an important role when an NRI wants to purchase a property in India, according to the Registration Act. The act states that the signatures of the buyer and seller of the property should be present on the documents and be validated by the registrar of the location where the transaction is carried out. Therefore, if an NRI is not present in-person to purchase the property in India, the Power of Attorney selected (a family member) should be certified by the Consulate of the country where the NRI resides.
As an NRI, you can only buy property in India in the Indian currency. You cannot pay in the currency of the country you currently reside in. For this purpose, you can use a non-resident account, such as an NRO/NRE account (Non-Resident Ordinary or Non-Resident External Account) or an FCNR account (Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account) as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) under the regulations of the RBI.
Just like Indian residents, NRIs can also opt for a home loan to purchase real estate in the country. There is no restriction on the loan amount and most banks and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) are willing to extend a loan to NRIs without any unwanted hassles.
However, the rate of interest may be higher. This would largely depend on the loan provider and can vary from lender to lender. If you are purchasing land in a metro city, for example, a property in Mumbai, taking a home loan can be a feasible way to cover the costs, as property rates can be higher in tier 1 cities.
Taxes and charges
Any income generated from a property in the country is taxed. In the case of rental income earned on the property, you will be charged 30% TDS (tax deducted at source). In the case of a resale, you will be charged TDS of 20% for long-term capital gains while the short-term capital gains tax will be applied as per the NRI income tax slab rates.
Apart from this, NRIs are also charged stamp duty charges, registration fees, GST (Goods and Services Tax), etc., as applicable.
To sum it up
There has been a rise in luxurious apartments in the country recently, making it an ideal time for NRIs to invest in real estate. Real estate developers like Piramal Realty and their prime offerings can be a great option to purchase property in Mumbai. With unimpeachable style and amenities to match international standards, you can experience and own some of the most beautiful homes in the country.
Disclaimer – This article is based on the information publicly available for general use. We do not claim any responsibility regarding the genuineness of the same. The information provided herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. We expressly disclaim any liability, which may arise due to any decision taken by any person/s basis the article hereof. Readers should obtain separate advice with respect to any particular information provided herein.