Guide for NRIs on Selling Inherited Property in India

Understanding the Indian real estate market and its legalities is important for NRIs to ensure secure and profitable investments. The market presents a mix of challenges, including navigating RBI and FEMA regulations, understanding tax implications on rental and capital gains and the nuances of property repatriation. NRIs must comprehend these aspects to avoid legal pitfalls before selling inherited property in India and optimize investment returns. Familiarity with local market dynamics, such as demand-supply trends and demographic shifts, is also essential for making informed decisions that align with personal and financial goals. Hence, legal and market literacy empowers NRIs to leverage India’s real estate potential fully.

NRIs are primarily governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of India concerning property ownership and transactions. FEMA regulates foreign exchange transactions, including those related to property transactions involving NRIs. Additionally, NRIs may also be subject to other relevant property laws depending on the type of property involved, such as the Transfer of Property Act, Indian Succession Act and state-specific property laws. It’s advisable for NRIs to seek legal counsel to understand their rights and obligations to sell an inherited property in India under these laws and ensure compliance with the legal process for NRIs to sell property in India.


Understanding NRI Status and Property Rights

An NRI is defined under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, as an individual who is not a resident of India during the relevant financial year. Specifically, an individual is considered an NRI if their stay in India does not exceed 182 days during the financial year or if their stay in India is less than 60 days in the current financial year and less than 365 days in the four preceding financial years. 


Types of properties NRIs are allowed to sell in India


  • Residential Property: NRIs can sell residential properties such as apartments, houses, or plots of land.
  • Commercial Property: NRIs are allowed to sell commercial properties like office spaces, retail outlets, or industrial buildings.
  • Agricultural Land: NRIs can sell agricultural land to other Indian citizens, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), or other NRIs with certain restrictions as per the local laws of the state where the land is situated.
  • Inherited Property: NRIs have the right to sell inherited properties in India, including both residential and commercial assets, subject to compliance with legal requirements.
  • Leasehold Property: NRIs can sell leasehold properties they own, subject to the terms of the lease agreement.


Steps for Selling Property in India


Legal documents required by NRIs selling property in India:

  • Original or certified copy of the property title deed.
  • Succession certificate or will.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from co-owners or legal heirs.
  • Power of Attorney (POA), if applicable.
  • Sale agreement.
  • Sale deed.


Step-by-step guide to NRI selling property in India


    1. Mutation of Property: This involves submitting an application along with relevant documents such as a death certificate, legal heir certificate, and proof of ownership.
    2. Succession Certificate or Will
    3. Verification of Title: Verify the title of the property to ensure there are no disputes or encumbrances. 
    4. No Objection Certificate (NOC): Obtain an NOC from co-owners or legal heirs, confirming their consent for the sale of the property.
    5. Power of Attorney (POA): If the NRI cannot be physically present in India for the sale transaction, execute a POA in favor of a trusted individual to represent them during the sale process.
    6. Tax Compliance: Ensure compliance with tax regulations, including capital gains tax liabilities. Obtain a Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number (TAN) if required for tax deductions at source.
    7. Sale Agreement: Draft and execute a sale agreement with the buyer, detailing the terms and conditions of the sale transaction.
    8. Sale Deed: Prepare and execute the sale deed in the presence of witnesses. Register the sale deed at the Sub-Registrar Office within the jurisdiction where the property is located.
    9. Repatriation of Sale Proceeds: If the NRI wishes to repatriate the sale proceeds abroad, obtain a certificate from a chartered accountant confirming tax compliance. Repatriate the proceeds through a designated bank authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).




Understanding and maintaining one’s NRI status is crucial, not just for compliance but also for financial planning. With clear guidelines and tools available, it’s easier than ever for NRIs to stay informed and compliant. Real estate laws in India can be complex and vary across states. A qualified lawyer specializing in property matters can provide invaluable guidance on how NRIs can sell inherited property in India, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, documentation, and relevant regulations. A lawyer can help identify and mitigate potential risks associated with the legal process for NRI to sell property in India, such as title disputes, tax liabilities, or regulatory issues, ensuring a smoother transaction process.

A Agarwalla & Co.’s expertise in guiding NRIs in selling property in India is unparalleled. With a profound understanding of real estate laws, including the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and other pertinent regulations, A Agarwalla & Co. offers comprehensive assistance tailored to each client’s unique circumstances. From verifying property titles to navigating tax implications and facilitating documentation, we provide meticulous guidance at every step on how can NRI sell property in India, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant transaction.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What legal documents are needed to sell property in India as an NRI?


Legal documents required by NRI selling property in India

  • Sale Deed
  • Encumbrance Certificate
  • Power of Attorney ( if appointing representative)
  • Identity Proof ( passport or OCI card)
  • Residence Proof 
  • PAN Card
  • No-Objection Certificates (NOCs)
  • Details of NRO Bank
  • Succession Certificate (if applicable)


2. Can NRIs sell property in India without coming to India?


NRIs selling property in India can sell it remotely by appointing a trusted representative via Power of Attorney (POA). This legal document grants the representative the authority to act on behalf of the NRI in all matters related to the sale transaction. The appointed representative can then handle tasks such as signing documents, attending meetings, and completing formalities required for the sale process.


3. Are there restrictions on the type of property NRIs can sell in India?


NRIs selling property in India are generally allowed to sell residential and commercial properties. However, there are restrictions on selling agricultural land, with specific regulations varying by state. It’s advisable for NRIs to consult legal experts to understand the rules governing the sale of different property types.


4. How long does it take to complete a property sale in India for an NRI?


The timeline for completing a property sale in India for an NRI can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the location of the property, and the efficiency of the involved parties. Generally, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Factors that could speed up the process include having all necessary documents in order, a clear title of the property, and prompt completion of legal formalities. Delays may occur due to legal complications, disputes, or bureaucratic procedures. Overall, engaging experienced professionals and ensuring compliance with Indian laws can help expedite the process.


5. Can NRIs sell property inherited from a resident Indian?


Yes, NRIs can sell inherited property in India from residents. The legalities involve obtaining a succession certificate or probating the will, verifying the title, obtaining any necessary permissions or clearances, and complying with tax regulations. Special conditions may apply depending on the type of property and state-specific laws. Consulting with legal experts is advisable to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.




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