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8 Land-Buying Nightmares To Avoid In Sri Lanka

8 Land-Buying Nightmares To Avoid In Sri Lanka

Buying land that satisfies your heart may be a dream of yours for a long time. If so, we surely know how important it is for you to get it done right. So, maybe you are buying land as an investment, or maybe for construction. However it is, there are several factors that you need to pay attention to. In fact, whether you are an experienced buyer, or not, there are high chances for you to get deceived. So, knowing about the land-buying nightmares to avoid, will certainly help you make a worthwhile and better decision.

Wondering what the land-buying nightmares are that we are talking about? Keep calm. We are ready to share with you the 8 most common land-buying nightmares to avoid in Sri Lanka. Continue reading!

There Is No Driveway To Your Newly-Bought Land

What if you realize that there is no right for you to use the driveway for the land that the seller used? And yes, that’s why you should double-check about the driveway to the land when you are making the decision to purchase it.

Of course, there can be sealed lands in any corner of Sri Lanka, where there are no common paths to reach them. Maybe the earlier owners used a path through a neighbor's land to arrive at their land. Still, if it is not a common path or a private road, you are surely going to face many issues after purchasing it. So, if the seller does not mention anything regarding the driveway, make sure that you ask about it and clear your doubts.

Meanwhile, don’t overtrust your seller. Do a background check, to be on the safe side. First of all, check the legal documents related to the land, including the land registration documents. Of course, you can easily get to know many things about a land and its history through its neighbors as well. Yet, legal checks are the best way to give you a sense of guarantee about the information that you get. You can even get information from the ‘Grama Niladhari’ of that area. Likewise, double-checking the driveway to the land will always keep you safe from many hassles.

The Land Had Been A Graveyard Earlier

Hearing news like this, after purchasing land, will surely shock you. So, take precautions to avoid such land-buying nightmares!

After all, there may be many bare lands in Sri Lanka where graveyards once stood. Of course, those lands may look clean and tidy, and glowing with greenery at the present time. Yet, if you find the ruins of a graveyard when you dig your land one day, you are certainly going to regret a lot about purchasing it.

Living in a place like that won’t feel easy after knowing something like that all of a sudden. Further, the construction won't even stand strong, if it had been a graveyard sometime back. Besides, there can be many legal issues regarding the ownership of such lands as well. Maybe the seller deceived you with some fake documents. So, in this case, also, don’t trust what your seller says or shows you. Do the background check on your own, and confirm that it is land with no issues before you make the decision to purchase it!

The Land Is A Conserved Area

The Department of Forest Conservation, the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka, and the Department of Archaeology administer a number of protected areas in Sri Lanka. Of course, most of that land covers a huge area. Therefore, the control that a department has on some such areas would be less. Due to this fact, even though the chances are less, there can be rare opportunities for a few individuals to deceive you and sell parts of those protected areas, especially the bordering parts of those lands.

Therefore, you should be highly considerate if you are going to purchase land that is covered with greenery. In fact, such land can be a protected area owing to the endangered species it houses. Besides, it can even be an archeological site that has historical value. Such land can not be privately owned. So, even if a seller is going to deceive you with false information, and fake documents, being aware of these kinds of scenarios will surely help you avoid them. So, be mindful, and avoid this type of land-buying nightmare!

The Land Is Shrinking

How can land shrink? Well, it can happen!

Just assume that a part of a large piece of land was taken for a local road widening project, or else for a highway project. The previous legal documents for that land specified a larger area. Still, the latest documents will specify a smaller area. So, the seller can simply deceive you by showing you the old documents. This will simply make you believe that the legal documents are acceptable because, after all, they are original documents. Yet, in reality, they are not valid anymore.

So, the best way to avoid this kind of land buying nightmare is, again, the background check that you conduct from your end. Most importantly, deeds should be compared against modern land surveys. The Sri Lanka Survey Department will surely help you with this process.

The Land Can Have Potential Boundary Disputes

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common land-buying nightmares that you will ever come across!

In general, the chances of boundary disputes are considerably lower in urban areas. Still, the chances of such issues are certainly high in the countryside of Sri Lanka. Some lands may not have a fence, or a wall, and thus no specific boundary. Meanwhile, there may be unauthorized construction on the land that you think belongs to the land. And why not? There can even be neighbors who use a part of your land to reach their lands or homes and insist that a certain part of the land belongs to them.

So, be aware of such disputes, and solve them in advance, if any. Clearing those disputes beforehand will even give you a chance to treat your neighbors with a happy heart and a smiling face afterward.

You Bought The Land With An Existing Mortgage

Selling property is one of the best options for anyone who faces financial difficulties. Yet, what if that person is trying to deceive you and sell land with an existing mortgage, without making you aware of such a thing?

Simply, that would give you a lot of trouble. You will have to pay a good amount to the seller when you purchase it. Then later, you may even have to clear out the existing mortgages on that land, if you fail to prove your innocence. After all, you can’t blame the seller for selling the land with encumbrances. So, it is in your hands to make sure that the land you purchase is free of any mortgages or encumbrances. Your legal advisor will surely guide you in confirming these things.

Restrictions That Stop Your Dream Constructions

Not only Sri Lanka, but many countries around the world, have their own set of rules and regulations that limit certain constructions in specific areas. Maybe there are limitations with regard to the distances that you have to keep from the road, the number of floors that your construction may have, and even the type of buildings that you can come up with. In that case, it is important to check these restrictions when you are buying land, especially if you are making the purchase with your ‘dream construction’ in your head.

To be specific, the general guidelines set by the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka explain to you many of these restrictions that apply to different areas of the country, and for different types of construction. If you still have doubts, make sure you contact the relevant officials at the Divisional Secretariat Office of that area. Doing so, will not only help you avoid land-buying nightmares but also provide the ‘real worth’ of the purchase that you make!

The Area In Which The Land Locates Lacks Public Utilities

Of course, Sri Lanka is a developing country. Still, it is not a secret that certain rural areas of this splendid island lack public utilities such as electricity, water, and telecommunication facilities. So, even if the land looks charming and spacious, the value it has without these facilities is indeed doubtful.

After all, whether you buy land as an investment or whether you buy it for yourself to live in, your heart surely yearns for something that has these basic needs. In a situation like this, after buying the land, if you get to know that the area in which the land is located lacks these public utilities, how shocking would it be? And yes, a little research, a visit to the area, and some small-scale friendly conversations with some villagers are surely going to help you create the ‘full picture’ of that area. So, never ignore these simple tricks. Buying land knowing that it lacks public utilities, and buying land without knowing that it lacks public utilities are totally opposite scenarios. Therefore, make sure that you take every precaution to know what you are buying!

The Bottom Line

Indeed, purchasing land may look like a simple process. Yet, it is not!

It is true that there are many successful land purchases happening on this island. Still, there is a minority that gets into huge trouble owing to a wrong decision that they made. After all, spending your money on something with no value is just a waste of time. The land you buy should add value to each rupee that you spend. So, keep your eyes open for every possible risk that could take place. Take every precaution to avoid these land-buying nightmares. Some small steps that you take before making a land purchase will either save you from a huge problem or assure you of the worth of the money that you spend on the land that you are buying.

So, remember these land-buying nightmares to avoid, and act upon them. You are surely going to make the right decision, at the right time!