In India a person can get an estate in real property either as a free hold or as a leasehold estate. Occupation and use of real property can also be in two ways, as an owner or as a tenant. Till now there were restrictions for a foreigner to acquire rights in a real property. They still continue to exist, though in a milder form. Foreigner in India can not venture to acquire and dispose off a real property as an Indian National would be in a position to do so. Though there are no restrictions for a foreigner to acquire real property on tenancy basis there are restrictions on a foreigner to acquire real property on ownership basis. In a transaction wherein a foreigner acquires or disposes off real property on ownership basis it would be necessary to obtain permission from the Reserve Bank of India and to comply with various provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act.
Central Laws which affect acquisition, holding of and disposal off an immovable property in India are the Transfer of Property Act, 1908, Indian Contract Act, 1872, Specific Relief Act, 1963, Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act, 1976, Land Acquisition Act, 1894, certain provisions of the Income Tax Act which obliges parties in certain metropolitan cities to obtain prior permission of the Income tax authorities for acquiring or giving up or transferring the property above a particular value. The State Acts, which would affect a real property transaction, are Stamp Laws of each State, Rent Laws of each State, etc.
Though it can be said as primitive in the age of computers, India still has a method and system of recording real properties. Each transaction of a real property whether be a sale, mortgage, gift, lease, exchange, transfer or charge, all are recorded with a registering authority and title to a property can be traced as far back as 60 years and more. The method of preparing documents connected with the real property transactions are almost akin to England and most of the documents their contents are of the same nature and language as prepared in England.