If you choose to create your dream on an area of land you can make your home rather than moving into ready flats in societies, you must first establish that the property is free of any legal difficulties. In a big agricultural country like India, you must ensure that the property is suitable for building a home and is not agricultural land.

This is because it is against the law to construct a residential or business structure on a property that has not been converted from agricultural to residential or commercial use. Building anything on agricultural farmland is prohibited by law, as it may only be utilized for agricultural purposes and nothing else, otherwise, it will be declared unlawful. Given that agriculture is one of India's most heavily utilized sectors, providing a living for 58 per cent of the country's population, agricultural land must be converted and approved under the law in order to be scot-free.

Moreover, the authorization procedure must ensure that the plot is situated in a suitable and habitable environment for human habitation. The procedure is officially known as "land-use conversion." Don't be concerned if you're unsure about how to convert agricultural land into residential. You'll find all you need on this blog!

Law on How to Convert Agricultural Land into Residential

If you want to convert the agricultural property to residential, you should be aware that the rules in each state might differ in some way. You must approach either the planning authority or the district revenue department, depending on which state you want the land in. Because land is a matter in which the state has a vested interest, the rules governing land conversion are developed by the state and administered uniformly throughout the state. If you want to convert a large area of agricultural property, you may need to go to a higher level of authority than the revenue department or the planning authority.

Using agricultural land for uses other than agriculture is illegal under state law unless you have the authorization to utilize it for commercial or residential purposes. Using agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes without authorization, for example, is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to INR 10 lakhs under the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954. Owners must pay a conversion charge to the governing authorities as part of the land conversion process. The Tehsildar, for example, may be the authority who grants permission in Rajasthan districts.

In Bihar, however, developers seeking to build housing complexes must first obtain consent from the sub-divisional officer. In Karnataka, any land conversion from agricultural to residential is subject to the same rules. While in Karnataka, the commissioner of the land revenue department is responsible for issuing licenses for land conversion from agricultural to residential, in Punjab and Haryana, the town planning department is in charge of such approvals. In Uttarakhand, the Uttarakhand Zamindari Abolition and Property Reforms Act regulates the conversion of agricultural land to residential (ZALR Act). The DDA, or Delhi Development Authority, is in charge of issuing land conversion permissions in Delhi.

Documentation to Convert Agricultural Land into Residential 

Regardless of the many regulating agencies depending on the state you are in, knowing the documentation required for the land's conversion from agricultural to residential use is a crucial step. Regardless of the few extra papers necessary for different states, the following are the essential ones that must be submitted with the land conversion application:

  • A proof of the owner's identity.
  • a duplicate copy of the sale contract.
  • A copy of the division agreement that is identical to the original (in case the land is an inheritance).
  • Documents pertaining to the land's mutation status.
  • Certificate of no encumbrance.
  • Maps of the survey.
  • A 7/12 extract proving ownership of the land (similar to the Record of Rights).
  • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the local municipal council or gram panchayat.
  • Payment for land income collected.
  • The RTC or the Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops.

For convenience, you may apply for land conversion online in numerous Indian states through their official websites. For online land conversion in West Bengal, go to banglarbhumi.gov.in, and in Karnataka, go to landrecords.karnataka.gov.in or the Bhoomi portal. Similarly, if you're wondering how to monitor the progress of land conversion in Telangana, the Andhra Pradesh government introduced online land conversion via the Dharani portal in October 2020.

On such websites, you may also monitor the status of the property conversion and get your land conversion certificate for records. If you are lacking any of these important documents, don't worry; you may simply receive some of that information from the revenue department or town planning authorities, who keep track of such records. After the collector gets your request, it may take 3 to 6 months to acquire a government-issued conversion certificate, given that the veracity of any claims you specify must be checked and proved through the ownership document trails.

Understand that you must additionally pay minimal agricultural land to residential property conversion costs based on the size of the property and the percentage of the collector rate in your state. Let's take a look at how the fees for land-use modification function.

Charges to Convert Agricultural Land into Residential

It is necessary to pay a one-time conversion fee, which varies by state. In Rajasthan, for example, you must pay INR 1 per square meter on a 2,000-square-meter plot of property located in a village with a population of more than 5,000 people. If the land is more than 2,000 square meters, the cost increases to INR 4 per square meter in the same inhabited village. If the population exceeds 5,000, the cost is reduced to INR 2 per square meter for a land area larger than 2,000 square meters. 

Don’t get disheartened if you are worried about how much to convert agricultural land into residential. If you want to convert agricultural land to a residential property in Maharashtra, you must pay 50% of the entire price of the land, which is computed using ready reckoner rates or RR rates. In Haryana, the same rate of fees is INR 10 per square meter, however, in Bihar, a conversion price of 10% of the property value is required. Inexpensive metropolitan locations such as Delhi, the conversion price can range from INR 14,000 to 25,000 per square meter, with an extra FAR charge or Floor Area Ratio tax ranging from INR 3,000 to 8,000 per square meter in certain industrial districts.

Conclusion

This is all from our side on how to turn agricultural land into residential. If you are purchasing a piece of land in a specific zone within any state, it is recommended that you undertake extensive background research and check that it is suitable for agricultural to residential land conversion and has a genuine land conversion license. After all, your ideal house should not come with unwanted legal and financial concerns that you may wind up dealing with for a long time. 

When it comes to legal difficulties and documentation, you must practice extraordinary caution; even the smallest error can result in a massive loss. The easiest approach to avoid such errors is to enlist the help of a professional team.