Encumbrance Certificate (EC) - Meaning, Importance, & Online Application Guide
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08 DECEMBER, 2023

An Encumbrance Certificate (EC) holds immense significance in property transactions. It acts as concrete proof of property ownership, validating both financial and legal aspects. For those seeking a home loan, buying or selling a property, or applying for a loan against one, the EC is a must-have document. It provides a comprehensive record of registered property transactions dating back up to 30 years, offering valuable insights into a property's history. In this blog, learn about the EC certificate's meaning, its importance, and why it's crucial in property purchases. Learn how to get your EC certificate online and the documents required.

What is an Encumbrance Certificate (EC)?

An Encumbrance Certificate, often referred to as an EC for property certificate, is a fundamental legal document that serves as an official confirmation of the property's free title/ownership status, indicating whether it is mortgaged or has any legal dues. This certificate is vital for property buyers as it ensures a transparent and hassle-free transaction process. You can obtain an EC Certificate online, simplifying the verification process for potential buyers and sellers.

Importance of an Encumbrance Certificate

  1. While purchasing a property, buyers face the risk of inheriting liabilities linked to the property. The EC is an important document confirming that the property does not have any outstanding liabilities. Through an EC, individuals seeking to buy a property are assured that the previous owners have not taken a loan against the property in question.
  2. Individuals seeking a loan against property or those applying for a home loan can furnish this document as proof that they are the owner of the property and eligible for the loan.
  3. The EC is also required for the mutation of a property.
  4. If a land or property tax remains unpaid for more than three years, the document is furnished to the village/panchayat officer to update the records.
  5. An EC is required when an individual wants to withdraw money from a PF account.

How to Get an EC Certificate Online?

  1. Visit the Government Portal: Go to the official property registration portal in your state.
  2. Register or Log In: Create an account or log in with your credentials.
  3. Fill Out Form 22: Provide buyer, seller, and property details, along with the specified period.
  4. Attach Documents: Upload necessary documents like property papers and identification.
  5. Pay the Fee: Complete the online payment for processing the EC. This fee is paid as a processing charge to procure the required details in the form of an EC.
  6. Verification and Issuance: The sub-registrar's office reviews your documents and issues either Form 15 (if there are encumbrances) or Form 16 (if there are none).
  7. Download the EC: Once ready, download and keep a copy for your records.

Remember, an EC is crucial for property transactions, ensuring transparency in financial and legal history.

Documents Required to Obtain an Encumbrance Certificate

The documents required for the Encumbrance Certificate are as follows:

  1. Document of property registration
  2. Property and its possession deed detail
  3. Title deed
  4. Gift Deed or Sale deed, or partition deed if the deed has been completed previously
  5. A copy of the reference letter of authority
  6. Address proof
  7. A duly filled application through Form 22

Online Application of Encumbrance Certificate on Property

The majority of states in India allow for the application of EC through online portals. However, the methodology of application differs from one state to the other depending upon their websites and their interface. On the other hand, some states still don't have the facility to apply for an Encumbrance Certificate online, and one must follow the manual procedure.

The applicants can review if their state or the state where the property in question is listed as a portal that accepts online applications. The steps to apply for the application manually are quite similar to that of an online application. However, the only difference lies in the physical visit to the respective sub-registrar’s office. Also, the documentation is similar to the ones used in manual applications.

What does an EC for a Home Loan Include?

When acquiring a Certificate of Encumbrance on Property for a specific timeframe, it encompasses a comprehensive list of all property transactions registered during that period. An EC typically covers up to 30 years of property history, offering insights into any encumbrances, such as loans, leases, or legal obligations. It's essential to note that when you request an EC for a particular time frame, you'll receive details limited to that period. The information is sourced from the records available with the sub-register, ensuring transparency and clarity in property transactions. Obtain your EC certificate online to access this valuable data conveniently.

Tracking Encumbrance Certificates Application Status

As the sub-registrar’s office accepts and receives the application, the applicants receive an acknowledgement/reference number. The acknowledgement/reference number is provided in the case of both manual and online applications. The applicants can use this number to track the status of their applications. The processing of EC usually takes about 15-20 days and can also vary from state to state.

Benefits of EC

Here are the benefits of EC for buyers, sellers and current owners.

  • Buyer: An EC can help in evaluating the prospective property for any obligation and monetary dues. A home loan certificate provided by the seller can be utilised as an additional check.
  • Seller: An EC with no dues and clear transactions can help in selling the property quickly. A clear property helps in attracting buyers easily. A possession certificate for a home loan is the other document that the seller must provide to the buyer.
  • Current owner: The EC provides strong validation for property ownership and can be used to verify collateral when applying for a loan against property.

Read Also: What is nach Full Form

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.) Is there any particular timeline to get the Encumbrance Certificate?

The timeline for obtaining an Encumbrance Certificate typically depends on the processing speed of the sub-registrar's office. Usually, the time period varies between 15-20 days.

2.) Why is it important to have an Encumbrance Certificate?

An EC is imperative to ensure a property is free from any obligations, dues, taxes, or other charges. It provides clarity and transparency in property transactions, assuring both buyers and lenders of the property's financial and legal status.

3.) How to download an Encumbrance Statement for your property?

To obtain an Encumbrance Statement, you can often use online portals provided by the state government. This allows you to access a soft copy of the certificate, which can be easily downloaded and printed for your records.


An Encumbrance Certificate (EC), also known as a Statement of Encumbrance on Property, plays an indispensable role in confirming property liabilities. It's a paramount solution for potential buyers, ensuring a property is free of obligations, and current owners. In loans against property applications, providing an EC is mandatory, expediting the process. One can obtain an EC through the sub-registrar's office or online through state web portals.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purpose only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. Bank make no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Newsletter. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from Kotak. Kotak, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein.