- Only agriculturists can purchase land in Himachal under Section 118 of the 1972 Act.
- Non-agriculturists can also buy land with prior permission from the state government.
- The purchase regulations aim to preserve land for the local agricultural community.
- Violating land purchase regulations can lead to severe consequences.
Want to buy land in Himachal but not sure if you can as a non-resident? Our guide has everything you need to know.
Yes, you can buy land in Himachal as a non-resident, but if you’re a Non-agriculturists, you’ll need to get the state government's permission. As per Section 118 of the 1972 Act, buying land in Himachal is restricted to agriculturists. This regulation safeguards the local agricultural community.
I was recently asked by a friend whether or not they can buy land in Himachal Pradesh, I had no sure answer at that moment. But after consulting with an expert and doing thorough research, I found the answers needed. Let me share my findings with you so you’ll no longer be worried about land purchases.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Land Purchase in Himachal Pradesh
The Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, often referred to as the Land reforms act, primarily aims to protect the interests of the local population by imposing restrictions on non-Himachalis from buying land in Himachal.
Still, certain provisions in the act and the involvement of state government and urban development authority allow outsiders, including Indian citizens and non-Himachalis, to buy land in Himachal under specific conditions and circumstances.
Himachal Pradesh Land Ownership Laws
Understanding land ownership laws in Himachal Pradesh is essential to know whether you can buy land in the state or not.
Section 118 of The Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act
Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act imposes restrictions on non-residents when it comes to buying land in Himachal Pradesh, especially agricultural land. The law was enacted to protect the interests of the indigenous population and preserve the state's fragile ecosystem.
Non-residents, including non-agriculturists, are generally not allowed to buy agricultural land or constructed property in Himachal Pradesh without acquiring certain permissions from the state government.
The state government may also grant special permissions to non-Himachali residents to buy property in Himachal Pradesh for residential purposes or to build a residential house.
Land Reforms and Control in Himachal Pradesh
One of the main objectives behind the Land reforms act is to prevent land alienation among the indigenous tribal population. To ensure this, restrictions on the transfer of tribal land to outsiders have been put in place.
Another aspect of land reforms in Himachal Pradesh is the maximum ceiling limit imposed on agricultural land holdings. This limit helps in redistributing excess land to landless persons, promoting more equitable land distribution in the state.
Non-Resident Buying Options
Non-residents interested in buying land in Himachal Pradesh have limited options due to restrictions imposed by the state government.
Lease and Rental
Leasing or renting land in Himachal is possible for non-residents. This option allows the lessee to use and enjoy the land for a specific period. Leasing constructed property can also be considered.
Leasing or renting does not require specific permissions from the state government, making it an attractive option for property in Himachal Pradesh.
Joint Ownership with a Resident
Another possible option for a non-Himachali to buy land in Himachal is by getting into a joint ownership arrangement with a resident of the state. This option allows non-residents to purchase agricultural land, as the resident Himachali partner can legally own the land.
In this arrangement, make sure to establish a clear agreement regarding the rights and responsibilities of each party involved.
Setting Up a Business
Companies registered under the Indian Companies Act can buy property in Himachal for specific purposes, such as establishing an industrial unit or for building a residential house for the employees. Government approval is required, depending on the business's nature and the property's location.
However, it is essential to note that this option is only viable for urban areas within the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation or notified area committee.
The procedure for Buying Land
Land in Himachal Pradesh is a sought-after commodity due to its stunning landscapes and picturesque beauty. However, if you're a non-resident, you might be wondering, "Can I buy land in Himachal?"
There are restrictions on purchasing agricultural land, but it is possible to buy constructed property or land in urban areas with some approvals.
The Approval Process
Non-Himachali individuals are prohibited from buying agricultural land in Himachal Pradesh, according to the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy Act.
To buy agricultural land, you must obtain special permission from the state government. On the other hand, constructed properties are available for purchase by non-residents.
If you want to buy land in rural or agricultural areas, it is recommended to consult a local property expert or lawyer to ensure the legality of the transaction.
Stamp Duty and Registration Fees
After obtaining the required approvals for purchasing land in Himachal Pradesh, you will need to pay stamp duty and registration fees to complete the transaction.
Stamp duty in Himachal Pradesh varies depending on the type and location of the property. Here's a brief overview of the stamp duty rates:
The registration fees for land transactions in Himachal Pradesh are also set at 1% of the property's total value.
Exceptions and Special Cases.
While it is generally challenging for a non-resident to buy land in Himachal Pradesh, one can explore certain exceptions and special cases.
NRI and PIO Land Ownership
Non-Residential Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can purchase property in Himachal Pradesh under specific conditions. They are permitted to invest in properties, including residential houses, for their personal use or investment purposes.
Agricultural Land Purchasing Restrictions
The Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act implement a set of land reforms to govern land issues in the state. According to this act, only an agriculturist who belongs to Himachal Pradesh can buy agricultural land in the state.
These land reforms aim to prevent land alienation and preserve indigenous communities' rights. Consequently, it is not possible for non-Himachali residents to purchase agricultural land.
When it comes to purchasing pre-built and constructed properties, a non-Himachali has more options than when trying to purchase agricultural land. Urban areas and properties within municipal limits are generally easier to acquire for non-Himachali buyers.
Possible Changes in the Future
As of now, non-Himachali residents face certain restrictions when it comes to buying land in Himachal Pradesh. However, the future may see some changes in these restrictions, particularly in the provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act.
Currently, non-Himachali residents are allowed to buy constructed property in urban areas, but purchasing agricultural land remains a challenge for outsiders. The Land Reforms Act restricts the purchase of agricultural land by non-Himachali residents.
The state government may consider amendments to the Land Reforms Act to attract more investments and boost real estate development in Himachal Pradesh.
Further changes could also be introduced to relax the process of buying pre-constructed property in Himachal Pradesh. As the economy evolves and land becomes a valuable asset for various purposes, the state government might implement policies supporting the growth of the real estate market.
Another possibility is that the state government will further regulate the sale and purchase of land in Himachal Pradesh. This could involve more rigorous documentation, land-use control measures, and stricter enforcement of existing laws.
Such regulations could be brought into effect to protect the interests of the local population, the environment, and the socio-cultural fabric of the state.
It should be noted that the state government has the authority to change land ownership rules or the Land Reforms Act as it sees fit.
Impact of Non-Resident Land Ownership on Local Land Prices in Himachal Pradesh
Rising Demand and its Effects
One of the primary impacts of non-resident land ownership in Himachal Pradesh is the rising demand for land. As more non-residents invest in properties for vacation homes, hotels, or resorts, the demand for prime real estate in popular areas increases.
This increased demand can lead to higher land prices as sellers capitalize on the growing interest from non-residents.
Regional Price Differences
It's important to note that the impact of non-resident land ownership on local land prices can vary from region to region within Himachal Pradesh.
Areas with greater tourist appeal, such as Shimla, Manali, or Dharamshala, may significantly impact land prices due to the higher demand from non-resident buyers. In contrast, more remote or less popular regions may experience less dramatic changes in land prices.
Several factors may influence land prices in Himachal Pradesh, including
The Land prices can vary greatly depending on the specific location, with properties closer to popular tourist destinations, cities, or scenic spots commanding higher prices.
The availability of basic amenities like water, electricity, and roads can impact land prices. Properties with better infrastructure and connectivity are generally more expensive.
Government regulations, such as restrictions on non-resident land ownership or zoning laws, can also influence land prices.
For instance, Himachal Pradesh has certain restrictions on non-agricultural land ownership for non-residents, which may affect the demand and prices in some areas.
That being said, non-resident land ownership can significantly impact local land prices in Himachal Pradesh, particularly in regions with high tourist appeal. The effects on land prices can vary depending on factors such as location, infrastructure, and government regulations.
To better understand the real estate market and land prices in the state, it's essential to consult up-to-date and reliable sources of information.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling