Dateline Mussoorie: Long after I got my law degree, the concept of contract always remained with me. ‘Caveat Emptor’ is Latin for the principle that lays out: “Let the buyer beware.” It has stayed with me long after I have forgotten that I have a law degree.
Of recent, I have come across numberless non-Mussooriewalas who have been conned by unscrupulous carpet – baggers. It’s a lethal combination of property dealers- builders- contractors, who come together selling you a dream house or cottage.
Post the pandemic period has been witness to hordes descending upon the hill station looking for the safety of a home here. Their desperation is like honey to flies, and our dream merchants are ready to take you for a ride.
Often, you are shown forestland and are left convinced that felling trees is no big, deal. Others sell the same plot over and over again. Rest assured that you shall never have any valid water or electricity connection. With no ground water in the hills, you shall find yourself literally, a mile high in the sky.
So ‘Caveat Emptor’ is the bedrock on which you lean before you come up the hill in search of a dream place. Please do your homework before you buy anything up here. Basic due diligence will save you from later grief for sure.
Here’s a brief listing:
- Check if there is a commercial license if you want to pick up a commercial built up
- Check if residential plots are sanctioned or not.
- Check if the plot is within the Mussoorie Municipality limits.
- Remember always that the 1976, ‘Tree Protection Act,’ (Forest) Conservation Act secures the States green cover. You could end up in jail for any violations.
Caveat Emptor continues to be in operation in the State of Uttarakhand. Before you sign your agreement, check, double check and then check again. Don’t let the carpetbaggers run off with your hard earned money. Do have a look at the State SIT which functions with IG range office who had taken out a list of instruction for buyers to check before they purchased. Often the gold at the end of the rainbow is Fool’s gold. So be warned, for those haring up the hill to snap up a place, your time begins now.