A handy glossary of Indian terms in the real estate industry.

The real estate business in India comes with its own unique set of quirks. Especially those that involve an understanding of the local nomenclature to describe certain processes. While this is by no means a complete list, I thought I’d set up a glossary of ‘Indian’ terms used in the real estate business. If you know any that I have missed, especially regional ones, please do let me know in the comments and I will update the list..

7/12 utara/ 7/12 Extract

This document, a Record of Land Rights, provides complete information about a particular piece of land. It is an extract from the Land Registrar of a district and is mostly used in Maharashtra.


Bayan is the token amount of money given to the landlord after the primary terms and conditions have been fixed. It is given to stop negotiation informally on a specific property.

Benami Ownership

Property bought by an individual not under his or her name is a benami property. It can include property held in the name of spouse or child for which the amount is paid out of known sources of income.


According to Delhi Land Reforms act 1954, a Bhumidar is a person who holds all rights to use his land for any purpose connected with agriculture, farming, pisciculture or poultry; however, a Bhumidar cannot use the land for any industrial purpose unless that land is in the declared industrial area.

Carpet Area

In an apartment or office or showroom, the area remains for actual use after subtracting wall thickness is called carpet area. In other words, it is the area where one actually can lay a carpet.


The process where property undergoes mutation i.e. change in ownership is also called Dakhil-Kharij. This term is mostly used in Uttar Pradesh.


Hobli is the administrative jurisdiction of a revenue authority.


A change in the ownership because of the death of the previous owner. Inteqal is another word for mutation.


Jamabandi means land records. Another term with the same meaning is Khatauni. Both terms are mostly used in Haryana and Punjab.


A proper record of details of a property such as its location, area, usage etc. is called Khata. Khata system is prominently used in Karnataka.


Minimum Tenure of guaranteed Occupancy of Property by the tenant to the Owner. Lump-Sum Contract

It is a typical contract of construction that is required by the general contractor to complete a building or project for a fixed cost normally established by competitive bidding.


It is used to define the frontage of a building in relation to the main road.


In Bihar especially, the copy of a sale deed is called nakal. Governed by the Registration act, the Sales Deed is the most important document when purchasing a property. Any formality regarding a property purchase is incomplete without a signed nakal.

Patwari / Methaji

A Patwari or Village Accountant is appointed by local governments to maintain and update land ownership records of specific areas. A Patwari also has right to collect land taxes.


The interest-free security deposit given by tenants to landlords is known as pugree. This sum is refundable at the expiry of the lease term.


Tahsildar is a revenue authority or officer that has the power to impose and collect revenue from a particular jurisdiction.

Vaastu Shastra

It is ancient Indian architecture and designing systems of houses, offices built on harmonising the five elements – air, wind, water, fire, space. It specifies detailed methodologies, proper use of directions, buying land etc.

Warai/ Varai

The allowance paid to Mathadi workmen as per Mathadi Act to work in any industrial or warehouse operational activity based on the nature of work as agreed upon.

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