Please call our toll free customer helpline 1800 102 1003 if you have any queries or face any issue on our website. We regret any inconvenience caused.


Fullerton India Home Finance Co. Ltd. is now SMFG India Home Finance Co. Ltd.

Thank you!
Our representative will contact you shortly
Error occurred while submitting data. Please try again after some time.
Fill in the details below

We will call you back as soon as possible

Encumbrance Certificate – Complete Info EC in Home Loan

Dec 12, 2023
Encumbrance Certificate – Complete Info EC in Home Loan

The Encumbrance Certificate on a property, or certificate of encumbrance on a property, serves as a vital document verifying its legal status and any existing liabilities or debts. This encumbrance certificate outlines if the property holds any outstanding dues, mortgages, or legal claims, ensuring a transparent transaction during property transfers or purchases. It acts as a testament to the property's clear title, assuring potential buyers or financiers about its authenticity. Procuring this certificate from the concerned registrar's office aids in evaluating the property's marketability and mitigates risks associated with undisclosed liabilities.

What is an Encumbrance Certificate?

In this part, let’s understand what an Encumbrance Certificate. An Encumbrance Certificate, often referred to as an EC certificate, meaning it is essentially a legal document that confirms the property's ownership status and any existing financial liabilities or encumbrances in the property. The certificate details all transactions related to the property, including mortgages, loans, leases, or any legal claims that might affect its ownership.

The issuance of an Encumbrance Certificate is typically the responsibility of the local land revenue department or the sub-registrar's office. Obtaining an Encumbrance Certificate is a fundamental step before finalizing property purchases or transactions, ensuring that the property is free from legal disputes or pending dues. In essence, the Encumbrance Certificate's meaning lies in its role as a testament to a property's clean title, offering security and transparency in real estate dealings.

Why is an Encumbrance Certificate Required?

An Encumbrance Certificate is essential for validating a property's legal standing. It verifies ownership and reveals any financial liabilities or legal claims attached to the property. This document assures buyers of a clear title, safeguarding them from unforeseen debts or disputes. It is required during property transactions and acts as a crucial tool to ensure a transparent and secure investment in real estate.

Types of encumbrance certificates

There are 2 types of Encumbrance Certificate:

Types of Encumbrance Certificates Description
Form 15 If there is an inheritance, sale, purchase, lease, loan, gifting, relinquishment, or split of a property, the SRO issues an encumbrance on Form 15.
1Form 16 When an applicant applies for a certificate and the property has no encumbrances or transactions, the SRO approves an encumbrance on Form 16.

What is a Nil Encumbrance Certificate?

A Nil Encumbrance Certificate validates a property's clean title, affirming the absence of registered financial liabilities or legal claims within a specified period. Issued by the authorities, such as the sub-registrar's office, it assures potential buyers that the property holds no mortgages, loans, or disputes during the mentioned time frame. Crucial in real estate transactions, this certificate serves as proof of a property's unencumbered status, offering buyers confidence about a hassle-free purchase devoid of hidden debts or legal entanglements.

What is the Application Fee to Get an Encumbrance Certificate?

The application fee for an encumbrance certificate varies by region and property type. The fee covers administrative costs incurred by the concerned authorities, such as the sub-registrar's office. Payment modes often include cash, demand drafts, or online transfers, and applicants need to fill out the prescribed form, specifying the property details and the desired period for the certificate. Here's a reference.

State Fees
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (as of Aug 17, 2013) Certified EC Copy: INR 200 (up to 30 years), INR 500 (beyond 30 years).
Kerala (as of Mar 31, 2018) Single Search & Copy: INR 10; Additional Sheets: INR 10 per sheet.

Documents Required to Get an Encumbrance Certificate

Documents required to get an Encumbrance Certificate include:

  • Property Details: Description and title deed specifics.
  • Prior Deeds: Sale deed, gift deed, partition deed, or release deed, if executed.
  • Registration Information: Deed number, registration date, book number, and applicant's signature.
  • Property Registration Document: Evidence of property registration.
  • Applicant's Address Proof: Valid identification confirming the applicant's address.
  • Seek Guidance: Visit the local Sub-Registrar's Office for detailed guidance on acquiring an Encumbrance Certificate in your region.

Read More: Required Documents

How to Apply for an Encumbrance Certificate Online

The process for obtaining an Encumbrance Certificate varies by state, with some offering an online application option. The online application steps typically involve:

  • Access the official land registration website of your state and select the EC application option.
  • Fill in the required details and specify the search period, then calculate the fee.
  • Pay the application fee and access the 'Acknowledgment' window to print.
  • An inspector conducts a property inspection within the specified period.
  • Upon completion, the certificate detailing transactions, or a nil EC if no transactions occurred, is issued.

How to Apply for Encumbrance Certificate Offline

To obtain an Encumbrance Certificate offline:

  • Visit the relevant Sub-Registrar's Office aligned with the property's location.
  • Complete Form 22 with seller-buyer names, property specifics, and document type (EC).
  • Pay the prescribed fee at the office counter.
  • Upon submission, receive a reference/acknowledgement number. This number allows online tracking of your application status.

How to Track Encumbrance Certificate Status?

Most government websites offering online EC applications provide status tracking. For example, on the Kerala Government website, you can proceed as follows:

  • Select "EC Status" under "Encumbrance Certificate" in the "Certificate" menu.
  • Enter your Transaction ID, captcha, and click "Check Status" to view and download the certificate in PDF format.

How to Download an Encumbrance Certificate for Your Property?

To download an Encumbrance Certificate  for your property:

  • Visit Official Land Records Website: Access the designated government portal for land records or the Sub-Registrar's Office website.
  • Select EC Option: Locate the "Encumbrance Certificate" section or option on the website's menu.
  • Enter Property Details: Fill in necessary property information, such as survey number or property address.
  • Choose Certificate Period: Specify the duration for which you require the EC.
  • View and Download: Retrieve and download the EC once it is generated. It typically appears in PDF format, validating your property's transaction history and legal status.


The Encumbrance Certificate stands as an indispensable document in real estate transactions, offering transparency and assurance to property buyers and financiers. Just as this certificate safeguards investments, consider SMFG Grihashakti home loans for your next property move. With attractive interest rates, flexible repayment tenure and a 100% online application process with quick approvals, we ensure that you turn your dream home into a reality seamlessly. Apply now and step into worry-free homeownership.


How can I get a Form 15 encumbrance certificate?

You can obtain a Form 15 Encumbrance Certificate by visiting the local Sub-Registrar's Office, providing the necessary property details, and submitting a request for the certificate. Fees may apply based on the specified duration required for the certificate.

What is a non-encumbrance certificate?

A non-encumbrance certificate, often termed a "nil" Encumbrance Certificate (EC), confirms that a property has no registered financial liabilities, mortgages, or legal claims during a specified period. It validates a property's clean title and absence of encumbrances within the mentioned time frame.

What is the difference between EC 15 and EC 16?

Form 15 signifies a property's registered encumbrances within the specified period, while Form 16, a "nil" Encumbrance Certificate, confirms the absence of any registered financial liabilities or legal claims during that time frame.

What is a Form 17 encumbrance certificate?

A Form 17 Encumbrance Certificate is issued to indicate any pending legal issues, disputes, or litigations against a property. It provides details about ongoing legal claims or encumbrances that might affect the property's title or ownership.

How many types of EC are there?

There are primarily three types of Encumbrance Certificates (ECs): Form 15 signifies registered encumbrances, Form 16 confirms no liabilities within a timeframe, and Form 17 indicates pending legal issues or disputes affecting property ownership. Other regional variations may also exist.

What is an Encumbrance Certificate and completion certificate in property?

An Encumbrance Certificate (EC) verifies a property's ownership status, outlining any existing financial liabilities or legal claims. On the other hand, a Completion Certificate confirms that a construction project complies with the approved building plans and local regulations, deeming it fit for occupation or use.

Disclaimer: *Please note that this article is for your knowledge only. Loans are disbursed at the sole discretion of SMFG Grihashakti. Final approval, loan terms, disbursal process, foreclosure charges and foreclosure process will be subject to SMFG Grihashakti’s policy at the time of loan application. If you wish to know more about our products and services, please contact us.

SMFG India Home Finance Co. Ltd. (Formerly Fullerton India Home Finance Co. Ltd.)
CIN number: U65922TN2010PLC076972

All rights reserved © - SMFG Grihashakti

Follow us LinkedIn facebook Instagram instagram Youtube