Can Agricultural Property Be Put To Residential Use?

India Sep 23, 2020

Residential property must only be built on land which has been demarcated for residential use and not for agricultural use. Otherwise, the municipal authorities have the right to demolish it and/or penalise its owner.

‘Residential’, ‘agricultural’ and ‘commercial’ are property types determined by zoning

In Delhi, the Master Plan of 2021, prepared by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has demarcated land into different types of ‘land use’ zones. They are agricultural, residential, commercial and recreational zones and zones for transport, public utilities (such as for transmission towers), water bodies and government land.

Why is zoning important?

Zoning of land into different types of uses is important in determining the property tax charged on a property. The municipal authorities[1] calculate the property tax of a property on the basis of multiple factors such as the age of the property, the area covered by it along with the land use zone in which it is located. For instance, the tax charged on commercial property is higher than the tax charged on residential property. Also, there is no property tax charged on agricultural property.

So how can I put my agricultural property to residential use?

In order to change the land use type of your property from agricultural to non-agricultural, e.g., residential, you must apply for the Change of Land Use (CLU) certificate at the DDA. A CLU permission to change land use from agricultural to another type is also called a Non-Agricultural or ‘NA’ permission. However, it is important that the zoning rules allow for such a change.

The documents which are required for obtaining a CLU/NA certificate to build a residential property are listed below.

  1. True copy of the Record of Rights (ROR) of your property. RORs are referred to as ‘Khata’ or ‘Khatauni’ or ‘Jamabandi’ in Hindi. The RoR contains title details such as the name of the land holder, the number and area of the parcel. RoRs are accessible on dlrc.delhigovt.nic.in/.
  2. True copy of the Land Map in which your property is located. Land Maps can be found on the official website of the Delhi revenue department.
  3. True copies of the building, layout and site plans of your property, duly signed by the architect of your property.
  4. Copy of the measurement plan of your property from the Revenue Department.
  5. Letter of appointment of the architect, which contains the details of the offer by the property builder and its acceptance by the architect who designed it.
  6. Copy of the certification of registration of the architect, which enables him/her to practise architecture.
  7. Property transfer deed which establishes you as the owner of your property. Property transfer deeds include sale deeds, gift deeds, exchange deeds, exchange deeds, succession certificates, and partition deeds 9where applicable).
  8. Your identity card
  9. Mutation certificate (To find out the procedure to mutate your property, read our article- ‘Property Mutation in Delhi’).
  10. Certificate from the Patwari/ Talati that land in question is  being acquired by the government.

What if I want a CLU permission to change my land use from residential to commercial?

If you want a CLU certificate granting you permission to change your land use from one type of NA use (e.g., residential) to another type of NA use (e.g., commercial), you must approach the DDA with the documents listed above, except the certificate from the Patwari. Additionally, you must also submit the sanctioned building plan of your property along with the property tax slip of your up to date property tax payment, No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your Building Association and your shop license from the municipal authorities.

However, before approaching the DDA to obtain this CLU, make sure that the zoning rules allow the conversion of your residential property to another type of use.

(To learn more about paying property tax in Delhi, see our article- ‘How to Pay Property Tax Online in Delhi?’).

Conversion fees

To convert your property into a residential property, you are charged a one time conversion fee which ranges from Rs. 14000 to Rs. 25000 per square meter.

Time taken to obtain a CLU permission

It will take you more than a month to obtain the CLU permission. This is a long process because the DDA does ‘due diligence’ of your property before granting you the CLU permission. S/he verifies that your property does not have any encumbrances or unauthorised constructions by conducting a site visit.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.


[1] In Delhi, ‘municipal authorities’ refer to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).


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