Who is an Ostensible Owner?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : November 14th, 2022

An 'ostensible owner' of a property is a person who is not the real or actual owner but represents himself as one to everyone. He can technically be said to possess all the 'indicia' of ownership but still is not the genuine owner. He/she portrays themselves as the legitimate owner of the third parties.

Rights of an Ostensible Owner

An 'ostensible owner' has all the right to a property without really owning it. The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 / Section 41 names such a person as an ostensible owner who acts as a real owner and is interested in the immovable property on the consent of the real owner (express or implied).

Note: 'Indicia' refers to the signs, indications, or distinguishing marks.

An ostensible owner is an owner, but not the actual one, as the phrase suggests. An ostensible owner of a property is full but is not a qualified owner, in contrast to the genuine owner who is qualified by all means. Despite this, he or she has complete ownership rights to the property, which were granted to him or her by the actual owner.

While acting as a real owner, an ostensible owner will still need authorization from the real owner while transferring property for consideration. The following criteria must be met in order for an ostensible owner to transfer property legally:

  • The person must actually be the owner of the property.
  • He must hold the property with the actual owner's express or implied permission.
  • Such an ostensible owner must sell the property to the transferee in exchange for money.
  • Before accepting the transfer, the transferee must take reasonable measures to confirm that the transferor has the right to do so and is acting in good faith.

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FAQs on Ostensible Owner

  • An ostensible owner needs authorization for the transfer whereas a real owner is the true owner of a property who doesn’t need authorization for the transfer.

  • An ostensible owner possesses full rights to the property without actually owning it.

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