What are the property rights of an unmarried woman?


In India, property inheritance laws are highly complex, which explains the disturbingly large number of pending court cases. It is also the source of much confusion regarding the intellectual property rights of women. Hence, understanding the foundations of unmarried women’s property rights in India is critical. 

Mr. Subhash Goel (MD) Goel Ganga Developments said these lines when we discussed how the real estate sector benefits the era of today’s women, who are nothing less compared to men.

“ Because India lacks a Uniform Civil Code, inheritance and property distribution laws vary for people of different faiths. The Hindu Succession Act of 2005 and the Indian Succession Act of 1925 are significant statutes governing property distribution.” Before we get into the specifics of these acts, we must first define two legal terms: testamentary and intestate. A registered will is essential in testamentary succession since it transcends all laws. For example, if a father officially bequeaths his entire estate to his son via a will, that is final.

The Hindu Succession Act covers unmarried Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist women, while the Indian Succession Act covers unmarried Christian and Parsi women. The Muslim Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 allows unmarried Muslim women to assert their rights.

Property rights of Hindu/Sikh/Jain/Buddhist women under  Law

Only after her parent’s death, and only if the parents did not write a will, can an unmarried woman claim her share of her parents’ self-acquired property. In the situation of a will where the unmarried daughter leaves her self-acquired property to someone else, the women’s property act does not allow the unmarried daughter to contest the will unless she has specific legal grounds for doing so. In their will, the parents are free to leave their share of the ancestral property to anybody they like. Only if there is no will the Hindu Succession Act provisions apply.

A married daughter has no claim to refuge in her parents’ home nor maintenance, which is charged to her husband. On the other hand, a married daughter has a right to residency if her mother is deserted, divorced, or widowed.

A women’s property act gives full ownership rights to any property she has earned, been granted, or willed to her, as long as she has reached the age of majority. She can dispose of these as she sees fit, whether by sale, gift, or will.

Property rights of women under Muslim  Law

An unmarried daughter shall receive only half of a son’s share according to the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. In other words, men have twice the property share of women. Unlike the Hindu law, the parents of an unmarried Muslim lady cannot leave their whole real estate property through a will but only one-third of the estate legally. 

Property rights of women under Christian Law

Sections 31–49 (Christian) and 50–56 (Parsis) of the Indian Succession Act govern the succession of properties of unmarried Christian and Parsi women in India.

According to the women’s property act, an unmarried Christian lady inherits the same proportion of her parents’ property as her brother. If the father dies without making a will, then one-third of his estate goes to his widow and the remaining two-thirds to his son and daughter. The same is true for the property rights of an unmarried Parsi woman.

To assist women homebuyers, the government has introduced programs such as lower home loan interest rates, tax benefits, the PMAY plan, lower stamp duty, and so on. Some states also provide waivers and interest discounts to female applicants to encourage homeownership. Single female candidates can use these government programs to minimize the cost of borrowing when applying for a home loan.


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