vAstukaM – related to real estate

Having dealt with the dharma related to marriage in three chapters followed by the partition of inheritance, cANakya deals with the matters related to the real estate in three chapters.

8th chapter – gRha vAstukam – Matters related to the dwelling places or houses.
9th chapter – vAstu vikrayaH – Matters related to selling and buying of real estate
10th chapter – vivIta kshEtra patha himsa – damage to fields and roads and not following the conventions.

Essentially, all the disputes related to the fixed assets like houses, agriculture fields, water tanks constructed by individuals, parks and other real estate should be resolved based on the testimony of neighbours. This is also applicable to the disputes of border between villages etc., administrative units.

Houses should have passages to fresh water and drainage, a waste disposal place with a minimum distance from the neighbouring houses.

Rules related to the construction of the houses without causing any damage to others is stressed in the vAstukam.

While selling the real estate the first preference should be given to the relatives, people from the same community or social order, or the one who have lend the money to the owner. When none of these preferred parties are willing to buy then anyone can buy the property.

If the cost of the property is increased by the competition between multiple buyers, for the excess of the guidance value, additional tax to be paid to the government by the buyer of the property.

Any modifications to the water ways flowing in and out of fields are all approved by the government. No one can alter the water flows without government’s knowledge.

All the common places developed by the government, places for entertainment and other public property to be used as per the rules the King establishes. Anyone doing work for the betterment of the society should be encouraged. All in all everyone should be made to follow the rules as per the country, territory, society, community and locality related to the public property use. Anyone not following them attract punishment accordingly.

With this we reach the end of 10th chapter of dharmasthIyam.

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