What makes you believe a land once registered and owned by you is completely yours? What if you were away for a month or two? or haven’t paid attention to a few of your properties or plot/land invested elsewhere? Imagine coming back from a vacation and discovering your plot to be inhabited by slum dwellers? Property encroachment is real!
Let us understand what is property encroachment exactly?
What is Property Encroachment?
- Encroachment is an act in which a property is either used or interrupted by someone, who doesn’t have any right over that property. Either by creating illegal structures or causing any changes, damages or alteration to the property.
- An encroachment may be either on a privately owned land or on a government land.
- An encroachment on a private land is not an offense in itself but a remedy is available against it under the law of torts.
- The remedy for encroachment over a private property is the same as for the trespass of land.
What is the difference between trespass and encroachment?
Trespass is an offense, defined in the Indian Penal Code as well as in the Law of torts. Trespass in legal terms is the physical interference of an unauthorized person into either a land or chattel or body of the aggrieved person. Trespass in absolute layman’s words can be explained as, disturbing a person or even entering into a person’s property, by an unauthorized person, without or against his or her consent.Most of the NRI’s face this problem, wherein they buy properties for investment purposes, visit or check back on them rarely giving in a major trespassing opportunity.Trespass of property include –
- Entry into someone else’s property.
- Taking the entry without consent or against his consent.
- Entry by an unauthorized person.
Encroachment on the other hand, Property encroachment or land encroachment means when another person takes over your land by illegal means. Building a physical structure, trespassing the land and using it for their own purpose, are all means of property encroachment. Causing physical altercations, changes to property or damages to property are all termed as property encroachment.
Important documents to affirm your legal ownership on the property.
- Title Deed
- Revenue Records
- Copy of the will
- Electricity, water and phone bills
- Original purchase agreement of the property
Remedies for encroachment
Following are a few property encroachment remedies. The Indian Penal Code gives each person a power and a right to protect your property by using appropriate measures.
While it is important to be aware of property encroachment laws, it is also important to know your own property boundaries and have all your legal documents pertaining your property so you know the legal action you are taking off is absolutely justified.
- The first move or obvious instinct you should make if anyone trespasses or encroaches upon your property is to try to stop them from doing it. Physically stopping them by barricading or by conversing verbally.
- You can also converse and talk it out, which will help save the time, money and efforts of hiring a lawyer and bearing legal fees. You could both come up with a mutually agreeable and viable win-win situation for both.
- Sections 103 and 104 of the Indian Penal Code allows a person to cause grievous hurt or even kill a person in order to protect your property. But these powers can only be used when it becomes absolutely necessary.If a person causes grievous hurt or kill a person while protecting his property and he has used it in a situation under which he was justified to do it, he shall not be punished for killing or for causing grievous hurt to that person as he has not committed any offence because what he did will be covered under private defence.
- In terms of legal assistance, the remedies which are available if anyone trespasses or encroaches upon your property are to get an injunction order or eviction notice for stopping that person from making any encroachment or trespassing upon your property, and you can also claim for the damages which you have suffered due to that encroachment or trespass.
- It is also important to hire an expert legal counselor/ lawyer to expedite the entire process and reach out to the tehsildar who would have all the registered land records and get your land area measured, this will additionally help you in knowing the extent of land which has been encroached upon. Abandoned and unchecked houses or plots are very susceptible to encroachment. Several instances of property encroachment and land encroachment have been reported off late. Thus it makes absolute sense to be aware of your legal rights and privileges during such untimely situations. HousingMan – www.housingman.com assists all its clients with absolute safeguard towards all their properties, be it with the right builder and project verification, end-end paperwork assistance and final property legalization. We help you at every step.