Can the Government or Tenants Take Your Personal Property?

Aastha Soni A

Are you aware of your rights as an owner of your property? It is important to know the rights you can enjoy over your property so that nobody can harm your property, infringe or take away your rights.   

Indian law gives a bundle of rights or a set of various rights to the owner of the property. The term also signifies that these rights are like a bundle of sticks and can be separated from one another. 

Some of these rights include the right of possession, right of control, right to exclusion, right to derive income, and right to disposition. Let us briefly understand these rights below 

  1.  Right of possession

The right of possession means that somebody is the registered owner of the property and he has the right of peaceful enjoyment of the property or to allow others to enjoy the same. It also means that you have the right to physical exercise your control over it. For example, if Manish Malhotra is the owner of a property, he has the right to peacefully enjoy the possession of the property or allow others to enjoy the property. 

It is important to know that the right to possession must be enjoyed in a manner not detrimental or harmful to others. Further, you also have the right to build structures or make changes on the same taking permission of the legal owner.

  1. Right of control and enjoyment

The right to control includes the right to enjoy the property in the manner you want. However, it is important to know that the right to control and enjoyment is not absolute and the owner cannot disturb the right of others. For example, the owner cannot play loud music at night beyond the hours permissible by society. Thus, it is extremely important to maintain the balance between your rights and other’s rights. 

  1. Right of disposition

The owner has the right to sell, lease or rent his premise according to his will and desire. It also means that the property holder can transfer the ownership to somebody else. This right includes the right to transfer his property before his death via a will.  

  1. Right to exclude

This right gives the right to the owner to exclude other people from trespassing onto your property or entering your home. The owner is the absolute owner and he has the right to enjoy the property to the exclusion of others. For example, if somebody tries to enter your home without your permission, you have the right to remove him/her from your property. 

  1. Right to derive income

As an owner, you can derive or generate income from the property by renting it out to a person, business, or even selling the property.  

In Summary

In the above section, we have described various rights given to the owners of the property by the law. However, it is important to know that these rights are not absolute. The private property of the owners can be taken away by the government when the same is required for a public purpose.  

Let us understand this with the help of an example below. 

Manohar had some ancestral property near Karai village, near Ahmedabad which he had given on rent to a family. The government came up with the proposition of extension of Karai dam for which it required some property in Karai village. The government notified the area to be compulsorily acquired which included Manohar’s property as well. In the present case, Manohar will have to give up the land even if he is not willing to give it up. 

The government can take up the private property without taking the consent of its owner to benefit society and the same is called compulsory acquisition incorporated under Article 31 of the Indian Constitution.

Another case wherein the property can be acquired is the case of adverse possession. It suggests that if somebody remains in continuous possession of the property for 12 years with the knowledge of the owner (with or without his permission), the title or the ownership of the property shifts in his favor.

Let us understand this with an example.

Mr. Sajid gave the property to Mr. Rehman on lease for 11 months. After the tenure got over, he continued residing in the property without his permission. Mr. Sajid requested him to vacate the property on various occasions but all his efforts went in vain and he didn’t file an eviction suit. In the present case, if Mr. Rehman continues to reside in Mr. Sajid’s home for a continuous period of 12 years, he is entitled to ownership. The same is called adverse possession. 

Law has given us various rights but all these rights need to be exercised. Neither law nor god helps those who sleep over their rights. 

If you have any questions or a query with regards to real estate, our residential experts are always there to support and guide you. Do mail us all your queries at


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