How To Deal With Encroachment On Your Property?

Kishan Thakkar K

You may have heard or experienced illegal encroachment on your property. The majority of the time, it is unintentional. Since you don’t want to damage your neighbour’s relationship, you don’t say anything. In the long run, it becomes permanent, making eviction difficult.

In this case, however, there are legal ways to deal with the issue. A discussion of this concern will be presented in this article.

Construction and structures that are illegal are being smashed down by the Supreme Court and the civic authorities across Delhi. The same treatment is also being meted out to encroachments in other parts of the country.

What Exactly Is Encroachment?

It may not be very difficult to spot an encroachment. As the name implies, encroachment occurs when someone builds something that encroaches on your property/land. 

An example of this might be someone renovating their house so that a portion of it encroaches on your property, like a balcony extending into your yard, or someone taking over your parking space.

What Is the Reason for Encroachment?

Vacant lots and abandoned houses are extremely susceptible to encroachment. In light of recent reports of property encroachments, all property owners must be well-informed of their legal rights and effective ways to handle such instances. 

However, we should first understand the laws surrounding property encroachment.

What Can You Do for This?

You should first talk it out with the other party in order to resolve the situation. Be sure the property you want to discuss is yours before you proceed, and that you haven’t assumed it has always been so. Keep a copy of the proof (property papers) with you while discussing. Communicate your point in an open and friendly manner. Maybe you can resolve the issue out of court, thereby saving you both the legal fees. 

What Are the Legal Ways to Deal?

If you are considering selling, make sure to follow the legal process. You can check the land records with your home loan provider. In addition, a lawyer can make documents asserting that your property had been encroached upon. 

It is often called the “quiet title” action. In the event that you do not wish to sell the property, you can take an ‘ejectment action’ to remove the encroacher. 

How does the law treat encroachment?

It is the same law that applies to trespassing on private property as it is to encroach upon it. Trespass is an offence under the Section 442 of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Law of Torts.

There are three kinds of trespass

  1. of person (when the rightful owner is restricted from doing what he could previously do), 
  2. of chattel (when a person disturbs the rightful owner by using the movable property of the owner) and
  3. of property or land.

In the case of an encroachment, you should approach the court for an injunction as per Order 39 (rules 1, 2 and 3), and claim damages.

In What Ways Can Encroachment Be Prevented?

Prevention is better than cure, so here are a few tips to keep your land encroachment at bay.

  • In case you are a NRI or live a long way from the property, give a Power of Attorney (PoA) to a relative or family friend.
  • Defend the property with a board or fence. 
  • Hire someone to take care of your property.
  • Secure the area with a guard.
  • Get a verification done at the nearest police station if you have kept a tenant.

In Summary

We have tried to explain to you what property encroachment is and how it can be legally dealt with in this article. 

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