For a non-resident, it is challenging to manage Indian property from any foreign country. The process of the same can be time-consuming as well as complicated. Moreover, to secure the NRIs properties located in India, it is advisable to consider a proactive approach, including seeking professional advice from lawyers based in India and the appointment of a caretaker for the property in the absence of the NRIs. In case of any property issues, it may not be possible to make frequent visits to India from the country where the NRIs reside. Also, the travelling expenses will be expensive and impractical to proceed with.
Unfortunately, property disputes in India are widespread these days. Therefore, it is essential to feasibly address the property dispute at the earliest. The Indian lawyers having years of experience in such matters will provide clear and complete details of different aspects of specific Indian law, including the legal framework related to land disputes in India. In addition, seeking guidance from a professional and experienced lawyer will help the NRI to avoid future conflicts and minimize costs.
- The property of an NRI needs to be safeguarded by the owners.
- As NRIs are physically not present and are far away from their country of birth, they face encroachments and illegal occupancy of their property.
- Legal remedies are available to ensure that the property in question is safe and doesn’t attract trespassers or forced occupancy.
- Property documentation should be verified and regularly updated.
- Property lawyers should be contacted in case any dispute is faced for a quick and legal resolution.
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What are the Issues Faced by NRI to Handle Properties/ lands in India?
One of the prominent disadvantages of being an NRI is that they are not present in India. However, this disadvantage is only an emotional aspect for an NRI. Over the years, NRIs have faced various types of land disputes in India, including tenant disputes, illegal possession, and illegal sale of their property, to name a few. Further, NRIs can also face issues while dealing with ownership of the land or property title, registration formalities, etc. In such aspects, NRIs may get confused and seek to require appropriate legal advice for fast and hassle-free solutions for the abovementioned issues.
Moreover, NRIs require an excellent property management lawyer to deal with land disputes efficiently and feasibly. Property management lawyers are responsible for pursuing matters related to property or land dispute matters and assist their clients in resolving land disputes easily and quickly.
What are the issues NRIs face while investing in Land in India?
A lucrative investment area for an NRI has been real estate. Investing in properties for NRIs has many advantages, especially in land. However, most of the NRIs are unaware of the issues related to such investment, nor have they ever addressed them. For instance, there can be challenges to being aware of the local legal rights of an NRI, finding the proper guidance or information for the land they want to invest in, analysing the changing market trends, etc.
While there are many challenges and issues that NRIs can face while investing in lands located in India, some of the basic problems that they can face are mentioned below;
- Matters relating to illegal possession of the land
- Unaware of the local legal rights of the NRIs while investing in lands in India
- Dubious Records Maintained by Property Dealers or Builders
- Delay in the verification process
- Difficulty in getting proper and professional legal advice
What are some examples of NRI Land Disputes in India?
Property or land disputes in India are very common these days, and legal situations like those among all types of NRI families are also very regular. It is to be noted that the Indian legal system related to land disputes is complex. Knowing the legal rights and obligations under Indian laws related to property/land disputes is important. The remedies and rights available per Indian Property Law mainly depend upon the situation of NRI’s property/land. The following are some of the basic examples of land disputes that an NRI can face in India;
- Claim disputes on the part of joint owners and legal heirs
- Disputes related to rights of easement
- Occupation or possession of land in an illegal manner by a relative or friend
- Challenge made by a family member in court concerning a Registered Will
- Misrepresentation by the seller of the land
- Providing false documentation by the land seller
- Misuse of power of attorney assigned by the NRI to carry out fraudulent activities
- Dispute over family settlement or partition of property
- To carry out transactions, individuals can impersonate themselves as NRIs
Despite all of these legal situations and complexities mentioned above, these issues can be challenged in court legally. Accordingly, the legal rights of the rightful owner can be reclaimed or restored.
How to avoid property or land disputes in India?
As mentioned earlier, it is clear that property and land disputes and knowing the legal rights related to land or property in India under Indian law are complex matters. Thus, it is essential to understand and be aware of the legal provisions of Indian property laws and their applicability. NRIs are generally vulnerable with regard to property or land frauds as they are not staying in India. Also, their properties remain vacant without a caretaker for extended periods. The following are some of the measures that an NRI can take to avoid land or property disputes in India;
- Ensure that the land or property is correctly transferred in the name of the NRI and not some other person, especially in the name of a dead or deceased person.
- In case the land is vacant, it is important to appoint a caretaker or guard to take care or look after the land and avoid any sort of illegal possession by criminals.
- In case the land is provided to someone for rent for farming or any other activity, then it is better to appoint a qualified and suitable representative who can manage the property efficiently and effectively.
- If the NRI wants to sell the land, then make sure to get familiar with the whole process and analyze the expectation.
- To complete the process, NRIs will need to thoroughly read and understand all the paperwork required, including license agreements, tenancy agreements, special power of attorney and general power of attorney, etc.
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How to resolve an NRI Indian property/ land dispute?
One of the easiest options to resolve an NRI land dispute is to settle the dispute amicably so that both the parties involved are satisfied. However, the option described above is applicable only in the case of family circumstances. Suppose the NRIs legal rights have been infringed or violated. In that case, there may be scenarios in which no other substitute or alternative will be applicable other than using the legal rights under the civil litigation laws. In such cases, the courts in India mostly provide adequate support to the NRIs who are facing issues to understand their legal rights and that they can pursue their legal rights from any foreign country.
How much time does to resolve an NRI Land/Property Dispute take?
The exact amount or length of time required to reach a resolution in a land dispute depends upon the scenarios, and it may differ from case to case. Some of the factors involved while determining the exact time duration include the nature of the case, its complexities, the involvement of parties, and the extent to which legal actions are required to name a few. Thus, it is difficult to provide or ascertain the time it will take to resolve land disputes in India for NRIs.
The role of a Property Management Lawyer in tackling a land dispute in India for NRIs
A Property Management Lawyer plays a dominant and essential role in assisting the NRIs related to land and property disputes. A property management lawyer’s main functions are to handle the cases until it is decided in favour of the NRI client, maintain the legal records of the land owned by the NRI, and keep track of the legal formalities involved, to name a few. Apart from that, a property management lawyer can also play different roles for an NRI client to handle all land and property disputes.
Some of the important areas that a property management lawyer handles are listed below;
- Searching for the required tenant for the land and accordingly co-ordinate with such prospective tenants or clients
- Maintain records of complaints, collection of rent, matters related to evictions, etc., on behalf of the NRI owner of the land
- The communication between landlords and tenants is smooth.
- Maintain necessary transactions related to lands and other property
- Resolving the property-related issues locally.
- Handling complex legal matters such as encroachment, trespassing, and torts
- Assisting the NRIs in the registration of documents
- Drafting and preparing the deeds and filing them as and when required.
- Negotiating and settling the property in dispute if required on behalf of his NRI client
- Legal representation of the NRIs in the court of law as and when required
- Conducting an assessment of the purchase and lease agreement from time to time
- Filing an appeal against a decision made in a case required
- Offering relevant and accurate legal advice on the dispute matters as per the property’s current market price, government restriction, available tax benefits, if any, etc.
- Informing or making familiar to the NRI about various terms and conditions related to the purchase and sale procedure and deed as per the property law.
The above analysis concludes that as an NRI, it is challenging to maintain and take care of the properties or lands owned in India without knowing or being aware of the local property laws of India. Thus, it is advisable that an NRI must appoint a trustworthy caretaker who can look after his property in his absence. However, now a day’s, nobody is reliable, not even your friends and relatives, as they can take advantage of the actual legal owner of the property residing outside India and acquire it by various fraudulent means. Therefore, an NRI should hire a professional and experienced property management lawyer who can look after all the legal issues related to the NRI’s land and property.