Illegal Possession of Property

A lot of advice is sought on the issue of illegal possession. For a layperson seeking expert advice, it is important to understand that this could happen in two ways – one when some strangers forge documents and occupy the property by force. These could be people who are into the business of using unlawful tactics to force their entry into properties. Unfortunately, sometimes local authorities also aid in these unlawful activities. That calls for the need to seek advice from law experts. This kind of an illegal possession can also happen when a tenant refuses to vacate. We strongly suggest adopting strong measures to avoid entrapment in these issues. According to our experience in so many years of case handling and the number of cases our firm has represented has shown that most of these cases have been a result of complete carelessness and abandonment of their rights in India. This hysteria of properties illegally occupied when looked at minutely are often by caretakers long forgotten, tenants with undefined status, or those that have been lying abandoned for years which makes them an easy target for people with nefarious intentions

No words can be enough to drive home the importance of physical and actual control regarding establishing ownership. Ownership without possession is meaningless. In fact, it is not incorrect to say that physical control takes precedence over title deeds too. This rampant problem is fairly commonly seen in the case of NRIs. The reasons for this are –

  • They are not present to occupy properties
  • They are not close enough to make frequent visits, so they end up entrusting the control to friends or relatives
  • In time the occupants or relatives/friends could turn greedy
  • Moreover, properties are left with supposed caretakers for years without any effective management or interference from actual owners. This results in occupants forgetting they are not actual owners
  • Lose and unbinding agreements with tenants are very common, and these tempt them to turn hostile
  • Properties without caretakers or tenants and not frequently visited are a great opportunity for land mafia to trespass and grab them
  • Most of the NRI owners often find themselves victims to the strong nexus between politicians and land mafia and police, which is impenetrable for a visiting overseas person and often, results in their losing their assets forever

Do you frequently find yourself wondering what “Possession” really implies??
It simply means exercising actual control over an object, whether you own the object or not. But even a possessor enjoys certain judicial protection against third parties even if he is not the owner. This protection is given against any unlawful act of violence against the possessor. The rights of occupants come from the fact that the owner – NRIs, in this case- haven’t looked at these properties for years and they continue enjoying rights. Moreover, as mentioned earlier too, they can forge documents making it difficult for them to be evicted

In fact, the eviction process becomes more or less a nightmare for anybody sitting miles away. Notices sent to vacate property are not very effective always. Forged documents and false information become the impediment to any positive growth. For such issues and disputes, people look towards real estate lawyers to have their matters sorted out.

Solutions

What most people are not aware of is that all such cases can be successfully challenged in the courts and legal rights of the rightful owner can be restored. Civil court remedies are available, and personal appearances can be managed through competent legal representatives. If people were to seek proper legal advice, they would be able to find valid, practical solutions to the issue of illegal possession. Remedies are provided under the law to get back the properties or protect any third party trespassing or interfering with the peaceful possession.

1. Preventive

  • Do make proper caretaker agreements and have well-defined tenancy agreements. In short, always define the status of the occupant
  • Do not let any other person enjoy the possession of your house for a long time. You need to keep changing occupancy – whether caretakers or tenants.

2. Actual

  • Under section 5 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 a person who is dispossessed of his property can get possession by title.
  • Under section 6 of the same Act, a person dispossessed may recover his right merely by proving previous possession and subsequent wrongful dispossession.
  • Proceedings can also take place under section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • The government is proactive to ward off any such illegal possession. It addresses police complaints on this matter – especially as far as NRIs are concerned.
  • A person who apprehends trespassing or wrongful dispossession can lodge a written complaint.
  • A written complaint can be sent to the Superintendent of Police (S.P) of the area where the property is situated by way of registered post.
  • Even if the S.P fails to respond, a private complaint in the court can be filed through an advocate and the case can then be pursued through a special Power of Attorney where it is difficult for the owner to be present in India.

What do we offer you?
Complete support – efficacy, competence and transparency in legal representation to handle all such cases. We have a team of dedicated legal service experts pan India to take care of matters even if an overseas citizen can’t be physically present. Starting from the investigation and information collection involved in the entire case to the actual fight – filing, representing & managing litigation – for the rightful ownership, we take care of everything. All this happens without the client having to travel back and forth to India.

What protections can you take?
It is imperative that all NRIs have their documents in the correct order and manner. This would involve the title deeds and even the mutation or Will documents. Also, the purchase documents of the property are required too -along with all bills paid. Even if there is a need for a Power Of Attorney one has to be sure of making one with all due precautions and safety nets. It always helps to take the help of a legal service expert.