What is Encroachment
- Encroachment is an act in which a land or property in India is either used or interrupted by someone, who doesn’t have any right over that property.
- An encroachment may be either on private land or government land.
- An encroachment on private land is not an offense in itself, however, a remedy is available against it under the torts law.
- The remedy for an encroachment on private property is the same as for the trespass of land.
What is Trespass
Trespass is an offense which is described in both the Indian Penal Code(IPC) as well as in the tort law. In legal terms, Trespass is the physical interference of an unauthorized person into either land or property or body of the aggrieved person. Trespass in simple words can be defined as, “disturbing a person or even entering into a person’s property or land, by an unauthorized person, without or against his or her consent”. This problem is usually faced by individuals who have more than one property in India.
- Non- Residential Indians (NRIs) are the ones who suffer from this problem the most.
- NRIs generally buy property in India just for investment purposes and then visit that land in years of gap, this provides the trespassers with the perfect opportunity to use that property for their use.
- Trespass are of three types, trespass of person, trespass of chattel and trespass of land or property in India.
- Trespass of chattel is an action in which an individual without any authorization or the consent of the aggrieved person, disturbs or intervenes with the privately owned movable property of the person. Trespass of a chattel has been explained in the law of torts.
- Trespass of a property is an act in which a person without any consent or the authority of the aggrieved person, disturbs or intervenes with the property of a person. Trespass of land has been described in the law of torts as well as in the Indian Penal Code. It is a criminal offence.
How to Deal with Encroachment on Your Property in India
- The prime rule to follow would be to possess all the essential documents about the property in place to prove the legal rights of the ownership. All documents such as the revenue records, mutation, title deeds, the copy of the Will (if any) which reveals that the property has come by way of a Will, water bills, electricity bills and telephone bills, original sale deed, purchase agreement, etc. help in establishing the right of the owner.
- In case, the title deed is missing from your custody either because it is lost or untraceable, then one must immediately lodge a prescribed police complaint to the effect.
- The next-best thing is to issue a legal notice in at least two prime local newspapers about the ownership rights of that property. Later one should obtain the certified copies of all such records from the concerned registering authority or revenue offices.
- Another critical thing is to pay all outgoings and liabilities like municipality or panchayat or property tax to the authorities on time.
- One should also need to be in touch with the neighbors so that they may be able to report if they notice any illegal activity. One should also keep a check on the property, through friends, and relatives, so that the encroachers and trespassers know that the property in India is not a soft target.