– compiled by the firm’s best advocates for NRI property Disputes in Chandigarh
Despite the promises made by the Indian Prime Minister, almost every Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has a fear!
What they fear is actually real! Illegal possession, misappropriation or encroachment on properties of NRI, (be it self-acquired or ancestral) is quite prevalent for a long time now. Since the property prices have shot up like wildfire, this nasty business has turned into a full-fledged industry. And the industry has become so dense, competitive and specialized that encroachers have developed the ability to spot and smell the unattended properties for miles away. Everybody wants to have a bite. Interestingly, even the good old loyal and trusted, family friends too. Vultures step in the property slyly, by winning in confidence as guard-cum-tenants. A prolonged undisputed period of comfortable stay is all it takes for guards to forget they’re not the king.
An important question arises – how can NRI Property be secured in India?
Tenants refuse to vacate and rather embroil into a legal conflict. Besides, laws in most of the states are skewed in favor of the tenants. As such, it can be very difficult and cumbersome to get back the encroached property. At least, until you have the best advocate for NRI property dispute cases by your side.
Illegal occupants from time to time have been taking undue advantage of the prevalent laws in respect of possession and as a possessor enjoys judicial protection against third parties even if his/she is not an owner of the property. there has been an old saying in India regarding property disputes and much of it has to do with how the judicial systems of the past have worked – Possession is truer than the claim! in such view, it not only takes an extremely skillful but also a very tactful Advocate to help an NRI get back the possession of his property.
NRI’s face a lot of harassment and problems to get back their properties.
The property and land holdings usually face illegal occupancy:
By either thugs or land encroachers, by preparing forged documents against the said property. Later they threaten by saying that the owner has now no legal rights over the property. Illegal occupancy can also be in form of tenants who overstay or refuse to vacate the property.
What should be done to protect property owned by NRI’s?
For the protection of property, the basic rule to be followed is that all the documentation proving your right to the property should be there. Documents such as title deeds, jamabandis, mutation/ intake, a copy of the Will (if any), original purchase agreement/sale deed, electricity bills, water bills, and telephone bills etc. should be there to claim your right to the property. Further, if the property has come your way through Gift, purchase, etc. you must get all revenue records mutations done in your favor. If the property is inherited by way of bequeathment (Will) and the title deed is not with you either because the same is not traceable or lost, one should immediately lodge a formal police complaint.
Issue a public notice regarding the ownership rights:
Next step would be to issue a public notice in two local newspapers regarding the ownership rights over that particular property and obtain certified copies of all such documents from the registering authority or revenue offices.
Other steps to be taken to ensure that no form of illegal occupancy takes place:
1. Properly secure the property by way of a fence all around so that no one can try to trespass through the property. One can also put up CCTV cameras all around so that all the movements in and around the property can be recorded.
2. If providing a power of attorney to a friend or a relative one should make sure that it’s a specific power of attorney and not a general one.
3. One should have a well drafted and clear tenancy agreement that lays down all the clauses regarding the amount of rent, the yearly percentage increase in rent, number of years for which the property is let out.
4. Always have the tenants go through the required police verification procedure and be aware of all the details of your tenants to protect your interest in future.