What is encroachment?


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In real estate, encroachment is defined as trespassing or infringing on other’s property without seeking their permission. While encroachment can risk your asset, there are ways to handle it.

According to Section 441 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, encroachment is when someone enters or trespasses the property or land of another. The encroacher may use or develop a structure on other's property without seeking their permission to either threaten or insult the property owner. The act is prohibited under the law, and Section 447 states a penalty for it which includes three months imprisonment or fine up to Rs 500 or both.

For example

Encroachment occurs when your neighbour extends a part of their building, garden, fencing or porch on your property. There can be many other cases of infringement. While many people ignore encroachment, it can trouble you at the time of property sale.

Ways to handle encroachment in real estate

There are several ways of tackling encroachment. However, there is a list of documents you might keep handy to prove your rightful ownership of the property.

Key documents include:

  • Title deed
  • Mutation
  • Revenue records
  • Copy of will
  • Original purchase agreement
  • Electricity bills, telephone bills, and water bills

Out of court settlement

It is always advisable to settle the case mutually with the defaulter. This will not only help you save time but also escape from legal expenditures and stress of hiring a legal expert. However, if an out of court settlement does not help you reach a solution, it is advisable to seek legal intervention.

Legal assistance

Here, you have to prove your legal ownership of the property by presenting the documents mentioned above. Also, you must be able to prove that your property is encroached and needs to be freed. If things work in your favour, the court will issue an ‘ejectment action', i.e. a notice to remove the encroacher from your property. However, make sure you rightfully prove your ownership of the property else you might lose the encroached property to the defaulter. Hiring a reputed and experienced legal expert might help.


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