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What is property encroachment, and how to handle it?

What is property encroachment, and how to handle it


  1. Property encroachment is when someone violates an owner’s property rights.
  2. Land grabbing, land encroachment and trespassing is a legal offence.
  3. There are various legal remedies of dealing with property encroachment.
  4. Permanent or temporary injunction, ex-parte injunction are some of the legal ways which are helpful to stop property encroachment.
  5. As an NRI one should protect one’s property. There are ways like fencing the property, providing POA to a trustworthy family member or friend with clear instructions etc.


The problem of unauthorized ownership is significant not only in India but also across the entire world. Illegal encroachment of property is a critical issue for governments. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, there is a substantial increase in disputes related to property and land.

Property encroachment is a problem that affects millions of people. It can occur in any area but is most common in rural areas. The reasons for property encroachment vary: some people want to build buildings and structures that are out of place; others are just trying to make money by taking up land without permission.

What is Property Encroachment?

Encroachment is the occupation of someone else’s property. It can be done by force or by mistake. Encroachment is trespassing on someone’s land without their consent. But if someone does this without intending to cause damage or injury to anyone, then it isn’t an offence at all – it just becomes trespassing and, therefore, subject to civil action. However, if your actions cause damage or injury, you could face prosecution under Criminal Law and civil proceedings for trespass.

Must Read: 6 Things to Check Before Signing a Commercial Property Lease

In addition, there are also tort claims which arise from trespassing onto another person’s land. These include damaging fences or structures on someone else’s property without permission/authorization from that person. So again, one should get due diligence before entering other people’s premises with any intention whatsoever!

How does Property Encroachment Take Place?

Property encroachment occurs when one enters into the property of another, intending to deny access to the actual owner of such land or property. Although it may sound easy enough to identify if one’s property has been infringed upon, tracking down the perpetrator of such acts and proving wrongdoing in a court of law can be pretty tricky. Several types of encroachment on private property are discussed in this article.

Must Read: Ways in which NRI can transfer their property

  • Occupation means taking possession of someone else’s land by force or fraudulently inducing them into surrendering their ownership rights over it (such as by paying them money or giving them other benefits) without their consent. Such actions are considered illegal under Indian law because they deprive owners of exercising complete control over their property rights; this includes having access to utilities like electricity supply lines etc.
  • Unauthorized Entry – The second form of encroachment is an unauthorized entry onto someone else’s land without permission from the land owners. In this type of encroachment, the trespasser is directly involved in the entire act.
  • Outcropping Public property – This is one of the most common trespassing acts which occurs due to outcropping onto public roads without permission from concerned authorities, e.g. Industrial parks like the Gujarat NREGA office located near Jamnagar airport host dozens of manufacturing units belonging primarily to foreign companies operating illegally within its borders. They do not have proper permissions, despite repeated warnings by concerned agencies.

Ways to deal with Property Encroachment

There are various ways to deal with property encroachment, but preventing encroachments on your property will depend on the specific situation. The best possible ways to deal with this kind of situation are: –

Must Read: Potential legal pitfalls to avoid when buying and selling property

  • Mediation – This is the ideal and amicable way to handle this problem. In this process, you have to show your property papers to prove your ownership before the mediator, and also this will save your property and legal fees for both parties.
  • Selling the property – It is one of the best ways to get out of this trouble as you could consider selling this property to the encroacher and get your opulence for the encroached property.
  • Renting If you find out that the encroacher doesn’t want the ownership of the property but wants to live for some time, then you can rent the property and allow the use of your property for a specified period in lieu of an agreed amount.

Legal Procedure to Handle the Encroachment

 Section 441 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 deals with the encroachment of property. It says that when someone illegally enters a property belonging to another person with an intent to commit an offence or threaten the person in possession of such property and remain there illegitimately, then that person must be liable for the penalty for encroachment under Section 447 of the IPC. This section includes imprisonment of up to three months and/or a fine of up to Rs 550.

You can also claim an order of injunction & damages by approaching the court of law (under Order 39 (Rules 1, 2, and 3) of the CPC, 1908.


As you can see from the above, property encroachment is a severe problem in India, and so many people suffer from this illegal act. Everyone needs to be aware of their rights when it comes down to defending their property rights against such claims. If you have been affected by someone illegally entering your property, you can file a civil lawsuit against them and contact law enforcement if appropriate.


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