Mr. Joy had bought an empty plot of land in a Bangalore layout from a developer about 15 years back. He currently resides in the US but visits India once in 2-3 years. Unfortunately due to his busy schedule during his Indian visits he never got a chance to visit or check the condition of his plot all through the years. More so, given the development that has happened he could not even trace the exact location of his plot and had to engage the services of a property management firm. With the help of his property records the property management company was able to track down his plot. Now Joy wanted to also have their assistance to put up a protective fencing around his property. When the property management firm commenced work to put up the fence, some local people intervened and stopped the work informing that the plot belonged to them and not Mr Joy.
On further investigation, it came to light that the other claimants were demanding money to allow free access or any kind of construction activity to be pursued. Mr. Joy consulted with the property management company and was advised to file a case against those opposing this construction on his legally owned land rather than do a settlement. So he went ahead and filed a case through his legal consultants and got a court verdict in his favour as the other party did not turn up at all.
During this whole event, it also came on light that the developer & his legal heirs had sold the same property to multiple people after selling the same to Mr. Joy by tampering with the layout plan map.
Luckily Mr. Joy’s investment was saved as he was the first one to be sold the property and hence he was able to claim his rights on the land legally.
To avoid such situations:
1) Do a thorough check on the legal title. Don’t cut corners by not consulting a lawyer.
2) Once the property is bought, put up a fence or build a wall. Also have a board citing the property owner details.
3) Ensure you are periodically checking the property for any encroachment.
4) If you can’t do it yourself, then hire a Property Management company to do it on your behalf.
Property Management companies can regularly check on your property and keep you posted on the development in the area and condition of the property as well. In case of any encroachment, you will get notified immediately and can take steps to safeguard your property including filing a police complaint for trespass. This can also help you in understanding the market better and decide on when to exit an investment, if there is ever a need.