Every person aims to be a property owner one day but life has surprises in store for us. Thus, check for the clear property title and also be active towards your right of being an owner. In short, there is a term called Adverse Possession and this can be a tight rope to walk on for many amongst us. Thus, we let you know all the aspects of Adverse possession in the real estate sector in India now.
According to the law, adverse possession is described as the Limitation Act, 1963. This law explains a timeframe of 12 years for personal properties and 30 years for the government-owned properties to voice property right claim. Remember that delay caused in calling for the right of property ownership leads to serious and lifetime damage.
The Limitation Act is based on the concept of limitation extinguishes the remedy, but not the right. This law is elaborated as a case of adverse possession where the actual owner loses his/her right over the property for not exercising the right of being the original owner according to the course of law.
Actual Owner – A person on whose name the property title is registered under the defined rules and regulations.
Property Possessor – A person who lives in the property for more than 12 years without a break and also carries out physical activity on the same.
For the application of this law, the time frame is calculated since the date the claimant holds the property possession of the owner. The holding of possession without break for a long duration makes the claimant the sole owner of the property. But the timeframe does not include the pending duration between the owner and the claimant.
The Limitation Act is a little bit flexible in case the actual property owner is a minor, or of unsound mind, or serving in the armed forces, the property occupant cannot claim adverse possession.
Hostile Possession – This is the first requirement where the intention of the property possessor should be to occupy the title via adverse possession. For example, the construction of a boundary wall around the premises that indicates the possession of property.
Public Awareness – A majority of neighbours should know about the actual property owner. This is followed by the clause that states the original owner must know the people living and can have ample time for reacting to the issue of adverse possession. But, no person is bound to inform the original property owner about the development.
Original Possession – Here the best thing is that the actual possession can only be proved by getting involved in physical activities such as harvesting crops, repairing the building, planting trees, erection of shed and more. The possessor cannot challenge the claim on the property without addressing to the physical work on the asset.
Continuity – The property possession should be with a person for a long duration that too without a break in the same.
In the first case, during 2004, the Karnataka Board of Wakf versus the Government of India cross-check the claim of adverse possession by asking for documents such as:
The date of possession
The nature of the possession
The possession was known to public
The duration of the possession
The continuity of the possession
In the second case, during 2010, State of Haryana versus Mukesh Kumar & others case, the Supreme Court gave its judgment in favour of the original property owner and has said it’s the high time we look into the Limitation Act to make it the law fair for one and all.