Occupation by co-owner for 19 years
Hi sir, Me and my brother have jointly purchased a plot measuring 635 square yards in year 1998. We both are co-owner of this property. He has constructed a house on his share of property. And i also has constructed two rooms and one kitchen on my share of property for rent purposes but presently there is no one staying in my share of property, As i was serving in defence forces and retired on 28 feb 17. My brother was caretaker of my share of property also. My brother has occupied my part of constructed area as well as remaining area. Now i am retired and asked him to vacate my share of property. But he has refused to do so. He is telling that i have looked after this property for 19 years and now I am the legal owner of this property. Please advice how do I get my own property back. Regards
Since it is a mutually owned property, your brother cannot enjoy the full rights over your share of the property unless there is a valid sale deed of transfer from your end. We are assuming you are scared with the latest judgment of the Supreme Court which said a person enjoying uninterrupted occupation of a property for more than 12 years shall get the ownership rights over the same. Please note that the judgment is not applicable in your case. For that judgment to apply, your brother has to prove to the court that the property belonged to you, that he was occupying the property for more than 12 years and you never interrupted/objected to the same and hence he is eligible for adverse possession. In your case, as long as you have the land registration documents which show that it is a joint property, your brother cannot simply own your share. Also, in case he claims adverse possession, you can always say that he was a mere caretaker of the property and in these 19 years of your service, you had regularly visited the property and it was a mutual consensus that he should enjoy the benefits of the property as a caretaker till your retirement. In case he does not agree to vacate your share of the premises, you can validly file a case for criminal trespass against him. However if you wish to avoid filing a criminal case/going to the court we would recommend you to go to your nearest mediation center who may help both the parties to come to a mutual consensus.
Research by - Sammanika Rawat
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