Sunday, August 7, 2011

Preventing Illegal Property Occupation

Due to an increase in the illegal occupation of properties in Pakistan, investment in real estate, especially by Pakistanis living overseas, has decreased significantly.
Illegal occupation primarily takes place when properties are either left untended (such as plots) or when tenants (in the case of houses and apartments) refuse to vacate the premises, and in extreme cases, illegally transfer the property in their own name.
If you have an empty plot, or are thinking of purchasing one, take the following measures to minimize the chances of it being occupied illegally:
  • Never leave the plot vacant or unattended; have a boundary wall constructed and hire a security guard to look after the plot at all times.
  • Do not buy cheaper plots on the outskirts of a city or a remote area for a long term investment. Properties in such areas are more likely to be taken over by land grabbers.
  • Never give unconcerned and unreliable individuals access to original or even photocopied title documents of the plot.
To prevent the illegal occupation of your home or apartment by your tenants, take the following measures:
  • Always meet prospective tenants in person and run background checks before signing a Tenancy/Lease Agreement: hold on to these documents for later use.
  • Check the tenant's financial standing and past financial records in order to determine whether or not he/she will be able to pay the rent.
If you are not residing in Pakistan, or are planning to leave the country for an extended period, appoint an attrney to keep an eye on the property and collect the rent on your behalf.
If your property is occupied illegally despite these measures, you will need to obtain an eviction notice from the city court to recover it. In some cases this process takes months, or even years.

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