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Building a Secure Future: Perceptions of Property Rights in India

By: Land Alliance

How worried are people, especially in poorer communities, about the risk that they could lose their homes or their land? The idea behind this initial survey is simple: to find out if people are worried about their existing property rights or lack of them – whether women or men, owners or tenants, in cities or in villages. The survey results reveal that insecurity of property rights is widespread in India, with about one in four owners and about half of renters expressing worry about losing their home. The primary reason for this insecurity is a lack of documentation, followed by disagreements with family members.

At the same time, the survey results offer cause for optimism about the potential to solve the problem. They reveal that about half of owners have made efforts to update their legal records. This suggests that government efforts to make it easier, and affordable, for people to register or update property documentation at local levels could have a large impact on reducing people’s worry about their property rights. This would have benefits for private citizens and the economy as a whole.