Illegal occupation of Agricultural properties
A significant number of the agricultural properties currently under the administrative authority of the Kosovo Property Agency (KPA) continue to be illegally occupied. This is a criminal offence under Article 332 of the Criminal Code of Kosovo entitled “Unlawful Occupation of Real Property”.
The KPA provides any person who wishes to use somebody else’s property which is under its administration with the possibility to legalize the use of the property through the Agricultural Land Rental Scheme. In order to rent one of these agricultural properties the procedure is very simple and inexpensive and can be undertaken through any one of the KPA’s Regional Offices in Kosovo. Should you be interested in renting or legalizing the use of a property that you are currently illegally occupying you are encouraged to visit one of these offices where the process will be explained to you in full.
In order to reinforce the rule of law and its given mandate to administer these agricultural properties the KPA has recently purchased a crop cutting machine. Any person who continues to illegally occupy and cultivate a property under the administrative authority of the KPA risks losing the crop that they have planted on somebody elses’s property. No compensation will be paid and as well as losing the crop illegal occupants will therefore also incur a financial loss.
Those persons who have signed a rental agreement and have paid their rent need have no fear as they have established the legal basis to utilise and enjoy the property subject to the rental contract without any intervention by the KPA. Illegal occupants will not be provided with any additional notice that the KPA intends to destroy any crop and as such this should be seen as a final notice that those illegally cultivated crops are in danger of being destroyed.
Refusing to legalize the occupation of the property you are utilizing is not only a breach of the Criminal Code it is an unconstitutional act as the Protection of Property is guaranteed under Article 46 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. The KPA calls on all those people who are illegally utilizing other people’s property under it administrative authority to consider their options carefully and to visit one of its regional offices in order to sign a rental agreement with the KPA so as to legalize their use of the property.