Everything You Need to Know About Land Dispute

Disputed land or tanah sengketa is a term for land that is in dispute or has legality issues. Get to know more about how to avoid buying a disputed land and how to take care of land disputes in Indonesia.

disputed land confiscated by indonesian government, tanah sengketa disita oleh pemerintah Indonesia
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Maybe we have heard stories like this, Ani’s family bought a house and land from Mr Budi and got land titles and certificates from him, but it turns out that these documents are not official certificates from the state. After 10 years of living in the house, suddenly someone comes and claims that Mr Budi’s land belongs to Cahya who decided to sue Ani’s family. After being traced and taking legal actions, turns out that Cahya’s party did not know about the boundaries of their land because both Mr Budi and Cahya’s lands were inherited from their ancestors, so the defendant tried to bring in witnesses (family elders) or people who claimed to understand the boundaries of the disputed land. This is an example of a land dispute.

In addition to draining emotions and time, dealing with land disputes also costs a lot of money, especially if we choose to solve it legally. However, land disputes are issues that must be resolved so they would not lead to protracted problems.

unoccupied land, fenced barrier on, disputed land, tanah sengketa

What is a land dispute (sengketa tanah)?

Ownership status is generally proven by physical evidence, for example, a Certificate of Ownership (Sertifikat Hak Milik). A land is legally owned by a person or any party in the eyes of the law if it has evidence in the form of a certificate of ownership over the land. However, it is quite common to find problems in legalities, namely land disputes.

In the Regulation of the Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning / Head of the National Land Agency of the Republic of Indonesia Number 11 of 2016 (Peraturan Menteri Agraria dan Tata Ruang/Kepala Badan Pertanahan Nasional Republik Indonesia Nomor 11 Tahun 2016) concerning Settlement of Land Cases, it is stated:

“Land Disputes, hereinafter referred to as Disputes, are land discord between individuals, legal entities, or institutions that have no broad impact.”

Land disputes can occur due to many factors, such as the unclear land certification process, a sense of neglect to take care of administration on one’s own property so that it is easily claimed by other parties and other negligence that causes administrative problems.


How to resolve land disputes through legal channels

The legal proceedings for land disputes can be costly and time-consuming. In some cases, the budget for land dispute trials is greater than the object at trial. Hence, it is not uncommon for people to give up their land because of limited costs. However, land dispute cases do not always have to be taken to court and can be resolved amicably or through a mediation process. In the Agrarian Regulation No.11 of 2016 (Permen Agraria Nomor 11 tahun 2016), it is stated that disputes over land rights are actually divided into 3 levels, namely disputes, conflicts, and land affairs.

how to solve disputed land case through

Land disputes are discordance between individuals, legal entities, or institutions that do not have a broad impact. Meanwhile, land conflicts are discordance over land, between people, groups, organizations, or legal entities that have a tendency or have a wide impact. Meanwhile, land affairs are land discordance in which case handling and settlement must go through a judicial institution.

Therefore, if your case has not yet been able to be trialled, this problem is called a land dispute and can be resolved without a trial process. To solve this problem, we can submit a written complaint to the Head of the Agrarian Office (Kepala Kantor Pertanahan) through the complaint counter, mailbox, or the Ministry of Agrarian’s website and it will be processed as follows: 

  1. Incoming complaints will be submitted to the Regional Office of BPN (Kantor Wilayah BPN) or the Agrarian Ministry and the files are forwarded to the Head of the Agrarian Office.
  1. The contents of the complaint include the identity of the complainant (photocopy of identity, photocopy of the endorsee’s identity, and power of attorney if authorized), as well as supporting data in the form of evidence related to the complaint and a brief description of the case being disputed. If they meet the requirements, the complainant will receive a receipt for the complaint.
  1. Files are checked by the file inspection officer and if they meet the requirements, they will be submitted to the officer who is responsible for handling disputes, conflicts, and cases at the Agrarian Office.
  1. The officer will administer the complaint and perform data collection, validation, and witness testimony which will then be analyzed.
  1. If the complaint is proven under the authority of the ministry, the result will be reported to the Head of the Agrarian Office. Conversely, if the complaint is outside the authority of the ministry, a written explanation will be given to the complainant, and the ministry can facilitate dispute resolution through mediation.


How to avoid land disputes

Of course, we don’t want to accidentally buy a house on disputed land. To avoid this, we must do three things before buying land or property.

Land Ownership Certificate legalized by the Indonesian government, disputed land, tanah sengketa, sertifikat tanah

  1. Check Land Ownership Status

Check with the ownership status of the land to be purchased, whether the land is the property of the seller or not. Buy land with a Certificate of Ownership or SHM, to ensure legality.

  1. Check the Certificate Authenticity

Although the seller of the land can show proof of ownership of the land, we should not believe it right away. Check the authenticity of the land certificate to the local National Agrarian Agency (Badan Pertanahan Nasional).

Also, read this article on what other legal documents you need to know.

  1. Ensure Seller Credibility

There are two types of property sellers, namely developers or individuals. If we buy from a developer, check the credibility of the company by looking at its track record. However, if the land seller is an individual or individual, we can ask neighbours or local RT/RW officials to ensure the credibility of the land seller. 

The administrative order is important and will have an impact on the optimization of asset/land management. For this reason, it is important for us to pay more attention to and follow land procedures comprehensively so that there are no disputes in the future.

That is why it is important to buy property from trusted sellers or listing portals such as Lokalist where we can guarantee that the properties listed on our website are sourced from trusted sellers.