How to get a title for land

July 15, 2016
File Sample of a land title.

The informal gifting of land among family members across generations leads to some Jamaicans 'owning' and living on land without being in possession of registered titles.

If you can prove ownership of land, you can make an application to the Registrar of Titles to have it registered.

1. An application form, prescribed by the Registration of Titles Act and signed by the applicant, must be submitted.

2. A statutory declaration, which is a written statement, confirmed by oath, should be submitted by the applicant to prove possession

3. Two additional statutory declarations from two persons who have known the land for at least 30 years is also needed.

4. A copy of an up-to-date payment of property tax is another required document.

5. Any other document you may have that proves ownership such as a receipt, conveyance, probate or certificate of compliance, under the Facilities for Titles Act, should be carried in with the application for a title.

6. Applications, otherwise than by plan, must describe the land so as to enable identification of the location of the parcel on the ground by reference to a landmark and must state the names by which the property is known.

7. The description must state the distances along each boundary and the compass direction of each boundary line, the names of the abutting properties, the names of adjoining owners, and where the abutting land is registered land, the title reference for the property.

8. Registration fees, between $1,000 to $2,500, are paid when you submit your documents to the assessor at the titles office. You will be issued a dated official receipt with a number stamped on it, and the name of the person who lodged the application.

9. When your application is approved by the referee, you will be sent a Notice, which you will be directed to have published in a particular newspaper for a period decided by the referee of titles.

10. If there is no caveat, which is a legal notice to a court, or public officer, to suspend a certain proceeding until the notifier is given a hearing to lodge an objection against the application, the certificate of title will be issued within seven weeks to the applicant after the first appearance of the advertisement in the newspaper.

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