A stranger in my house - Clarendon woman buys NHT unit and finds it occupied

August 14, 2019
A National Housing Trust unit in May Pen, Clarendon.
A National Housing Trust unit in May Pen, Clarendon.

A 40-year-old woman who purchased a one-bedroom house in Kennedy Grove, Clarendon, last year November got the shock of her life when she realised that the house she recently purchased was occupied.

Jamile Givans said she made a deposit of $180,000 for the property, which cost $3.5 million.

"The house was on auction and is someone at NHT told me about it. All now I don't see the inside of the house because when I went there and saw the outside, I was so happy that I would get a house that I just told her that I wanted it," she said.

After the downpayment was made, Givans was told that she would get the keys and be able to change the locks when she received the title. She said that she got a call from the NHT on July 15, informing her that the title was ready.

She immediately collected it and went to look at her house.

"When I go to the house the night, I realised that the light was on. I went and knocked on the door and a woman come out and a seh mi wake her up out her bed. Mi ask her what she doing in my house and that a when she a mek me know that she was not aware that the house was sold, and she and her lawyer inna big talk over the house, so mi affi go talk to her lawyer," she said.

Givans, a mother of three, said she is confused about the situation. To make matters worse, she said that she has not been able to get answers from the National Housing Trust, despite making trips to its May Pen office.

Not uncommon

"I have been contributing to NHT for years. I am a vendor. I walk and sell tissue and them likkle supm deh, and I have a time when I used to go in the market and sell. I am in a job where I am able to pay for the house so I was so excited. One of my children is going to high school and even though she doesn't live with me, I still want to provide for her," she said.

When THE STAR contacted the NHT, acting corporate and public affairs manager Jaye-Anne Willie said that in light of her hearing about this situation for the first time, she would have to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Bert Samuels said the situation in which Givans has found herself is not uncommon.

"The recourse would be the court. You can file a claim in the parish court for the person to come out. You really can't safeguard yourself because mortgage company is going to sell subject to tenancy, but you can buy it to subject to vacancy, which would mean the person selling you must get them out. That is the only safeguard, really," he said

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