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JAM | May 22, 2023

Legal documentation needed to prove ownership of land

/ Our Today

administrator
Reading Time: 3 minutes
National Land Agency

The National Land Agency (NLA) is reminding the public that persons should provide legal evidence to prove ownership of their property or land.

The reminder was given during a town hall session held by the St. Andrew North Police Division on May 10 at the Red Hills Primary School in St. Andrew.

Speaking to approximately 100 residents from several communities served by the Police Division, Manager of the National Land Agency’s Land Administration and Management Division, Nickoy Young, explained that legal documentation is needed to prove ownership of land.

Mr. Nickoy Young, Manager of the Land Administration and Management Division at the National Land Agency, address residents of Red Hills during a town hall meeting held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 (Contributed photo)

“Having a registered Certificate of Title gives you a distinct advantage over others. When you have a Title there is limited basis on which a person can dispute your ownership. In order for you to obtain a registered Title, it is important that the land is surveyed and property tax payments are being made even if your name does not appear on the tax roll,” he said.

He further emphasised that in the cases of legacy land, persons should explicitly express in writing
how they wish for their land to be distributed.

“If you are gifting someone land, it should be stated either in a Will or through a Deed of Gift. If there is no document to support the gift, then there is no gift,” he disclosed.

Residents of Red Hills listen keenly as Mr. Nickoy Young, Manager of the Land Administration and Management Division at the National Land Agency, address issues concerning land ownership. (Contributed photo)

Furthermore, Young revealed that there is legislation that governs both unregistered and
registered land in Jamaica.

“Not because a person cannot produce a Title for his or her land does not mean that he does not own the land or his equitable interest in the land is so strong that it would prove challenging to defeat it”, he said.

Where it concerns how property is registered, Mr Young highlighted that different rules apply when persons own land as joints tenants or tenants-in-common.

(L) Mr. Nickoy Young, Manager of the Land Administration and Management Division at the National Land Agency, respond to a resident’s land registration query at a town hall meeting held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at the Red Hills Primary School. (Contributed photo)

“If a husband and wife own land as joint tenants, and one person dies, the rule of survivorship
applies. Therefore, the surviving partner will inherit the interest of the deceased partner automatically. A notation of death should be made on Title. Whereas, the husband and wife own land as tenants-in-common, if one person dies, his or her estate remains separate from the other,” Mr. Young explained.

He also encouraged attendees at the Red Hills Primary School session to equip themselves with accurate information related to the purchase and sale of land by “consulting with an Attorney- at-Law before proceeding with any land related transaction.”

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