Jamaica’s registered land title system is considered one of the most secure and robust anywhere. Jamaica uses the Torrens land title system, which is both a land registration and land transfer system. It was developed in Australia in 1858 and is used in Jamaica and certain provinces in Canada. This system requires the government to create and maintain a register of land holdings. Here’s how you can obtain your Registered Title.
First, you could check with the Registrar General Department, Central Village, Spanish Town P.O., to ascertain whether a common law title for your land has been recorded there. You can register the land yourself, but you should consider seriously engaging the services of an attorney.
For purposes of getting a Registered Title, you will need to:
1. Get the property surveyed by a Commissioned Land Surveyor who will prepare a survey diagram, which he must send to the Survey Department (23 1/2 Charles Street, Kingston), where it will be checked and approved.
2. Complete an application form to bring land under the Registration of Titles Act, obtainable from the Registrar of Titles (23 1/2 Charles Street, Kingston) and have it stamped at the Stamp Office (111 Harbour Street, Kingston).
3. Obtain a Statutory Declaration that you are the owner of the land.
4. Obtain two supporting declarations from persons who have known about the existence of the land for at least 13 years.
5. Obtain other supporting documents acceptable to the Registrar of Titles that can show a history of ownership, such as Purchase Receipts, Common Law Title and probated Will Tax receipts.
6. Get a current Tax Payment Certificate.
7. All the above documents, along with the Surveyor's diagram, must be submitted to the Registrar of Titles, where you will be required to pay a fee. The diagram will be referred to the Survey Department to ensure (a) that the land has not been registered previously, and (b) that the boundaries do not encroach on any other land.
8. The documents will then be sent to the Referee of Titles for approval.
9. Advertisement must appear in a daily newspaper at least once per week for three weeks. Seven weeks after the publication of the first advertisement, the Registered Title can be issued after the final fee is paid to the Registrar of Titles, based on value of the land.
Contributed by Seraphia Spence, Sales and Marketing Manager