How can I get title for land back home in Jamaica?

Titles for land in Jamaica can be acquired online. However as the site is a new-work-in-progress, it is strongly advised to have someone deal with it in person


QUESTION:
Dear Legal Wiz,
I left Jamaica for some time now and my dad who owned our family property recently passed on. I learnt that my brother who lived with him wants to sell the property, and I have not been contacted as someone who might be entitled to something. Can I get a title? Can I also get information on whether or not my brother has legal rights to do sell the house?

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LEGAL WIZ: Yes to all of the above. First let’s discuss how you can acquire a copy of the title for the property back home in Jamaica.
Titles for land in Jamaica can be acquired online. However as the site is a new-work-in-progress, it is strongly advised to have someone physically deal with it in Jamaica. This is as information is still being uploaded and updated online, and what’s existing so far has been confirmed to have errors.
To acquire the copy of the title in person, one must go to the Hanover Street address and pay for a title search. Come prepared with the title number. Otherwise, aside from payment, you are required to bring along the street address including lot number (see list following), and you will be required to fill in a form.

SUMMARY: The form requires information on
– title’s volume number
– title’s folio number
– address of property
– landmarks
– tax number
– possible names which may exist on title

For the most part the search is done by the staff of the National Land Agency (Titles division) operating at that location. The process takes half an hour, for search and printing of the copy of the title if all is in place. If you need it certified, or order an originsl copy of the copy the process will be longer.
Be prepared to wait a while either way, and remember you will need to stick around in case additional informatio is needed when challenges present themselves especially for property in rural areas.

USEFUL ARTICLE:
Buying and selling property in Jamaica

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Questions on legal proceedings back home can be submitted to legalwiz@jamaicans.com or legalwizwork@yahoo.com. Questions will then be processed by team specialists in each area, and selected answers will be placed in relevant Questions and Answers sections of participating mediahouses and sites. These include Street Hype Newspaper in New York, Yush.com (UK), The Agriculturalist, Jamaicans.com advice channel and on www.antheamcgibbon.com.
For actual legwork, follow ups and other needed legal assistant services in Jamaica not requiring the full services of an attorney you may call 876-530-5744 or 305-648-6963 or simply write to legalwiz@jamaicans.com, legalwizwork@yahoo.com to make private arrangements beyond the commitment of this mediahouse.
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53 thoughts on “How can I get title for land back home in Jamaica?

  1. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your query.
    To get a diagram for your property, you will need the services a land surveyor, who will survey i.e. measure etc the land and prepare said diagram for you. Stay connected. Keep communicating.
    Bless

    Smiley

  2. My great grandfather’s land in Jamaica is not being used by my family, my grandmother died. I have no title deeds. How can I search for all the land that my blood should inherit, and, rest peacefully knowing my blood is the rightful owners.

  3. Dear A Agard,
    Thank you for your correspondence.
    A number of issues arise based on your statement. However it seems you specifically seek information on how to do a title search so that you can see what names are on the title. If in fact a title for the land exists, you can search for the title either online or in person at the titles office, and obtain a copy. You can also hire the services of our legal legwork team to have it done for you. Bear in mind though, that you will need information such as volume number, address, proposed owner’s names, and there are nominal fees by the titles office, as well as by our legal legwork team as necessary. If no title exists, the procedure is a bit more challenging.
    I wish you all the best. Stay connected.
    Anthea

    Smiley

  4. Hello Anthea…

    Good day to you. i have bought a piece of land from a friend in Jamaica and after I finished paid for the land i found out he borrowed money from the bank and the bank has the title… I did get the diagram and I want to look about the title now.

    I spoke to him today based on what ive heard he said he finished paying off the bank and he will be getting the title next month. The land is 2 and a half square chain…. i would like to know how much it will cost to get the title and how long it will take….

    Thank in advance for your help

    Michael

  5. Hi Anthea thank for your help so for..your respond was very quick..I am not so sure if i got the help that i was asking for….i have read the link and i got a bit of in sight into the procedure..

    I would like to know how much it would cost for me to get the title though a Lawyer…..it is 2 and a half square of land…..and please can you say how long it might take to get the title from the tax office…….

    Michael

  6. Michael,
    You indicated that you have finished paying for title, which suggests you entered into a contract, and should have had an official ‘agreement for sale’ prepared. Your request therefore seems vague, as it is the responsiblity of the VENDOR to pay for transfer of title.
    You are insisting on acquiring about the cost of a lawyer, so please shed more light on your situation for it to be assessed.
    Is it to be assumed for example that you seek a lawyer to investigate the status of the title?
    On what premise did you ‘pay in full’ for the land, if in actuality you did?
    What was your understanding as per written CONTRACT ie AGREEMENT FOR SALE where title was concerned?
    Where are you located?

    For STEPS FOR BUYING LAND IN JAMAICA, Click here!

    Legally Yours!

  7. Sorry Anthea…. i am in England at the moment and i dont know much about buying land….. my friend buy a piece of the land and told me the piece next to him is selling too so i buy it…2 and a half square $580,000 plus i gave him the vendor another $30,00 for the diagram which i got….i hav paid all of the money in 2008…..me and my friend were made to understand that we are supose to pay for/to look about the title.

    my friend did get a copy of the title so he try to look about his title and the title office say they need the original copy….he try to get it from him and that was when we found out he had borough money off the land after he had sold us….i did have $70,000 let which i say i will give when i get the title but because he was having problem paying back the money to the bank i gave him the $70,000 to speed it up….now some close friend of him told us he finish pay off the bank…..so i ran him and he said yes but he was waiting till he get the title next month before he call us…..

    I did not buy the land through a Lawyer it was just word of mouth on the phone as i am living in England and my friend is here too he started to build a house on his piece of the land.

    No i a not seeking a lawyer to investigate the status of the title base on what i was told i was waiting for him to get back title so we can sent it off to the title office…When we were looking about the diagram he said he sold us the land cheap so we should stand half of the cost so maybe he is going to say the samething about the title……i have all the reciept of money that i pay him……..i hope this sum it up so for and again i say many thank in advance for your time.

  8. I think it best we discuss details by email or phone. Acquiring land is not the same as buying a car. You don’t just pay money over and then deal with title, and then wallah you have a house.

    Please read these AS THE STEPS TO TAKE when buying land in Jamaica
    http://www.antheamcgibbon.com/procedures-and-steps-to-take-when-buying-land-in-jamaica.htm

    Otherwise, for your special case, you will be required to pay a fee or recommended to a lawyer for anything further.
    It seems you paid monies for example. Assessment of this and procedures relating need to be discussed with you and further action or research will require a fee.

    Legally Yours

  9. Dear SIR Michael,
    Here’s an update for you to speed things along. You can have a lawyer do a DEMAND LETTER for the title from the vendor. That failing you should proceed to a lawsuit for the same.
    The average charge by an attorney to do the demand letter is J$25,000.00, and the preparation time is 24 hours.

    Legally Yours

  10. Good evening, i have a question pertaining to land in Jamaica…..My family has 10 acres of land in a rural part of Jamaica…We have the title but need to cut a road and then divide the land in 4….where can I go (or what office to contact) to have the road and the land divided into 4 new titles and how much or an estimate u think it may cost? Thanks so much for ur time!

  11. Hi Sue,
    Thanks for communicating with us. This question demands a bit more research than the usual. May I suggest you start with at the National Land Agency and/or Ministry of Works with your query. Otherwise a nominal fee might be required to proceed on your behalf. Until you have made a decision it is my hope that someone will share knowledge if available.
    Bless!!!

  12. Dear Sue,
    Thanks for your patience. In response to your question, you will first need to secure the services of a land surveyor. This of course is after you have decided how you want to subdivide the land, or you can also rely on guidance from the surveyor. This person will measure and prepare a blue print on your behalf of the areas to be sectionalised with the layout suggestion of the road. This blueprint will then be used to make application to the Parish Council. You will then be advised accordingly. Please note that a fee is required to secure the land surveyor as well as to make application to the Parish Council.
    The cost, based on a number of factors such as location varies.
    The legal legwork team can only give a costing for securing members to monitor the process on your behalf, once more details such as location, body of work needed is known.
    Bear in mind that at any stage that an attorney is needed in any case undertaken, it is referred to such person who is a member of our team, after further discussion.

    All the best! Keep communicating

  13. Good day to you,
    I have a problem. My father has a piece of family land in Jamaica with no title. He has 6 sisters, but he has been paying the land tax close to 35 -40 years with no help. He has started to build a house on it, and now all 6 sisters want their share, but nobody wants to contribute to the land tax or the cost of the title. He needs the title. Could he look about the title on his own without adding their names on it, but add his children instead? Thank you.

  14. Hi Nickiflex,
    Thank you for writing in. More information needs to besupplied before your issue can be thoroughly answered. However, based on the limited information you have submitted, your father can register for title in his`own name provided he alone acquired the land, and further satisfies the requirements for registration of property. He has the option to add any name he chooses.
    Bear in mind that factors can affect the process, or him applying for his name name only such as:
    Joint tenancy; whether or not others assisted him to acquire the said property, etc. If there are other factors, you will need to discuss further with an attorney which can be from our Legal Legwork team.
    All the best!
    Legalwiz

  15. Anthea,

    I saw this blog and found it useful. Therefore, I now have a few questions myself.

    Six years ago my husband allowed my brother to use his land title to secure a loan which was supposed to be for a short time. To date my brother has not returned the title, my husband has called him multiple times and left messages but he never returns the call.

    I can only assume he’s using it to secure more loans. How can I find out if this is the case?
    How can I prevent him from using it continuously?
    How can we retrieve back our title?

    Thanks for your advise!

    J.E.E.L.

  16. Dear Jo,

    Thank you for posting your question.
    As you know all questions have to be thoroughly researched before published. Please appreciate that this question must be brought before an attorney-at-law.

    Please therefore allow 5-7 days before a response is posted. Until then, please consider subscribing for FREE for updates on the site.
    Thank you. Keep reading!!

    “:roll:”

    Anthea

  17. Anthea,

    Great site! Quick question. Many years ago a relative of mine left Jamaica and trusted a so called friend to pay the tax on a piece of property that he owned. The friend claimed to have been paying the tax but then eventually died. We cannot locate his relatives to obtain the title that was left with him. How can my relative retain his claim to the title and if for some reason the “friend” sold the property or tansfered title what is our recourse? Thanks in advance.

  18. Dear Jo,
    Thank you for your patience. Please keep posted for a response soon.
    Legal Wiz

    _______________________________________________________
    YOUR QUESTION:
    Anthea,

    I saw this blog and found it useful. Therefore, I now have a few questions myself.

    Six years ago my husband allowed my brother to use his land title to secure a loan which was supposed to be for a short time. To date my brother has not returned the title, my husband has called him multiple times and left messages but he never returns the call.

    I can only assume he’s using it to secure more loans. How can I find out if this is the case?
    How can I prevent him from using it continuously?
    How can we retrieve back our title?

    Thanks for your advise!

    J.E.E.L.

  19. Dear Jay,
    QUICK RESPONSES
    1. You can trace payments, if made through the tax office online. Do you have the valuation number?
    2. You may retrieve a copy of the title through the Titles office, at Hanover Street or online.
    3. The ‘ friend’ cannot act to transfer your name etc without your official permission, or forging your signature.
    4. You can trace any action regarding the title through the Registrar of Titles, as the same would have been recorded. READ MORE at THIS LINK.
    5. If your ‘friend’ or anyone acted falsely on your behalf, you can seek recourse through both Criminal and Civil Court.
    Stay connected. Your communication is appreciated.
    Any further information will be posted here for your reference.

    Legal Wiz

  20. Good day, I find this site very useful! Thanks for the great job. I have a question, hope you can help. My parents own a house in JA and it is fully paid off however on the title are the names of my siblings. Both my parents want to leave the house to me in the event of death but I keep telling them that no matter what they put in a will I have no right to the house fully unless they remove my siblings name from the title, is this true? Also how can they remove my siblings names without them signing for themselves (if possible?)

  21. Dear Kellz,
    Thank you for staying connected.
    Assuming your parents names are on the title as well, it is wise to have them add your name to it BEFORE they die. They can also by way of a will, leave their portion to you. Either way, its best to act soonest.
    Again provided they have authority, they cam have the names of your siblings removed, but procedures may differ based on actual terms of ownership the siblings were granted initially by the will.
    Our Legal Leg workers team members can further assist with physical service for a nominal fee!

  22. Good day, Great site. Please advise. What is the best way to purchase a lot of land for which a title is not yet available. (title is a work in progress due to land exchange agreement through a company). The seller and buyer has come to an agreed price and the seller is willing to take a deposit and wait until the title is ready to collect the balance.
    Question –
    Can this be done and if so what is the best percentage to pay as a deposit?
    Can an agreement be done, which will also not allow the seller to sell to anyone else and instructing that the title is done in the purchaser’s name?
    Thanks in advance.

  23. Dear Michelle,
    Thank you for communicating with us!
    To answer all your questions, it would be fair to have more information on the immediate issues surrounding the title faced with/between the company and ‘owner’. On the premise that you are awaiting the actual title to be available, a drafted sale agreement is the best way forward. It can be prepared whilst the company is settling issues, however it is wise to wait until everything is settled. This sale agrement, a legally binding document will contain your terms and conditions as allowed and agreed between both yourself as purchaser and the seller.
    Please read this article on buying and selling land at THIS LINK.
    The percentage for deposit is best decided on between both of you and put the same in your sale agreement being prepared! Be mindful that a part of the deposit is used to offset expenses especially processing certain fees required by law.

    Further the name of the purchaser is usually placed after 2/3 payment is handed over. If you require alternative arrangements, please discuss same with seller and place same in the sale agreement.
    To safeguard your interest it is best to allow the issues to be settled before entering into a sale agreement.
    Stay connected – it’s great having you!
    Legal Wiz

  24. Thanks for your quick response. For explanation the land was given to the seller based on a sale with a bauxite company. So the only thing that the seller has is a letter stating the lots given in return and the land that was bought by the company and a diagram of the area for the lots. This letter is dated from 2009.

  25. Dear Michelle,
    Thanks for responding, The link has been fixed. Please refer to response by Legal Wiz! Stay connected. If the information provided is insufficient, please consider to and send a more detailed email to legalwizwork@yahoo.com. Nominal fees may apply further especially if any research or action is required by the Legal Wiz team, acting on your behalf.
    Anthea

  26. Hi Michelle,
    The volume and folio number is assigned to the title so as to make it easier to identify the title. For easier understanding it is the title number by which one can identify a title, or address of the title for it to be found easier in the records of the titles office. Within volumes there are further specific numbers called folio numbers. The folio number is the actual id for the parcel registered.

    Legal Wiz

  27. Dear Anthony,
    You need to provide more information before we can assist you. If a title does exist, you can do a search online at the title’s office, or have it done for you in person, as the information is accessible to the public at a fee on and offline.
    You are welcomed to browse relating questions and answers on this site.

    Thanks for communicating.

    Bless!

  28. The owner of the land I am acquiring now has passed away for more than twenty years now and the original title is here with me how can i get my name on the title if so.

  29. Dear Marlon,
    Thank you for communicating with us. The information you provided is insufficient. There are requirements by law, and once met efficiently your name can be placed on the title. There are procedures that you must follow once you have all the information required. The first stage of information gathering requires you to have
    – proof of ownership
    – proof of interest — showing how qualified you are to have your name on the title for example by – -producing a will (which will need to be probated)
    – updated survey (checks and balances against original title)
    – completed forms such as transfer of title
    – identification
    Actual work includes placing a notification of death title on existing title, probating the will, checking if any monies are outstanding, proof of no contestants for the property.
    The process can be complicated, so we recommend that when you are ready, you consult or contract a lawyer or legal leg worker. Both can be accessed through the international team of legal leg workers on this site or via jamaicans.com.
    READ MORE ON THIS SITE

    All the best!

  30. My grandfather has passed away over twenty years ago, and all his children have passed away apart from my dad who is the only child alive. Can any land in my grandfather’s name be transferred to my father, but there is no will? Can my father, the only child alive, get his father’s assets transfered to his name?

  31. My grandfather past away over 20 years ago and all his children also past away except a son of his. Can the only child alive get his father assetts transfered to his name?

  32. Hi Joel,
    Thank you for writing in. What is required is an application for a registered title on behalf of your father. This you will do after you apply for and successful obtain “letters of administration”. If there is a will, you will need to get a probate before you can apply for the title.
    To apply for the ‘letters of administration you can use a common law title. (See more on this) However, you will need to produce supporting documents to be processed by the title’s office such as death certificate of your grandfather, proof of ownership, proof of relations, survey diagram etc.

    For further assistance, a member of our legal leg work team can assist, and should you be interested be write in to legalwizwork@yahoo.com.

    Legally Yours!

  33. Dear Shara,
    Thank you for writing in. Based on the Legal Profession Act

    A Justice of the Peace is not authorised to do sales.
    The law is set up that only lawyers should conduct sales, unless he gives instructions to someone with paralegal or legal training to do the same.
    Any further information will be posted as follow up.

    PLEASE: See more at THIS LINK

  34. My grand mother passed away in 1999 leaving my father her land in Jamaica. In 2008 we employed an attorney from Mandeville to deal with the title transfer, money was paid for the transfer of the land documents had been notorised and sent but the attorney never finished the transaction and ceased contact with us in may 2010. No reason has ever been given for this, we are now pursuing him through the General legal council.
    I was wondering if it would be possible for me to do the title transfer without the use of an attorney? Will i beable to do this from the U.K?
    We have paid the taxes upto date, but the title document is lost. My grandmothers name is the registered owner on the jamaican tax website.
    She also owned a number of bigger plots of land, which are for some reason in her brothers name (he past away along time ago) these plots are unused and my father would also like to get the titles for these, could this also be done?

    Hope you can advise

  35. Dear David,
    Thanks for communicating. Here are specific answers to your questions.
    1. It is possible, but getting an attorney or someone with knowledge or practical experience is advisable
    2. It’s advisable to get someone physical in Jamaica
    3. You can apply online for a replacement of the original ‘duplicate’ of the title. If you have difficulty, you may get assistance, such as from a member of our team.
    4. Titles can be obtained for the land left in your granduncle’s name, and transfers to your father. However, please bear in mind that documents will be required and several procedures exist before this can be done. Documents include proof of death, proof of relations and right to property. Procedures include either getting a will probated or applying for letters of administration, researching original title or a common law title etc.

    Smiley

    Hope this helps. All the best!
    Should you need further practical assistance please write to legalwizwork@yahoo.com.
    Legal Wiz!

  36. You are doing a great job, I too have a question. Is there a minimum on the amount of land that you can get a title for in Jamaica. I have land that I need title for, and it also has a house on it. Thank you

  37. Dear Tay,
    Thanks for writing in. There is a minimum, but not standard. The size approved for title depends foremostly on the parish council in the relating area. Perhaps you should say the size of your land with the house on it, and parish for checks to be made on your behalf.
    All the best!
    Legal Wiz

  38. my family own this land in jamaica the brother that had the title died the person that survey the land we are trying to find him to get the paper well the problem is this man that said he is the head of the committee for the community has been selling land all over the place now he is selling my family land he does not have the title for this land now he is gone to kingston to try and get papers that is what someone told my family what i want to know is what can i do to help my family in jamaica they are poor people farming to feed there family and the community. i live overseas i need to know what i can do to stop this man please.thank you have a bless day

  39. Hi Shirley,
    Thanks for communicating!
    It is never good to rely on hearsay, so at best your report need to be checked out. The first step you can do is to source a copy of the title for the land from the titles department of the National Land Agency itself. From there you can also source a copy of the diagram of the land. You can do this online, or by having someone physically visit the office on Hanover Street and taking necessary steps to secure said copy of the title. There the staff can assist in determining any transactions that would have taken place. If the gentleman has no legal authority to sell the property, steps can be taken to stop him but for this you will need further assistance from an attorney. Our team members can assist you further as needed.
    All the best.

    Legal Wiz

  40. Good morning, I have a qauestion, I have a lawyer in the US and my mom have a house in Jamaica, my dad pass away and my mother is left on the title. My lawyer is doing that title exchange, but it have been awhile and no respond. How long does it take to get a title. I need to sell the property . Please help. This is going on since last year.

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