Persons who possess no title for land in Jamaica under the Registration of Titles Act, or, at common law can obtain a certificate of compliance to be used proof of ownership to apply for the same.
This is made possible under the Facilities for Title Act. Under such act, loan applicants (for agricultural purposes) to lending agencies can obtain a certificate of compliance, once they meet specific requirements.
Once issued with the certificate the applicant can make a first registration application to the Office of Titles using the compliance certificate.
PROCEDURES to obtaining Certificate of Compliance:
The applicant must first apply to an approved lending agency for a loan. A popular one is the National People’s Co-operative Bank, better known as the PC Bank.
To be elligble for a loan from the PC Bank one must first become a member. In order to do this one needs to a. fill out a membership form b. pay the registration fee of $150, c.open a savings account in the applicant’s name with a minimum deposit of $500. Remeber though that for the purposes of the Facilities for Title Act the borrowing amount should be between $20,000 minimum to $200,000 maximum.
As a member, the following documents must then be submitted to the bank as outlined by the Facilities for Title Act (section 4):
(a) A ‘FORM A’ application for loan accompanied by a statutory declaration made by the applicant verifying the particulars of the application.
(b) Two (2) ‘FORM B’ Certificates completed by either, inter alia, a Justice of the Peace, Clerk of the Courts, Collector of Tax, Solicitor of the Supreme Court, Public Health Inspector, or a Minister of Religion who acts as a marriage officer.
(c) Receipts from a duly authorized officer showing payment of quit rents, property tax, rates and assessments on the land by the applicant or his predecessors in title for the past seven years immediately preceding the date of the application.
(d) All deeds and other documents in the applicant’s possession relating to the title to the land.
If upon submission of the abovementioned documentation the bank wishes to grant the loan, notice of the application will be circulated as follows:
(a) The notice must be published in two (2) consecutive ordinary issues of the Gazette.
(b) A copy of the notice must be placed on the land and in two other places in the vicinity of the land
(c) A copy of the notice must be sent by registered post to every person stated in the application as an occupier or owner of the land contiguous to the land in question.
A representative of the agency shall go to the land, on the date and hour mentioned in the notice of application, and check the boundaries of the land and make a valuation thereof. The representative will also note any objections pertaining to the title or boundaries that may be stated by any given person. The applicant should receive a copy of every objection noted by the representative.
The agency may accept a mortgage if it is executed between 30 days and 6 months after the second publication of the notice of application in the Gazette. The agency may also accept the mortgage provided there are no objections to title or persons claiming an interest in the estate adverse to the title of the applicant.
Provided the aforementioned formalities have been complied with, the agency will then issue a compliance certificate to the applicant to the effect that a mortgage has been duly executed. This certificate shall be accepted as proof of title to the land. Based on the many steps in the process, the issuance of a compliance certificate may take 3 – 6 months.
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