QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I left Jamaica for Canada, over 10 years ago, but I do make a few trips to my home in Trench Town, an inner-city area of Kingston Jamaica. The man who was given permission, by my sister, to live there as a tenant has stopped paying rent and now is threatening us.
When I asked him to leave, he tells me that he wants back money for making repairs that I did not discuss with him or authorise. Then he told me he wants to help me pay my taxes. My sister says he got the house in good condition, and refuses to pay anyone we send to collect the rent.
Early this year, the ‘tenant/squatter’ called to ask me to send some money to put in JPS contracted electricity, as the company is putting in a new system. He was the one who took out the metre left there in the first place. He is telling me that the roof is caving in and I need to send him money, yet also refuses to contribute to the water bill which is now over J$200,000. It goes up by J$2,000 plus each month.
Can I get back my house without violence. Can your team assist?
RESPONSE: Dear Marsha Edwards
You don’t need violence to reclaim what’s yours, regardless of where it is. I am assuming you own the title for the property, or have actual proof and documents that can assist you to legitimately acquire one, if and as necessary.
First of all, make sure that the tax for that Trench Town house, in downtown Kingston, of yours is paid up.
Then get someone, if you really can’t come to Jamaica to start a lawsuit for ‘recovery of possession’ and outstanding rent sums.
You will need to give this person power-of-attorney and ask them to first issue a notice to quit. Further you may want to consider arranging a thorough check of the house over for a list of repairs if any.
Believe it or not, law-abiding rules and is fast becoming the norm, even in inner-city communities, so be confident. Our team has won a few similar cases so be confident, the legal system is here to help owners like you regardless of where you are.
Our team can assist for a nominal fee.