QUESTION: Hello Legal Wiz,
My family has land in Brownstown/Alexandrie, but I have misplaced the tax documents. I have contacted the tax dept in Browstown and they tell me I need the plot’s in order to pay the taxes, then they helped me.
How long before squatters can take our land if I cant find the documents?
I need an attorney to help me in land transfers – can you help me there? What are the attorney fees like?
I am trying to get an international attorney who can assist from over here nevertheless.
RESPONSE: Dear Dania,
Squatters can start the process to take over property if they have been in undisturbed possession over 12 years. However there are numerous challenges they would meet, as certain conditions have to be met such as proving their possession according to the laws of Jamaica.
Its also very important for you to determine the status of the land, and its availability for transfer. Information such as whether the land was titled and if taxes were being paid and by whom are relevant.
A Jamaica-based attorney is always a great idea, as they are on the ground and can follow through more effectively. The attorneys who were contacted have requested responses to some questions including the following, to guide them on how to best assist you.
1. Does the property have a title?
2. You need to verify the tax number to ensure it’s the right property before you can pay the tax?
3. Who exactly is on the property and do you know for how long.. is it your relatives or strangers?
4. Whose name is the property to be transferred to?
Determining fees will be influenced by the responses to the questions above, as there might be additional steps required. Attorney fees can begin at $50,000.00 Jamaican.
The above does not constitute legal advice. The responses are prepared and published by inhouse senior journalists after research and discussion with attorneys-at-law and other specialists, as necessary.
The Legal Wiz networks professionals from all fields to serve the interest of all Jamaicans and persons relating with Jamaicans.