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 Brownstown and they tell me I need the plot’s in order to pay the taxes. Then I called again and they assisted me. The taxes are updated up to 2009.
How long before squatters can take our land if I cant find the documents? The title is in the grandfathers name and he has been deceased for over 50 yrs.
I also will need an attorney to help me in land transfers can u help me there. We are looking into attorneys here also that deal w/ international real estate. Do you have a ballpark amount that it may cost?
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.
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RESPONSE: Dear Deon,
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. Its also very important to determine whether the land was titled and if taxes were being paid and by whom.
Please try to use an attorney locally based in Jamaica who is on the ground and can follow through more effectively.
1. Does the property have a title
2. You need to check to get 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
For any physical leg work such as searching we do there is a fee… such as check up on the property status update, tax papers, title, etc
Determining fees will be influenced by the responses to the questions above, as there are additional steps that might be required. Legwork to research the facts can begin at 5,000 Jamaican, while attorney fees can begin at $50,000.00 Jamaican.