Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating journey to securing ownership of unregistered land in
Jamaica? Prepare to unlock the secrets of First Registration and discover the path to a title.
Acquiring ownership of unregistered land in Jamaica can seem like a daunting task and, for some, a costly feat, but with the process of First Registration, it becomes an achievable goal. The First Registration process provides a clear pathway for individuals to obtain a title and secure their rights to unregistered land. In this article, we will guide you through the steps involved in obtaining a title via First Registration, thus helping you navigate the process with confidence.
Step 1: Gather all documents and information
Before embarking on the journey of First Registration, it is crucial to gather all documents and
information such as:
Any original Deeds and documents proving ownership (Indenture, Transfer Instruments, Assent to Devise, Wills etc.)
Survey Pre-checked Plan/Diagram
Government-issued ID and Tax Registration for Applicant(s) and Nominee(s) if applicable.
Up-to-date Certificate of Payment of Taxes; Property tax receipts
Stamp Commissioner’s Certificate if the land is passing as a result of Probate/Administration of a deceased person’s estate.
Grant of Probate and Administration, where the Personal Representative of an estate is the one making the Application.
Be able to prove possession to include at least a 30-year history of the land in a Statutory Declaration -- Personal details such as name, address, occupation, and date of birth. A government-issued ID card is important; sign the same way on documents as on ID.
Supporting Declarants who can corroborate your claim to ownership (independent persons who have known the land for at least 30 years; must be at least 48 years of age
Personal details such as name, address, occupation, and date of birth. A government-issued ID card is important; sign the same way on documents as on ID.
Step 2: Engage a Competent Attorney/LAMD/Geoland/Attorney certified by LAMD (Land Administration and Management Division)
It is advisable to engage the services of a knowledgeable and experienced Attorney. An Attorney will be your guide, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and assisting you in navigating potential complexities throughout the process.
Step 3: Preparation of the Documents
Your Attorney will assist in preparing the First Registration Application and supporting documents, having taken the relevant instructions and reviewed the documents provided. These typically
Application Form: This Form requests information about the Applicant, property description and details and any relevant circumstances.
Declaration: An Affidavit stating the Applicant’s claim to the land, supported by evidence such as occupation, improvements made, or long-standing possession.
Supporting Declarations: These Declarations are required from individuals who can provide information regarding the property’s ownership history or relevant facts and have a 30-year history about the land.
Consent of Nominee (if adding a person on Title at the time of the making of Application) Consider the tenancy to be held: Joint Tenancy or Tenants-in-common in equal shares or Tenants-in-common in unequal shares.
Step 4: Execution of Documents by all relevant parties
Once all documents are prepared by your Attorney, all documents mentioned above should be
signed and executed in the presence of a Justice of Peace (JP). The documents must be signed and stamped by the JP.
Step 5: Submission of Documents to LAMD for review and Certified (20-30 days turnaround time)
Executed documents must be submitted to LAMD for review and to be certified. Pay LAMD
the administrative cost associated with Certification.
N.B. This step only applies where the Attorney at the private bar is certified by LAMD.
Step 6: Submission of Certified Documents to Title’s Office
Submit documents to Title’s Office and pay the lodgment fee (based on the value of the land). Await Provisional Approval or Requisition from Referee of Title.
Step 7: Publish and Serve Notice
Once Provisional Approval is issued, the Registrar of Titles issues legal notice with Provisional
Approval. As part of the First Registration process, a Notice of the Application must be published in a local newspaper. The Notice will give a time frame for any objection to the Application to be raised.
The time frame varies, and the need for a time frame allows for interested parties to come forward
and make any claims or objections.
Pay to add a legal notice in the newspaper for two (2) consecutive weeks.
Step 8: Submit Tear sheets and Pay Final Fees
Once the period of time has lapsed, submit tear sheets from the newspaper and pay the final fees at Title’s Office.
Step 9: Obtain the Registered Title
Upon a successful Application, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Title, establishing your legal
ownership of the previously unregistered land.
It is essential to work closely with your Attorney, follow all legal requirements and diligently address any challenges that may arise during the process. With the guidance of an experienced legal professional and a clear understanding of the steps involved, obtaining a title through First Registration for unregistered land in Jamaica is within reach.
This Article is for general information purposes only and does not, and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
By Sade Hall