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How To Apply For A Splinter Title In Jamaica?
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subdivision_lots_housing_developmentHow To Apply For A Splinter Title In Jamaica?

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

If you are planning to do a subdivision anytime soon, this is how it is done. Here is how to apply for a splinter title in Jamaica.

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What is a splinter title in Jamaica?

Whether you are more familiar with the term Splinter Title or Subdivision, they are both talking about the same thing. The Splinter Title simply permits a piece of land to be divided into more parts.

From here individual titles can be generated for each piece of land for gift, sale or lease. These lots can be used for residential, commercial, agricultural or industrial purposes.

How Do I Apply For A Splinter Title?

Well, let us begin by saying it is quite a daunting endeavour, but it is not impossible. You will need the assistance of a land surveyor from the very beginning. Why? He/she will fill out your application form and draft the subdivision plan outlining the various subdivisions you are hoping to have.

For this application, you will need to provide your name, address, and telephone number, etc. If you are not the owner of the land, an authorisation letter must be obtained from the owner to proceed.

Detailed information as to the size of the land, the allotment for each proposed subdivision, the use of each allotment, amenities and utilities will be necessary details for this application as well.

The name and widths of the proposed roads to navigate these lots and access to existing roads are also needed. Remember your plan must be drawn to scale and must show the shape of the lots and assigned lot numbers.

You will need copies of the application form along with the following documents:

  • A subdivision plan
  • A certified copy of the Duplicate Certificate of Title
  • Surveyor’s Identification Report
  • Certificate of Valuation
  • Construction Drawings
  • Property Tax Certificate

You may need multiple copies of both the application form and subdivision plan, usually 10 and 20 respectively. Check with your Municipal Corporation to see how many you would need. Be sure to specify the purpose of the lands.

This should be submitted to the Municipal Corporation in the parish the land is located in.

If there are 10 or more divisions, then an Environmental Permit and an Environmental Licence will be needed. These must be obtained from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). The fees vary in each parish, so it is best to contact your local office to see the costs there.

In addition to the Municipal Corporation and NRCA, there are multiple government agencies that will need to assess the Splinter application. These include the National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA), the Fire Department, the National Works Agency, the National Water Commission, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Land and Environment.

The Municipal Corporation will send a copy of your documents and site inspection report along with recommendations to the National Environment Planning Agency for assessment. The technical team at NEPA will process the application and conduct a site visit themself should it be necessary. They will then send the application to the other agencies and together they will come to a conclusion as to the viability of the subdivision.

If your subdivision plan is approved, you will be given the conditions under which you can proceed. Should you feel dissatisfied with the final conditions, you may make an appeal. But if there is a final agreement or when an agreement is reached after the appeal, the application is sent to the Ministry of Land and Environment for a final sign-off.

Finally, this is where you head to the National Land Agency to apply for your splinter titles.

What do you need to Apply For Splinter Titles at the National Land Agency?

To apply for the individual titles, you must submit:

  • the Subdivision Approval
  • the Duplicate Certificate of Title
  • a pre-checked plan depicting the lots in the subdivision
  • Statutory Declaration by the Land Surveyor verifying the accuracy of the pre-checked plan

You will be given the deposited plan number assigned to the pre-checked plan. The application form for the surrender of the Duplicate Certificate of Title must be completed and given to the National Land Agency.

The fees will be calculated based on the market value of each subdivision. Ensure that your application describes you, the applicant, and the property as accurately as possible inclusive of the value of the lots and the number of titles to be issued.

If all these boxes are checked, the NLA will proceed with the processing of the application and issue the titles for each subdivision to the new owners.

Approximately How Long Does It Take To Process For Approval?

The process should not take more than 3 months unless there are rejections. If more than 3 months have passed without any further word on the process, it is best to follow up with them to see if there are any hiccups.

The National Land Agency’s contact number is +1 876 750-5263. Be sure to have your instrument and folio number on hand as the agent will need these to check on the status of your application.

So what can cause your Splinter title to be rejected?

If your subdivision map is done incorrectly, your splinter title will be rejected. The National Land Agency has outlined the reasons here. Take a look.

Are There Fees Involved?

Yes, you should prepare to pay the necessary fees every step of the way. One must be paid when submitting the application, to the National Works Agency for their review and many other agencies. The various agencies will notify you of these fees.

If at any point you would like to stop the process, by writing a letter requesting closure or by refusing to accept the conditions.

Consulting the Roads & Works Department or Planning Department at the municipal authority in your parish prior to submission of applications is a good idea since they will be able to notify you of any missing documents. This will lessen the chances of you getting rejected or having a drawn-out process.

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References & Sources For How To Apply For A Splinter Title In Jamaica?

  1. Balcostics Law (no date) Balcostics LAW. Available at: (Accessed: January 27, 2023).
  2. How to apply for a splinter title (2022) News | Jamaica Star. Available at: (Accessed: January 27, 2023).
  3. Subdivision approval process (no date) Subdivision Approval Process | St. James Municipal Corporation. Available at: (Accessed: January 27, 2023).

How To Apply For A Splinter Title In Jamaica? | Written: January 27, 2023

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