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What Are The Rights of Jamaican Landowners?
QUESTION: What are the Rights of Landowners in Jamaica?
I live abroad; my house is occupied by my brother. He returned from a business trip to find the land in the back of my property cleared. When he inquired about the reason for the clearing, he was told that I do not own the land therefore they are going to build there.
I have title and survey for the land. My brother is afraid to confront these people.
What is my recourse at this time?
ANSWER: by Kesha Stewart
It is unfortunate that these issues have emerged with the property you own in Jamaica. I should inform you of some of the particular rights you have as owner of property in Jamaica.
Some rights of land owners in Jamaica:
1. No one should capture your land
2. No one should build on your land
3. No one should build set up of a business place on your property
4. No one should be planting of crops on your property
There are some circumstances which may result in loss of ownership or rights. Here are a few:
1. Unpaid taxes
2. As a result of bankruptcy or other legal proceeds
3. Mental illness i.e. being declared to be of unsound mind. In this case the court will grant permission for someone else to manage your affairs.
Where do I turn for assistance if my ownership rights are being breached?
1. Appoint an attorney.
2. The owner may also appoint someone they trust well to act on his/her behalf if he/she is unavailable – power of attorney. You may seek information about how this process is done in your jurisdiction.
3. Call or visit the Legal Aid Council its address is 72-76 Harbour Street in Kingston on the ground floor of the air Jamaica building. They help persons who have challenges affording their legal costs. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 876-948-699
4. There are also Legal Aid Clinics at three locations
a. in Kingston on 131 Tower Street or by Tel. 876- 922-3792
b. in St. James at 42B Union Street, Montego Bay
c. Norman Law School Clinic University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus at Tel. 876-876-927-1007.
It is recommended that you act responsibly and urgently in order to prevent your situation from escalating beyond its present status.
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