Foreign Buyers Should Beware Lack Of Rules, No Oversight And A Chaotic & Corrupt Land Titles System
Your Land Might Not Be Yours
The stories are legion in Barbados…
- The same lands are sold to two or more different buyers, each holding title documents in their name.
- An archaic land titles system that is fertile ground for abuse and theft.
- Lawyers selling estate lands without informing beneficiaries.
- No conflict of interest rules for the legal profession, and an “old boy” club atmosphere in the courts.
- Documents missing at the Land Registry Office that surface only when certain parties need them and then disappear again into the void.
- Foreign landowners who return to Barbados after a few years to find a house built upon “their” land. Then after an expensive legal battle, a court that blames the landowner and will not return the land – instead ordering the interloper to pay a modest amount to “purchase” the land – with the crooked lawyer who arranged everything protected by the court and walking away free and unnamed. (Can’t take down one of “the club” don’t ya know?)
- Government officials use the law to expropriate privately held land for “the public good” – a few years later the land is sold to private interests and a Minister of Government ends up living on expropriated land. Barbados has no conflict of interest or integrity laws to prevent such abuse. It is actually legal for government officials to expropriate private land and then sell it to friends, relatives or even themselves! (Nice trick, eh? See Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land)
Good Luck and May God Bless – Suckers!
Thinking of buying land in Barbados? It is not as risky as purchasing land in Nigeria – but neither is it the same as buying land in New York or Leeds.
A CIVIL SUIT dealing with the sale of nearly 10 000 square feet of disputed land has ended with a High Court judge criticising attorneys who handle both ends of the deal.
In addition, Justice Christopher Blackman wants overseas owners of local land to pay greater interest in their affairs here.
His comments came as he handed down a judgement in No. 6 Supreme Court to determine who was the
rightful owner of a parcel of land at Clapham Heights, Christ Church.
“In determining the matter,” said Justice Blackman, “it has become apparent that unfortunate consequences may occur when the same attorney-at-law acts for the vendor and the purchaser on a sale or purchase, or the parties to a loan transaction.
Lack of vigilance
“This is particularly so,” he added, “in the context of this case, as the firm of attorneys for the plaintiff at the time of the purchase of the land, the subject of this action, also act in these proceedings.”
The judge said a lack of vigilance by absentee landowners made it difficult for a court to “fashion a remedy providing the minimum equity to do justice” to either party.
“This action also indicates that resolute vigilance must be exercised on the part of absentee land owners to actively protect their interest and so avoid the dismissive appellation and the consequences of being classified ‘a paper title owner’.”
The lot in question was sub-divided into two lots – 2 (19 155 sq. ft) and 2A (9 730 sq. ft) in May 1973.
Maria De Los Angeles Arambarri Nicholls claimed she purchased the entire lot of land at Lot 2, Clapham Heights, by conveyance, which was dated November 3, 1999, from Antoinette Denna Chen, who acquired the land on May 15, 1987.
However, Fitzgerald Ramsay claimed he was the owner of a portion of that land, called Lot 2A (9 730 sq. ft), after he bought it by conveyance dated August 12, 1975. He wanted to sell his portion.
However, Nicholls brought an action, claiming she owned all of the land and received an interim injunction restraining Ramsay from transferring, encumbering or trespassing on the property.
The judge ordered Chen to pay Nicholls $195 000, which was the assessed value of Lot 2A (9 730 sq. ft).
He further ordered Chen to indemnify Nicholls but ordered Nicholls to pay her own costs.
Justice Blackman added: “The issue of rectification of the November 3, 1999 conveyance to [Nicholls] to reflect the correct area of land to which she is entitled must be addressed.”
He, however, granted a six-week stay of execution.
… read the original article at The Nation News (link here)