Many people value owning a home because of the security and peace of mind it provides. Additionally, home ownership is recognised as a worthy investment because of the income that is expected from renting, selling or setting up investment trusts. This is according to the Real Estate Board (REB).
Whilst finally obtaining a home is momentous, equally important is the registration process, which is a step required for all types of properties. Once a home has been secured, it should be registered with the owners’ names clearly indicated on the land title.
This is a government stipulation which is carried out by the National Land Agency (NLA) which monitors the registration of all properties. It is important because it will be difficult for someone to claim ownership of a property for which their name is not clearly listed on the title.
Types of Arrangements
According to the NLA, there are three ways someone can own property.
This means a single person owns the entire property.
With this arrangement, two or more persons own the property. No one owns a separate and distinguishable portion, rather each person holds the entire real estate. When one person dies, the last surviving joint holder is entitled to all of the property, this is called the right of survivorship. This means that the joint tenant cannot leave a will that includes the property, unless he or she is the sole surviving tenant.
Tenancy-in-common is where two or more persons own the property. Each person owns a separate and distinguishable portion. For example 10%, 20%, 50% or 90%. When one person dies, their interest does not pass to the other tenants-in-common. This means there is no right of survivorship. When a tenant-in-common dies, then the person’s interest in the property passes under the terms of his/her will or if the individual dies leaving no will, the assets are divided in accordance with the Intestates’ Estate and Property Charges Act.
As expressed by the NLA, each case may require different application forms or documents and fees may vary. Therefore, persons are encouraged to secure the services of a lawyer when registering their property. However, the general requirements are as follows:
- An application form prescribed by the Registration of Titles Act and signed by the applicant.
- A statutory declaration to prove possession (a statutory declaration is a written statement confirmed by oath).
- An up-to-date certificate of payment for Property Tax.
- Survey pre-checked diagram (if the property is being registered by plan).
- Any other document you may have that proves ownership e.g., receipt, conveyance, probate, certificate of compliance under the Facilities for Titles Act.
How to Change Your Ownership Arrangement
Individuals may wish to change their type of ownership arrangement for a number of reasons. Some of these include, marriage, death or to add their children to the arrangement. To make this change, persons can complete an application form using the link below.
For additional information, contact:
National Land Agency
8 Ardenne Road, Kingston 10