JIS News

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Land Agency (NLA), Elizabeth Stair, says work to produce 20,000 new titles is to commence this financial year.

This is to be achieved through Systematic Land Registration (SLR), which should enable the NLA to achieve its mandate of issuing 20,000 certificates of title in three years.

“We have identified the areas we are going into, and we have also started to work with our private sector partner, Geoland Title Limited, to get surveyors activated in the areas and we should start some work this financial year. We will actually be going into specific communities. When we go into those communities, we want to title all the lands in those general locations,” Mrs. Stair told JIS News.

The NLA Head, who is also Commissioner of Lands, said the lowest registration for parcels of land is in St. Elizabeth and Portland.

There are approximately 350,000 unregistered parcels of land islandwide. Under the system, persons can be duly registered as the legal owners of these properties, and this will create economic opportunities for these persons.

“We are looking mainly at areas where people are in occupation of lands – farming lands or residential properties where people have lived on the lands or farmed the lands for years. We will be going to see what kind of paperwork they have. Once specific criteria are met, they will get a title,” Mrs. Stair pointed out.

“The benefit of having a title is that you will be able to go to the bank for a loan or go to the National Housing Trust (NHT) to put houses on the land and that is a big benefit to persons,” she added.

Mrs. Stair said a particular area of interest is the generation of titles for land settlement schemes.

“These are schemes that were created by the Government from as far back as the1940s, where people were issued with lands and they did not get a title and still don’t have a title. We are looking to fast track those properties under this system as well,” she told JIS News.

Additionally, Mrs. Stair said the recently passed Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2020, and the Registration of Titles (Amendment) Act, 2020, will ensure that lands can be titled in a more efficient manner.

They aim to revolutionise the country’s land-titling system and allow eligible persons occupying family lands to receive titles.

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