Frequently Asked Questions

 Why should I make a will?

How do I determine which tenancy to choose when I am buying a property?

When do I need to apply for subdivision?

What are the taxes applicable when buying and selling land?

 Is it necessary to seek legal advice when buying or selling land?

 Is it necessary to seek the services of a Commissioned Land Surveyor when buying land?

How do I get to pay my own taxes?

 How do I get a registered title for my property?

 

1. Why should I make a will?

A will ensures that a person disposes of his assets in the best way possible. When someone writes a will then he can determine who should get what he has at the time of his death. If a person dies without a will the law determines how his property should be disposed of and this might not be in a manner which is in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

2. How do I determine which tenancy to choose when I am buying a property?

When more than one person is buying a property the following options are available:-

a). Life tenancy – Where one or more of the registered proprietors hold a life interest in a property this/these person/persons are called life tenants and have the power to transfer, sell or mortgage the property without having to get the permission of the remainder men.

b). The endorsement on the title will read as follows “ To ABC, Teacher and DEC, Police Officer both of 10 Black Road, Kingston for the term of their natural lives and after death to FGC, Student over the age of 18 years and HIC Student born on the 10th day of May, 2000 both of 10 Black Road, Kingston 1 as joint tenants.

c). The advantage of this situation is that it enables the life tenants to freely deal with the property during their lifetime but prevents the need for an application for probate on the death of the life tenants.

d). Joint tenancy – Where persons are registered as joint tenants the law of survivorship applies. This means that where one joint tenant dies the surviving joint tenants will be entitled to the property. This means that a joint tenant cannot will his/her share unless he/she is the last remaining joint tenant.

e). Tenancy in Common – Where persons are tenants in common each person is free to will his/her share of the property. Where a tenant in common dies his portion of the property will fall to his/her estate and be distributed according to the terms of his/her will or according to the laws of intestacy. Tenants in common can hold a property in equal shares or in unequal shares.

3. When do I need to apply for subdivision? 

When a person is fragmenting (“cutting up”) land, that is separating a piece of land from a larger portion then there is need to apply to the local authority for permission. This is the law whether the land is registered or not. A Commissioned Land Surveyor must be asked to prepare a plan of the entire property showing in that plan the portion being bought. Approximately 20 copies of this plan are then submitted to the Parish Council (KSAC if in Kingston or St. Andrew). These plans are then submitted to various agencies for comment.

4. What are the taxes applicable when buying and selling land?

When buying land the Vendor pays the Transfer Tax of 5% of the sale price and the Vendor and Purchaser share the Stamp Duty of 4% and the Registration Fee of .5%. If the Stamp Duty & Transfer Tax are not paid within 30 days of the date of the document evidencing the sale these payments will attract a penalty of 100%.

5. Is it necessary to seek legal advice when buying or selling land?

One should never sell or buy land without the services of an Attorney-at-Law. There are certain pitfalls associated with all land transactions that it is in the best interest of all persons wishing to acquire or dispose of land to secure the services of an Attorney.

6. Is it necessary to seek the services of a Commissioned Land Surveyor when buying land?

Even if you are sure that you know the boundaries of a property a Surveyor’s Identification report is required by all mortgage institutions before an application for a loan will be considered. This report will ensure not only that the boundary is correctly fenced but that the building is not erected in contravention of the restrictive covenants on the title. The report will also confirm the property being purchased is in fact the same as the one represented in the title the subject of the purchase.

7. How do I get to pay my own taxes?

The sad reality is that many if not most of the persons whose names appear on the Tax Roll are dead. At resent if the person whose name appears on the Tax Roll as the Tax Payer is alive that person can complete a TR1 form and submit to the Land Valuation Department of the National land Agency to have the Roll amended. If the Taxpayer whose name appears on the Tax Roll is dead the Executor of his/her probated Will or the person(s) who has got a Grant of Letters of Administration may make the application. The same applies to unregistered land but in this case both the Taxpayer or his Administrator/Executive as well as the person who has come into possession of the land must complete the TR1 form. Where the “Transferee” has any documentation property executed and stamped which can be directly linked to the Taxpayer on the Roll then these documents may be used to amend the roll.

8. How do I get a registered title for my property?

Always ensure that when you buy or get property you have written evidence of the gift or purchase. All documents evidencing purchase or gift must be stamped at the Stamp Office with Transfer Tax of 4% and Stamp Duty of 3%. Failure to pay within 30 days of the date of the document will double both the Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty. To get a registered title you must consult an Attorney-at-Law and provide the following: a. Evidence of ownership b. Tax Certificate c. Survey Diagram d. Name, age, address, occupation of two persons who have known the land for 30 years and are willing to sign a declaration. e. Name, age, address, occupation and TRN of Applicant(s) and persons whose names are to appear on the title. f. Improved value of property g. 30 years history of land h. All other documents related to the land The Attorney will the proceed to make an application for title for your property.

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