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A very common property issue among persons living in Jamaica or dealing with Jamaican property, has increasingly presented itself to us through questions posed by our clients. For most, they face the dilemma where their parents unexpectedly died without making adequate legal arrangements, and for others, they wish to purchase or transfer the name of the deceased owner to theirs. This presents unique challenges, especially when there are no wills involved.

More commonly, there are persons who have occupied land for over 12 years, whether through squatting or “unofficial inheritance” whereby they exercise acts of ownership on the death of their parents to present day- the only issue being that, they do not have a title in their names. For these circumstances, particularly where the Client is experiencing financial hardships and would benefit from using their property as collateral, we usually offer unique solutions, depending on the facts of the case. These cases includes:


  1. Where the registered owner passes- without a will- and you have been occupying the property for over 12 years;

  2. Where the registered owner dies (usually a Parent or close family member) and you continued occupying property since their death, exercising acts of ownership;

  3. Where you have occupied abandoned property for over 12 years and now seek to obtain a title.

  4. Where your family (for generations), have occupied lands owned by any individual, company or Parish Council, and you now seek a title, if possible


How this transfer will take place will depend on how the property was owned by the deceased, your relationship with the deceased and other unique factors. Take heart, this is all possible, with specialized legal guidance.

When approaching your property lawyer, please be mindful of the following:

  1. Is there an existing mortgage?

  2. Do you have a copy of the property title?

  3. What are the property taxes outstanding?

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