Many persons have had the misfortune of misplacing or destroying documents that are of high importance. Whether it was a passport, birth certificates, health cards or your land titles. Yes, even land titles get lost. Your land title is a document that state that you are an owner or part owner of a land, it shows proof that the land is yours. It would be expected that a document such as this would be kept in a safe and secure place so that no harm might come its way, but accidents do happen and there may be a need to replace a lost title.
In the unfortunate event that you cannot find your land title, you would have to first complete a lost title application, it should be clearly stated whether you are the owner of the land, a lender exercising power of sale under a mortgage, an individual who has the authority to represent a company or in the event that you are acting for a deceased, it should be stated that you are acting under probate or letters of administration.
In order to obtain a new Title, a Statutory Declaration has to be submitted to the National Land Agency outlining the details of the lost or destroyed title. The Statutory Declaration should consist of:
- The true and actual value of the land, including all improvements.
- If the Title was being held by anyone other than the registered proprietor, then a Declaration from such an individual is required as to why and that it is no longer in their possession.
- The deposit of the Title as security for a loan or lien should be expressed negatively except where it is so being held.
- In all cases it should be proven where it was last kept, and by whom and the time that it was last seen. It should also state what searches and enquiries have been made to locate the Title.
- If your Title has been stolen or destroyed by fire, additional proof is required such as a Fire Report or Police Report.
It is always best to consult an Attorney-at-Law who will prepare the application for you. Failure to follow through with every step correctly will have your application being rejected.
Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)