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#99320 - 11/13/10 05:28 PM Squatters in Jamaica
HedoDiveMstr Online   content
Member

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 4798
Loc: Just a ride from JFK
The problem of squatters living on land they do not own is much bigger in Jamaica than I realized.

The Observer reports that a government minister stated that some one-third of Jamaican's residents are squatters.

The Gleaner today carried a story that added more detailed information; however, they reported on an undated 'report' the put the percentage of residents who are squtters at 20 percent.

Either number is huge.

Both reported that squatters often build their 'homes' in dangerous locations like near gullies that even a minor storm will cause overflowing.

I found the two stories saddening. Perhaps you will, too.

Chuck

_________________________
If this be a dream do not wake me up; if not a dream, wish me no sleep

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#99324 - 11/13/10 06:08 PM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: HedoDiveMstr]
T-38 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 1306
Some squatters live on land owned by individuals. I know an American who owns land in Westmoreland who has a guy that has been living without permission on his land for years. I am not sure what the law of adverse possession is in Jamaica but I think that it is similiar to US law.There are many overseas Jamaicans that own property that plan to return in retirement. There are many who build shacks on their property and stay for years. I think that most squatters "squat" on the vast amount of government property that is comprised of "right of ways" for roads,utilities, watersheds and even for the old railway system. There is no incentive for those already poor people to build substantial structures since they may someday be evicted. One can see the substandard buildings along the sides of roadways as they travel to the various resorts. Since they are not supposed to building there anyway, they certainly are not going to worry about building with a permit or according to any codes.And where would they live otherwise. The government housing schemes are not adequate to meet all the need for decent housing.A danger is that some of these people tap directly into the power lines to receive "free" electricity. One might not be surprised at the sometimes frequent power failures. Of course, these structures usually do not have adequate water and sewage service. Those that read the Gleaner and Observer may have noticed the recent initative to allow those that have bought homes without using a scheme to transfer their "points" to a son or daughter so as to facilitate their purchase of a home. Those rather neat tracts of concrete houses that you see along the way to your resort are housing schemes financed through government programs. Many may remember the common plywood houses that so many lived in 20 to 30 years ago. There has been a tremendous increase in the standard of living in Jamaica in the last two decades.So many Toyotas, flat screen TVs and solid houses. In the 70s and 80s, hardly anyone had a TV.


Edited by T-38 (11/13/10 06:11 PM)

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#99338 - 11/13/10 10:19 PM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: T-38]
CliffHanger Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 43
Loc: Wisconsin
An American friend of mine built a home on the coast outside of the tourist areas and hired a woman and her family to occupy and manage it for some tourist income when she couldn't live there. On a return trip she found there had been some serious malfeasance and she fired them and asked them to leave. They refused and changed the locks. Several levels of Ja law enforcement refused to take any action. The reason? it would be either illegal or improper to put the family out as they would become homeless. The only solutions, purchase them a house to live in. That was the simple standard Ja board house which, in the country, of course had no plumbing nor other utilities.

Something I was told by a Jamaican was that a squatter can build on a piece of property. To do it properly, they first consult with a local "who knows" the family history of the land there so as to avoid conflict. He then builds, and must plant a crop. After a period of years, when the govt gets around to putting in a road or utilities it surveys the land, the squatter pays a nominal fee, and he gets title. No such office as a register of deeds apparently. Verbal history.

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#99353 - 11/14/10 08:15 AM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: CliffHanger]
T-38 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 1306
Jamaica has pretty much the same land and title laws as the US. Jamaican laws are based upon British law as basically is the US law. Of course, Jamaica was a British dependency and is still a member of the Commonweath. Final appeals on some legal issues are still heard in London. A friend of mine in St Anns had not received the title to his home and land five years after he purchased it.There are, indeed, the usual property records, etc. that one would have in the US. There has been an effort in recent years to give title to Jamaican squatters on government land. But of course there is the law and there is what really happens. Consulting with the local "who knows" if you want to squat might be very wise unless one wants to be burned out or chopped to death. But after all is said, many overseas owners have homes that they enjoy in Jamaica even with the terrific bureacracy in place. I will observe that Jamaica is one of the most corrupt places on earth. If it ain t nailed down with a dog to guard"it", "it" will be stolen.

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#99362 - 11/14/10 01:34 PM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: T-38]
CliffHanger Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 43
Loc: Wisconsin
The process of consulting "who knows", as I understood, was to avoid stirring such conflicts that would result in the squatter being disassembled. Not that there aren't laws, but local custom and history still plays a heavy role, and if the land isn't even surveyed..... hey this spot looks nice, and the neighborhood accepts you? This squatting route to eventual ownership, if it's real, likely only applies to govt lands. I concur and have heard the same thing with regard to needing it nailed down, and occupied and sometimes that may not even work.

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#99365 - 11/14/10 02:09 PM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: CliffHanger]
HedoDiveMstr Online   content
Member

Registered: 09/10/01
Posts: 4798
Loc: Just a ride from JFK
As the Gleaner article mentions, squatting on private land undisturbed (whatever that means) for 12 year and squatting on government land for 60 years gives you a title for that land.

Chuck
_________________________
If this be a dream do not wake me up; if not a dream, wish me no sleep

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#99368 - 11/14/10 06:50 PM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: HedoDiveMstr]
T-38 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 1306
Anyone up to squatting on H2 property? Twelve years is a long stay. Maybe in the rushes next to the deep hole on the prude side would provide shelter "undisturbed".


Edited by T-38 (11/15/10 09:37 AM)

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#99377 - 11/15/10 07:19 AM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: T-38]
Hedo-regular Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/03
Posts: 745
Quote:
A danger is that some of these people tap directly into the power lines to receive "free" electricity


I remember seeing about 3 or 4 billboards on my last trip warning "Do not steal electricity - you will be caught".

Respect.
_________________________
The more you look, the more you see.

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#99842 - 11/24/10 08:11 AM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: Hedo-regular]
Roy in NC Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 2573
Loc: NC
Hey... whoever does squat at Hedo for 12 years and then takes ownership of said property.... please install good fans in the dining room asap. smile
Thanks!
_________________________
Formerly Roy in VA ... but moved to NC back in 2010!
Procrastination ? ... I got time for that!

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#99845 - 11/24/10 08:57 AM Re: Squatters in Jamaica [Re: Roy in NC]
T-38 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 1306
OK! Just don t touch them as they will be wired directly to the high voltage line.


Edited by T-38 (11/24/10 08:58 AM)

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