[Legally Yours]:::Application for lost or destroyed Title

No. 67 Wednesday, March 17, 2010
With Radeon Archer - Attorney-at-Law 
Having a Registered Title for a property with your name legally endorsed on it as the registered proprietor is the greatest proof that you could have, to show the world that you are the owner of that property. It is no surprise therefore that most individuals treasure these documents and as such, strive to find safe places to secure them, such as putting them in Safety Deposit boxes at banks, keeping them in vaults or safes or locking them in drawers.

    Even though most persons successfully secure their titles, it is a common occurrence for some individuals to lose these documents as they become destroyed or misplaced. This can happen for instance, if a title is destroyed in a fire, hurricane or other disaster, or if it becomes stolen or in instances where the owner or some other person, simply just can not find the document. Losing a title can be most frustrating, however the law has provisions for dealing with such incidents and in Jamaica this is governed by Section 82 of the Registration of Titles Act.
    The Act stipulates that whenever a duplicate certificate of title is lost or destroyed, the registered owner of the land or some other person claiming through him, may have an application lodged to the Registrar of titles for cancellation of the certificate of title and for the registration of a new one as a replacement.
    In completing this Application for a new title, the onus is on the applicant(s) to furnish proof to the Registrar that the title has in fact been lost or destroyed. The circumstances surrounding the loss should therefore be stated including, when, where, and how the loss occurred, where the title was kept and by whom and when and where it was last seen. If it was destroyed by fire or stolen, the applicant should exhibit a Fire report or a Police report as the case may be. If other persons had access to the title, this must also be stated in the application and a Declaration from such person should be submitted. Additionally the Applicant, must state what searches and enquiries were made, by whom and with what results. Finally the Applicant must undertake to deliver the title to the Registrar of Titles if it is ever found.
    If the Registrar of titles is not satisfied with the evidence presented then she may request that the applicant
 furnish additional proof.
    Once the Registrar is satisfied however, that the title is lost or destroyed, then she will issue a Notice to be advertised in a newspaper for two consecutive weeks, stating that after the expiration of 14 days after the last appearance of the publication of the notice, she will cancel the lost/destroyed title and will register a new title in its place.
    Until next time when I explore another issue,

I remain, Legally Yours,
Radeon Archer

For feedback/comments contact Radeon L.E. Archer, Attorney-At-Law at 480-1214 (Mon-Fri) or send emails to legallyyours.archer (at) gmail.com

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