Date: October 24th 2016
Source: Jaimaica Observer
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition spokesperson on land, Senator Sophia Frazer Binns, says the contentious informal settlement at 85 Red Hills Road in St Andrew is another reason to place the issue of land tenure, ownership and rectification on the agenda for discussion once again.
She notes that: “This incident underscores the urgency with which we must move to address our laws on land rights and ownership.”
The senator is of the view that Jamaica’s existing laws are antiquated and complex, and must be amended to avoid similar circumstances that exist elsewhere across the nation.
“Every Jamaican wants to own a piece of the rock so our laws must be changed to reflect present realities, while preserving the rights of the registered land holders,” she said.
Frazer Binns is therefore calling for ongoing public debate and education on matters relating to the larger issue of estate planning, including land ownership, squatting and use.
“This issue of informal ‘squatter’ settlement is very emotive and must be treated in a systematic and meaningful way.
“The laws of Jamaica allow persons who have lived on another's land for an extended period without any interference from the registered owner, to acquire the property by applying for ownership by way of adverse possession. However, the process is clearly defined and claims should be made in accordance with law,” she said.
Registered owners also have a duty to ensure they protect their interest in property by not leaving it unattended for a protracted period, she said.
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