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Thread: Overview of Dominican Real Estate Law

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rover View Post
    Maybe Fabio Guzman or somebody else could post some information providing insight into how "squatters rights" come into play in Dominican Real-estate Law. I was looking at some plots of land (no house on it) in both Sosua and Santiago to buy and hold onto for another 10 years till I retire.

    Someone told me though that since I wasn't living there that squatters could just homestead on the property and in a very short time under Dominican law the land would legally become theirs.

    Any input appreciated.
    Even in france, it would take year to push squatters out, especially if old people, children etc.. are involved.

  2. #22
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    That's pretty much true. My uncle bought a lot in Santo Domingo about fithteen year a go and when he went back he found a church built on the land. Now it would cost him a lot of money to get these people out and is likely he won't be able to. I don't think you should buy if you not going to be there unless you have someone you trust to leave in charge of the property. It's very wise to buy land now because in ten year it will cost a lot more. Just make sure you get good advice from an expert. Good Luck
    Just my opinion

  3. #23
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    Default Squatters Rights in the DR

    A squatter has the right to obtain compensation for any improvements made in good faith on the property. Land acquisition through "usucapion" (land ownership through possession) can only happen when the land in question is not a registered property and if the squatters can prove they have been inhabiting it as theirs for an uninterrupted period of more than 20 years. This happens on very rare occasions as it only applies to non-registered land (most of the country's land has already been registered). However, in the case of registered properties the compensation mentioned above does come into play. Squatters can be prosecuted through Private Property Violation law No. 5869 of 1962, and face criminal charges. However, it has proven very difficult to obtain police support to enforce judgments that order squatters to leave the affected properties, so it is better to take the necessary steps to avoid the situation altogether.

    In short, you should be very careful when buying property in the Dominican Republic: hire an experienced lawyer to perform all the required due diligence, this will assure you that a clear title can be obtained without any hassles, and never by any means leave non-built property unattended for long periods of time.

  4. #24
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    Lic. Afredo Guzman

    Thanks for that excellent answer.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredo Guzman View Post
    A squatter has the right to obtain compensation for any improvements made in good faith on the property. Land acquisition through "usucapion" (land ownership through possession) can only happen when the land in question is not a registered property and if the squatters can prove they have been inhabiting it as theirs for an uninterrupted period of more than 20 years. This happens on very rare occasions as it only applies to non-registered land (most of the country's land has already been registered). However, in the case of registered properties the compensation mentioned above does come into play. Squatters can be prosecuted through Private Property Violation law No. 5869 of 1962, and face criminal charges. However, it has proven very difficult to obtain police support to enforce judgments that order squatters to leave the affected properties, so it is better to take the necessary steps to avoid the situation altogether.

    In short, you should be very careful when buying property in the Dominican Republic: hire an experienced lawyer to perform all the required due diligence, this will assure you that a clear title can be obtained without any hassles, and never by any means leave non-built property unattended for long periods of time.

    OK This is very important so I want to be 100% clear.

    Lets say I used your law firm for the transaction and I have a clear title.

    I for some reason do not return to the Dominican Republic for 5 years and when I do someone has built something on my land (anything from a tin house to a brick 2 story house)

    Do I have to pay them for putting this unwanted structure on my property ?

  6. #26
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    Rover,

    In that case you would have to compensate him only for the improvements made if they have been made in good faith. For example, if you have fenced your property and the squatter has broken into it by taking down the fence, then any improvements made could not be considered as having been done in good faith and as such no compensation would be due. That's why it is recommended to have un-built property in the Dominican Republic either fenced or growing a durable crop to avoid squatters invading the land. In cases of only one squatter there are usually no obstacles when prosecuting them for violation of private property. The problem arises in cases where land is invaded by large groups of squatters who later form a sort of community inside of it. Like I said in my previous post, in these cases the government is always reluctant, if not completely against the enforcing of judgments ordering them to leave the land in question.

  7. #27
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    Thanks Alfredo Guzman for your very clear and concise reply

  8. #28
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    I am looking into a property and when I asked for a copy of the title to the property the 'abagado" who claims to be representing the seller wrote me that the owners do not have a title to the property but what they do have is

    " documentos emitidos por el Ayuntamiento Municipal de esa comunidad "

    Anyone have any knowledge of what this is ????
    Reply With Quote

  9. #29
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    Is there no title, there is probably something wrong..

  10. #30
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    It's documents issued by the municiple office, but what documents are they? What does YOUR lawyer say?

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