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Thread: Land titles

  1. #1
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    Default Land titles

    My brother bought some nice property in Samaná 2 years ago, but has had a lot of trouble with the titles. Then his neighbour sold him a lot that did not exist and he found out that the beachfront lot he had bought was some kind of historical landmark and cannot be built on. His lawyer is not taking his calls any longer, could it possibly be that the other guy who sold him the properties is paying him more?

    Do these kind of things happen often in the DR?

  2. #2
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    Anybody that buys any Real Estate of any kind in this country without a Title needs to have his head examined.

  3. #3
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    Oh, I agree.
    I believe he's been duped.
    He had some titles, but I think they turned out to be hmmm...erroneous?

  4. #4
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    "Title" in the Dominican Republic means a "Certificate of Title", a document issued by the Registry of Title of the jurisdiction where the property is located indicating who the owner is.

    Any person buying without the buyer providing a Certificate of Title is taking a risk. When the seller is a big developer, buyers are usually willing to take it. However, in these troubled times of $800 billion+ bankruptcies and real estate disasters, buyers should be specially careful.
    Fabio J. Guzman
    Guzman Ariza
    Attorneys-at-Law
    Sosúa, Santo Domingo, San Francisco de Macorís, Cabrera
    Las Terrenas, Samaná, Bávaro (Punta Cana) and La Romana
    Dominican Republic


    [email protected]


    Website

    The opinion above should not be construed to be formal legal advice and was given without reviewing the facts and documents pertinent to the case. The reader should NOT act based upon this opinion without seeking professional counsel.

  5. #5
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    Sorry but my own opinion is that some of these answers go too far - though I fully understand why people express such caution. Take care!!!

    Yes, buying land anywhere without a title may be a risk. However, land can be investigated and if a title is NOT owned by someone else and if other easily discovered factors are NOT true, then the and can be bought and a title applied for and obtained. I have bought 10 pieces of land, most without titles, since I first bought the two plots on which my own house stands so I'm fairly confident about this. Some now have titles and others will have soon.

    A good lawyer (never one that's lazy or a cheat) must check if the papers that represent ownership of the land are legal. So, first, are the papers legitimate or fakes (such as photocopies - yes, people do try this!). Next, is their a bill of sale to show when your seller bought his/her land from his/her seller (land may not have a title but it always has a bill of sale unless the owner is the first to ever own it, rare now except for elderly owners of land in the countryside. If yes, check (your lawyer should know how) that it meets all the rules. It must be signed by all those with rights, at least the owner and always any spouse. An X for a signature is illegal, fingerprints are needed for illiterate sellers or buyers. Cedula or passport numbers and full names must be included and it's normal that a photocopy exists of these documents for all recent purchases or sales. Next, any documents must be checked in the Registration office. This will show who the current owner is - it may not be the person shown on the bill of sale or title you are shown. If names do not match, walk away. If a title exists and the Registration office shows the current owner is the same as the seller, you can probably buy (see below). If the land has no title or listed owner in the Registration office but an owner has a bill of sale to show he legally bought it, you can buy it and then seek a title. However, the previous owners should have owned it for quite a few years and have made use of it (ask a lawyer how many). Never buy land inside a National Park before checking what you can use it for (it's usually illegal to sell such land but that doesn't mean it cannot be bought!).

    As usual, al things legal are complicated - get a GOOD lawyer. Fees should be fixed and known up front, not a % of the purchase price. RD$800 is a good fee for creating a new bill of sale for you. With a title, not much more, RD$3000 is tops (and too much!). Expect to pay extra as legitimate taxes (these can be large for large amounts of land - usually they're small) for which you should see proof of payment.

    There's more to know!

    Good luck.
    Last edited by solisdad2000; 09-21-2008 at 07:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    I will now relay all this information to my brother so he may act upon it at his discretion.

    I feel that there's definitely something fishy with his purchases of properties without titles and I believe he has been conned.
    Thanks evreybody for the insights and info.

  7. #7
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    if you purchase a property and receive the title with the developers name, how do you change it and do youi have to change it

  8. #8
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    I know several people who bought from BIG developers and BIG and RESPECTED RE agencies under the promise of delivering Title soon. They have BIG problems.

    One family is now in the process of divorce and they cannot sell their land in DR because they do not get their Title for over two years already. From a VERY big and respected RE agency. Probably the BIGGEST and RESPECTEDEST.

    I would not buy without a Title attached. Even if it means missing a bargain opportunity.

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