Government of JamaicaGovernment of Jamaica

Applying for Land Settlement Plots
Persons applying for land settlement plots shall do so by using application forms that are available at the Estate Management Division in Kingston and regional offices islandwide.  Each application should be made to the Commissioner of Lands.

An applicant is required to pay a deposit of the price of the land, standing buildings and crops for which application is made, once approval is granted by the Minister.

If an application is accepted but the applicant fails to comply with the conditions of sale, the money deposited by the applicant will be forfeited.  The Commissioner may in his/her discretion waive his/her right to forfeiture.

Allotments
An applicant is deemed to have been accepted by the Commissioner only when a Notice of Allotment in writing is made to the applicant.   The boundaries of any lot as fixed by the Surveyor or other persons approved by the Commissioner shall be binding on the purchaser.

An applicant may within a certain period write to the Commissioner under registered cover refusing to accept an allotment and recover any money paid or his/her deposit on the land.

Taxes
The purchaser of a land settlement plot shall, from the date of the Notice of Allotment be liable for the payment of all taxes on his/her allotment.

Land Use
The purchaser is required to set out, cultivate, properly maintain and develop his allotment to the satisfaction of the Commissioner under the following conditions:

  • An area of not less than one-third of his/her allotment should be cultivated and developed within a year of the Notice of Allotment.
  • An area of not less than one-half of his/her allotment should be cultivated and developed within two years of the Notice of Allotment.
  • An area of not less than three-fourths of his/her allotment should be cultivated and developed within four years of the Notice of Allotment.

If the purchaser at any time before being issued a Title has not utilised the major part of his agricultural lot for more than two years and/or his farmstead for the same period, he/she is liable to have the contract forfeited by the Commissioner.

The cultivation and development of plots should include the carrying out of approved agricultural practices, the institution and maintenance of soil conservation and drainage measures, and other improvements laid down at the time of, or subsequent to the date of allotment.

Economic trees may not be cut down without the permission of the Commissioner or his/her representative, who will mark all trees to be removed.  The use of running fires to clear land is prohibited.

It is necessary to obtain the approval of the Commissioner before any building is erected on a holding.  Any building erected without approval can be demolished and no compensation provided to the owner.

Transfers
(a) No purchaser shall without the consent in writing of the Commissioner, part with the possession of, mortgage, charge, sublet, subdivide or otherwise encumber his allotment, or any part thereof, so long as title has not been issued.

Where the purchaser desires to sell before title has been issued, the Commissioner shall have the right of first refusal.

(b) The purchaser shall pay such Legal Fees, Stamp duty and Transfer Tax as may be applicable upon any assignment of an allotment made with the Commissioner’s consent.

(c) Where sale, mortgage, charge, sub-lease or sub-division is carried out without the consent in writing of the Commissioner, the Commissioner may forfeit the land and has no duty to recognise the said sale, mortgage, charge, sublease or sub-division.

Re-Entry due to Public Purpose
In the event that the Commissioner shall require all or any part of the allotment for a public purpose (and a duly gazetted declaration to this effect by the relevant Minister shall be conclusive as to the public purpose requirement):

(a)  The Notice of Allotment shall straight away determine where all of the allotment is so declared; and

(b) Where only portions of the said allotment are so declared this Notice of Allotment shall determine in relation to those parts of the allotment so declared and the purchase price shall be adjusted in proportion to the portions so declared.

The Commissioner shall be entitled to re-enter and take possession. Compensation to be awarded for the acquisition aforementioned shall be set by the Commissioner of Valuations and filed in the Office of the Commissioner of Lands and shall be final and conclusive evidence as between the Commissioner and the Allottee.

Forfeiture
If any purchaser shall fail or refuse to comply with any of the provisions of these Conditions for the space of six months after having been served with a notice in writing by the Commissioner requiring him to comply with such Condition or Conditions, the Commissioner may determine the Agreement to purchase and take possession of the allotment, and all monies paid by the purchaser in pursuance of the said Agreement shall be forfeited.

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