What do I need to know about buying a lot in a subdivision scheme?

Before you enter into a contract and pay down on the land  you should engage the services of an attorney-at-law to peruse any Agreement for Sale as prepared by the vendor. In any event, prior to purchasing any property, a prospective purchaser should always do the following:
  • Determine if approval has been granted by the relevant Parish Council for the subdivision of the land, and the date of approval;
  • Obtain a Surveyor's Identification Report on the land. This is to ascertain whether the boundaries of the land on earth agree with the land described in the Registered Title. The report should also state whether any restrictive covenants have been breached;
  • Obtain a Valuation Report from a professional land appraiser. This is to determine if what you are paying for the land represents true value.
What Does A Subdivision Mean? Whenever someone splits land into two or more pieces or parcels for sale, gift or lease, they have subdivided it. The regulations of Local Improvements Act govern this process so that:
  • The proposed use is suitable for the land.
  • The plan fits in with the local legislation and policies.
  • The people in the area are protected from developments that are unsuitable or cause distress on the services in the area.
If a subdivision plan does not go through the correct process, problems may arise such as residential area being located in a hazard/flood zone or a customer buys land from someone who is not the owner and thus will not be able to obtain their title. Who Approves Subdivisions? The Parish Council known as the Local Planning Authority (LPA) approves subdivision plans for the public, government agencies and private sector in the parish. Recommendations are received from the National Environment & Planning Agency, along with other commenting agencies, but final approval or refusal rests with the Council. For specific information on each parish visit the Local Authorities of Jamaica website.


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