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#432646 - 03/10/12 06:11 PM Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C?
AlexB Offline
The following advice titled LAND CERTIFICATE was sent to me by a website owner that I am in contact with but he does not know any lawyers who can take care of getting a land certificate for me for the piece of property on Ambergris Caye that I have a deed of conveyance for.

1.
If I go to Ambergris Caye personally I can get this LAND CERTIFICATE by visiting which office in which city? Does anyone know? I can do it without a lawyer if I am there personally?

2.
If I do not go to Ambergris Caye to get it done personally then who is the least expensive para-legal in Belize who can take care of it for me from afar? What do they charge? $200?

3.
Are there any areas of the island that are outside of the registered area requiring a land certificate before a property can be sold? If so, what areas are outside the registered area?

4.
After reading the material below it seems that it is only a matter of time before all of Belize property will be required to be held using a land certificate before it can be sold. Do you agree?


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LAND CERTIFICATE


The entirety of San Pedro has been "Registered" thus the need to convert to Land Certificate. If not, unscrupulous people can steal your land. Plus you can only sell land on the island with Land Certificate.

Some notes to pass on about forms of title here:

Deeds of Conveyance
The oldest form of title ownership is by a Deed of Conveyance.
Ownership by way of conveyance is a registered right to ownership of property. Ownership by conveyance can be converted to a Certificate of Title by way of an application for first registration. Any successive buyer is issued a Transfer Certificate of Title. A Deed of Conveyance is a valid legal title once a lawyer has confirmed that the seller has good title to the property.

A Transfer of Certificate
A Transfer Certificate of Title is a physical title to a particular tract of land. This type of ownership is secure. It is more costly and time consuming to transfer title on a Transfer Certificate of Title than on a Deed of Conveyance.

A Land Certificate
A Land Certificate is an absolute title and applies to property purchases in new or specially designated areas. The Government is in the process of re-registering all freehold lands under the Registered Land Act of 1987 to achieve an eventual uniform system of nationwide land ownership.

In any purchase in Belize, make sure you employ a good, independent lawyer to oversee the purchase, more than anything to make sure the property has clean and clear title before you transfer funds.

When purchasing property in Belize, title insurance is not
obligatory and closing costs are very nominal as there is no
capital gains tax. The taxes in place for buying a property in
Belize are small compared to other countries in the region.
Transfer or Stamp tax is due only on properties valued at more than US$10,000, and at a rate of five per cent above this level, at the time of transfer of title.



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#432649 - 03/10/12 06:29 PM Re: Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C? [Re: AlexB]
AlexB Offline
Dear People:

It is very important that I get the best answers for all four categories of questions above.

Also, if I go to Belize to have this done for my property, how long will it take approximately to get the Land Certificate for my piece of property?

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#432657 - 03/10/12 07:45 PM Re: Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C? [Re: AlexB]
Diane Campbell Offline
Some brief Answers to your Q's above:

You do not get a Land Certificate in San Pedro.
Land Certificates are issued by the Lands Department which is headquartered in Belmopan.

To obtain a Land Certificate you should hire a professional - my preference is to hire an attorney (as was the advice of the webmaster quoted above) but others will recommend par-legals as providing good service as well.

The intent to convert to Land Certificate must be published/gazetted for 3 weeks, after which (if counter-claims to the intent do not arise) the title can be converted to a Land Certificate. You will have to surrender your Deed in order to receive the Land Certificate.

Costs for a professional to handle this process for you generally range from $200-300 US. These professionals are fully prepared to handle this for people who are not physically here.

If your property is outside the area designated as a compulsory registration area, you will not need a Land Certificate to do a transfer.

It seems to be the long-term goal of the Lands Department to convert all titles to Land Certificates, but the conversion process is lengthy and is being done one area at a time.

Receiving back your new Land Certificate can take a couple of months or as long as a year depending on work-loads and other circumstances.

In this post you ask for the least-expensive professional to handle your title. IMHO you don't get the highest quality of service (here or anywhere else) by shopping the lowest possible fee.
There is no reason to overpay for a simple process like the Land Certificate - but to save a few dollars by hiring somebody whose work does not rate a standard professional fee is to risk problems downline.

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#432669 - 03/10/12 11:42 PM Re: Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C? [Re: AlexB]
iluvbelize Offline
Alex you've been given all of the information you've requested with the possible exception of qualifying who the most knowledgeable real estate professional on AC is; and the members of this message board are not required to answer all of your questions to your satisfaction. If it is so very important to you to get further answers and/or legal advice hire an attorney.

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#432673 - 03/11/12 01:40 AM Re: Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C? [Re: AlexB]
TravelinMan1 Offline
Good answers. In general the cost will be more than what Diane had quoted because of several factors.

If you don't provide the original Conveyance you will need to get a certified copy of it which will add to the cost as will a fed ex with the original.

You will also need a title opinion with a conveyance which will also add to the cost. In some instances they will also want a copy of the survey mentioned on the Conveyance.

All of the above will add to the costs and of course actually filing the paperwork will also cost you.

In terms of recommendations:

Attorney: Ryan Wrobel located in Belize City

Para Legal:
Paradise Management located in San Pedro
Belize Caye Investments located in San Pedro

You should also note that if they area in which you have your property is not yet been mapped it could take as much as 1 year or more to get this done.

If your property is in say Palm Bay this may be an issue as I am not certain that the area has been mapped.

Anyway feel free to look up those companies to assist you and be patient.


Edited by TravelinMan1 (03/11/12 02:50 AM)

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#432842 - 03/13/12 01:49 PM Re: Land Certificate Required For All Of Ambergris C? [Re: AlexB]
bywarren Offline
Having found out where your property is and since you are soliciting free advice from this message board, I am happy to respond. My advice is for you to will your property to your great, great grandchildren. By the time they reach retirement age it might be worth getting a title to it.
I often wonder, where were people like you when I was selling used cars?

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