The real estate industry on Ambergris Caye has grown rapidly over the past few years and holding onto a piece of beachfront property is considered a piece of wealth by many. But like tourism, the real estate industry is moving so fast that keeping track of ownership of properties is taken for granted and to a larger extent, assumed to be in order. Combined with the loop holes within the Ministry of Natural Resources, and inadequate communication between related offices, the scenario is a perfect recipe for double-owned properties. One such case involves three US citizens who live in Los Osos, California USA who are claiming that they were scammed out of their property located in the Mata Grande area on Ambergris Caye.
In a letter sent to The Sun by Belizean real estate agent Lincoln Eiley, Eiley outlined that a prime beachfront property on northern Ambergris Caye, belonging to his clients, Martha Lewis, Brandford and Frederick Dow Jr., was illegally obtained and is being marketed by local realtors. The land in question is recorded as Deed of Gift 2087/95 at the Lands Department and located directly between Mitch Marques’ property and Azul Resort. The 1.3 acres plot of beachfront property belonged to Patricia and Fredrick Dow Sr. who purchased it from Apolonio Almilla on the 29th of August 1980. By a Deed of Gift, the couple passed on the property to their three children in September of 1995 and has remained in their names.
A spokesperson for the San Pedro Town Council explained that while they do not have record for that particular property, tax on Deed of Gift 2087/95 is current up to 2011. According to Eiley, he has exclusive listing for the property and is the only authorized person in Belize to market the property and so far, the property in question legally belongs to his clients. In his letter Eiley claims that “the property now seemly is vested under an “un-named” defendant while Milo Paz Jr., Mario Rodriguez, Pedro “Jimbo” Vasquez and Juan Alamilla seem to be the agents trying to sell or sold my clients land.”Click here
for the rest of the story and more pictures in the San Pedro Sun!