Squatters’ Journey to Legal Title – Possessory Title Bill 2015
November 13, 2015
Currently in Grenada, a person holding a legal title deed to land is barred from bringing any action to recover the land, if another person has been in open, uninterrupted and undisturbed occupation of that land for 12 years or more, that is, adverse possession.
Many adverse possessors obtain Statutory Declarations which are sworn by an individual who is aware of such open, uninterrupted and undisturbed possession, and this Statutory Declaration is recorded in the Deeds and Land Registry of Grenada as evidence of the adverse possessor’s ownership of the land.
But these persons do not have good or legal title to the land under Grenada’s current real property system, and most financial institutions do not accept the Statutory Declaration as security for a mortgage, and many property disputes have arisen as a result of this property ownership without good title.
Accordingly, a Possessory Title Bill has now been drafted which seeks to address the issues of title by adverse possession.
This new Bill provides an avenue for persons to acquire legal title to land through adverse possession by obtaining a Certificate of Declaration of Possessory Title issued by the Registrar pursuant to an Order of the Court, upon a successful application to the Court by the adverse possessor, and compliance with other requirements of the Possessory Title Act, once passed.
This Certificate of Declaration would then be registered in the Deeds and Land Registry of Grenada as a property title document. When the adverse possessor applicant receives the Certificate, he or she will be seised with legal title to the land and can devise the land in a Will or mortgage it to a financial institution.
The Bill has been circulated among the members of the Grenada Bar Association for review and comments, and will be addressed in Parliament sometime in the near future.