Title Insurance In St Lucia When Purchasing Property
No, you do not need Title Insurance In St Lucia when purchasing property. Title insurance is not the subject of legislation in St. Lucia and it is therefore not mandatory. Further, it has not been the practice in St. Lucia for purchasers of property to buy title insurance. The island of Saint Lucia has a well operated system of registration of title to property which enables lawyers engaged in the sale/purchase of property to conduct thorough searches at the Land Registry department for any encumbrances that may affect the title to the property.
Apart from searches at the Land Registry the lawyers also conduct searches at the High Court Office/Registry to ensure that there are no judgments registered against the vendor of property as any such judgment would be considered a “judicial hypothec” under our Civil Code and affect all immovable property belonging to the vendor.
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In addition to the searches at the Land Registry and the High Court Registry lawyers obtain from the Inland Revenue Department letters stating that the vendor has complied with the tax laws and is not indebted to the Inland Revenue Department for income tax and property tax. A similar letter is also obtained from the National Insurance Corporation.
The responsibility therefore lies with the lawyer engaged in the transaction to ensure that the vendor is able to convey free and clear title to the property. Similar searches are also conducted by lawyers in the preparation of mortgages to ensure that there are no encumbrances, judgments, taxes or dues outstanding with respect to the mortgagor/borrower that can adversely affect the mortgagee’s interest in the property.
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