The deletion of a name on a land title requires the permission of both the signatory parties

Dear Editor,

In response to a letter published in the Wednesday 6, 2017 edition of the Stabroek News captioned ‘How long must citizens be in limbo because of the Central Housing and Planning Authority’s negligence?’ the Central Housing and Planning Authority wishes to advise on the requirements for the deletion of a name in cases of joint owners (husband/wife, married/common law) from a transport or certificate of title to land:

Written request to the Minister of Communities stating reasons for permission to delete name

Copy of Allocation Letter Letter/ Agreement of Sale/Receipts of payments

Copy of Transport/ Title

Copy of Order of Court – Decree Absolute

Affidavit sworn by the spouse whose name is to be deleted stating reasons for deletion and who will also be interviewed at the time.

The claimant and her spouse were jointly allotted a portion of land at Farm on the East Bank of Demerara and transfer of same was effected in April, 2014. In August, 2015 a written request was submitted to the Authority for her spouse’s name to be deleted. A decree absolute dated January 23rd, 2015 was presented to the authority by the complainant, however at that time the Certificate of Title to Land was already being processed and it is important to note that both the applicant and her spouse were required to visit the Authority and consent to the process of deletion. This was not done.

Please be informed that the Authority initiated the process of deletion in the matter at hand in lieu of the requirement of a sworn affidavit by the complainant’s spouse based upon the information provided by her that the spouse’s whereabouts were unknown, and further that there was in fact no way for him to be contacted since no present address or phone numbers were known to her at the time, and she (the complainant) being the main applicant was also considered.

A phone number was subsequently provided by the complainant for the spouse in question who was contacted by the Authority on 23rd March, 2017, and contrary to information provided by her, his whereabouts were known to the complainant at the time and additionally he would have to consult with his attorney-at-law for advice on a way forward. As a result of the deficiencies presented the Authority placed a cessation on the process of having the spouse’s name removed from the Certificate of Title to Land.

It must be understood that whilst the Central Authority can facilitate the deletion of a spouse’s name from a Certificate of Title to Land, it cannot compel that spouse to consent to the deletion.

The processing of a Certificate of Title to Land is expedited through the Central Housing and Planning Authority and submitted to the Land Registry for processing and issuance. A change to a Certificate of Title to Land as requested can only be done through an Order of Court or with the consent of the party whose name is being deleted, and not as a rectification or an omission since both parties signed to process the Certificate of Title to Land. Therefore the parties must be in agreement on the way forward and how they will proceed to divide the property acquired during marriage.

It is unfortunate that this matter took a while to be resolved and the Central Authority had to proceed with caution, and was seen to be correct after the spouse was contacted by the authority to put a halt on same. The Central Authority has in the past been reliably informed by applicants that their spouse cannot be located and when a decision has been reached through ministerial action, the other party who was missing suddenly reveals him or herself requesting a reversal of the decision made.

Yours faithfully,

Lelon Saul

Chief Executive Officer

Central Housing and Planning

Authority

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