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  • BVI REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGY

 

  • British Virgin Islands LAND REGISTRY-Located in the Government Administration Building, in Road Town Tortola, B.V.I., is where all the land title information for BVI property are kept. BVI LAND REGISTRY employees are very helpful, do visit and feel free to ask questions. Remember you pay a small fee to see your property documents, and a fee to get Certified copies.

 

  • British Virgin Islands SURVEY DEPARTMENT-Located upstairs in behind The Happy Lion, Road Town Tortola, B.V.I.

 

  • BVI SURVEY employees are always busy; if you wait and ask for assistance they are extremely helpful.

 

  • You can buy INDEX SHEETS, SURVEYS, and AERIAL COLOR PHOTOS with PARCEL NUMBERS, LOT LINES, and TOPOGRAPHICAL LINES.

 

  • PARCEL NUMBER - this is the official number the British Virgin Islands SURVEY DEPARTMENT has assigned to every parcel mutated, to the INDEX SHEET. Do you know yours?

 

  • INDEX SHEET -the British Virgin Islands SURVEY DEPARTMENT map of your neighborhood, found at the BVI Survey Dept., You could buy the INDEX SHEET for any area, for $3.00 each.

 

  • BLOCK NUMBER - this is the number an INDEX SHEET. For example 2134B is the BLOCK NUMBER for West End.

 

  • REGISTRATION SECTION - this is the location, as in the example above.

 

  • SURVEY - a drawing of property done by a BVI licensed Surveyor. SURVEY of a parcel is different from the drawing of a property on the INDEX SHEET, in that, a Plot Survey will have the location of the markers, the kind of markers (found or placed), and distances of all your property lines.

 

  • Do you have a survey of your property? Not sure, then go to the British Virgin Islands Survey Dept. and they will look to see if there is a Survey on file for your PARCEL.

 

  • SURVEYs must be signed and Dated at the bottom in 2 places. However, this does not make it official. All authenticated SURVEYS must be MUTATED, to the INDEX SHEET, or they are not legal parcels with parcel numbers.

 

  • MUTATION - do you know this word? It simply means to register your new survey, so it will be placed on the INDEX SHEET. You MUTATE a property by going to the British Virgin Islands Land Registry and ask for the papers for MUTATION. Alternately, you can have an attorney do this for you.

 

  • If you have a SURVEY plan you paid for and never MUTATED, run don’t walk to get it MUTATED. Often an old SURVEY, never MUTATED, has to RE SURVEYED to be MUTATED. Be careful!

 

  • LOT LINES-These are simply the lines linking the BOUNDARY MARKERS that surround your property. Without your BOUNDARY MARKERS you cannot know where your property begins and ends. This often causes serious errors in building homes, etc.

 

  • Protect your boundary markers, they cost BIG $$$$$ to replace. Once you know your boundaries, FENCE your property to avoid future property disputes, barbed wire is enough.

 

  • Never let anyone use, with or with out your written permission, your land for free for any reason, farming or cattle, or mango picking, sugar apple picking have all caused people to lose their property title to the user, if they use the property long enough. This applies to the case where YOU are not aware they are using the property because you are not visiting your property or not living in the BVI. If you come across this problem you may have time remaining on your side, to have an attorney write a "get off" letter. But you better hurry because if someone uses your property for 21 years with out your permission and they can prove it, then they will have rights, here those rights are called PERSCRIPTION, if you look you see these claims of Perscription, in almost every issue of our local news papers. Note them and note someone is losing their property most of the time.  Take care of your inheritance.

 

  • Know your PROPERTY LINES (the same thing as lot lines) and protect them, never let anyone moved them for any reason, road grading, cut bush dumping, or dirt dumping on top of your markers will cost BIG $$$$, to later find and or reestablish.

 

  • Did you know that if your home, or septic is on to a neighbor’s property, you cannot RE FINANCE - (Reorganize your bank loan on your home) before sorting out this encroachment? BIG PROBLEM, be sure you know your LOT LINES prior to building. Knowledge is a money saver. Do not rely on anyone other than a SURVEYOR to show you your LOT LINES prior to building and putting in driveway, septic tank and home including out side stairs.

 

  • ENCROACHMENT -Did you know that if your neighbor’s home, driveway or septic is over on your property, you could be held liable for any accident or septic problem. Sounds strange but true. Always use an attorney to buy or sell property, they are worth their weight in gold to you. Imagine not using an attorney, buying a property, building a home on it, only to have the rightful owner show up. This might sound impossible but it has happened many times in the BVI.

 

  • Learn to read the INDEX SHEETS at the British Virgin Islands Survey Department, purchase one for your neighborhood and be familiar with the property around you.

 

  • Keep a copy of your title in a safe place. Did you know in Montserrat the LAND REGISTRY burned down, leaving all who did not have documents safe, without proof of ownership!

 

  • Go to the LAND REGISTRY and ask to see the Register for your land and buy a certified copy of your page and Property Transfer for your parcel and put both in a safe place.

 

  • Did you know your mortgage is registered on the back of your PARCEL’S page, in the REGISTER, in the LAND REGISTRY?

 

  • APPURTENANCE - this is found on front of the REGISTER PAGE, it shows your PARCEL’S RIGHT OF WAY over other PARCELS.

 

  • ENCUMBRANCE-this is found on back of the REGISTER PAGE is shows other PARCEL’S RIGHT OF WAY over your PARCEL.

 

  • RIGHT OF WAY aka ROW, a road or a foot path on a map or on the ground. If there is a road to a property you own or are interested in purchasing property. Could someone stop you from using it, yes!

 

  • Beware, your LAND REGISTER PARCEL PAGE will tell you, whose property you have RIGHT OF WAY over, this is an APPURTENANCE, and which parcels that have RIGHT OF WAY over YOUR PROPERTY (this is an ENCUMBRANCE) check this out before purchasing.

 

  • Your attorney will also check this, which is one of the reasons you need him but in the end it is your money going to buy the land and then to build the house, and you will pay for a fight if there is a right of way problem.

 

  • Buyer Beware - means you must figure out what you are buying before you buy. Surely you have heard this term many times in your life but to do understand it puts the responsibility on you to beware of what exactly you are purchasing?

 

  • BVI REAL ESTATE Education pays off.  And Pam always happy to help.  Feel free to call me, send an email, or schedule an appointment to come in and let me help you with any property issues and questions. Or just read my site and let me help you with all of your real estate needs.

 

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